Majerle and Me

UT freshman Ryan Majerle

It shouldn't be too hard for the University of Toledo basketball team to improve upon last year's record.

The Rockets stumbled through a 4-28 season, tying a school record for futility.

This season will be better. They hope.

There is reason for optimism.

Second year coach Tod Kowalczyk has four transfers, including two who were with him at UW-Green Bay and a freshman class that is expected to contribute immediately.

Among the freshman, a new face but with a familiar name, Majerle.

Ryan Majerle is a 6'4'', 180 pound guard out of Belmont, Michigan.

He is the nephew of former NBA all-star Dan Majerle, a three-time All-MAC first-teamer during his days at Central Michigan.

Ryan was a four year starter at Rockford High School and an all-state performer his senior year, averaging just over 22 points a game.

As a coach's kid, it didn't take him long to buy into coach Kowalczyk's philosophy.

"Our slogan is 'Count on Me'," Majerle said. "We hold each other accountable on and off the court. Our expectations are higher this year and we really (need to) go out and play hard."

As for his famous uncle, the younger Majerle says he's been a mentor.

"He was giving me a couple of texts, cheering me on, giving me a couple of speeches. So he's helped me a lot, just to get me ready."

Toledo's lone exhibition game is November 3rd, when the Rockets host the University of Northwestern Ohio at Savage Arena.