By: Daniel Wolfson  | 

From The Commie Archives (September 28, 1995; Volume 60, Issue 4) — Macs Basketball: A Pre-Season Preview

Editor’s Note: With a 45-game win streak, the Macs sit at No. 1 in the ranking of NCAA’s DIII teams. It’s no question that the team is making its mark in YU’s history. In that vein, we wanted to turn back the clock to 1995 and glance at some footprints behind the Macs we see today.

After struggling last year with only eleven players and various injuries, Coaches Johnny Halpert and Steve Post chose fifteen Maccabees to represent the Yeshiva University basketball team for the 1995-1996 season. Coach Halpert asserts, “the only thing that can beat this years Macs is themselves.” With six new additions and nine returning players, the Macs may surprise a great deal of people this season. 


After a stellar rookie season, starting point guard Barry Aranoff hopes to direct traffic for the Macs once again this season. The NCAA division III leading kleptomaniac adds direction and stability to the Macs; only time will tell if he can once again endure the rigors of the one-guard. Neil Wiener, one of the six first-year players on the Macs this season is a quick and unselfish point guard who sees the entire court. He has the ballhandling skills that the Macs have long sought after. 

Although he is still young, newly acquired freshman David Neiss may prove to be the future of the Macs. After a year of varsity at MTA, Neiss’ outside shooting will surely help the team. Returning off-guard Yehudah Halpert will fill in the missing spot left by last years co-captain Or Rose, who has forfeited his year of eligibility in order to play in Canada next season. And fan favorites Ira Landsman and David “Rudy” Ruditsky will continue to be the spark and spirit off the bench. The Mac’s also welcome back the defensive abilities of fourth-year player Isaac Neumann, who sat out last season due to a knee injury. 


Returning forward and co-captain Alan Levy considers this years team to be “the most talented and experienced team since the 1992-1993 ECAC contending team, which featured the likes of Elisha Rothman, Daniel Aaron and Miko Danan.” Alan’s speed, agility, and leadership by far comprise the heart of this year’s squad. Alan hopes his fourth and final year at Yeshiva bodes to be the most successful of all. 

After playing a year of junior varsity basketball at Rutgers University, sophomore Brian Wein decided to attend Yeshiva University and join the Macs. This Teaneck high school phenom may be the complete package of basketball talent. Brian is a strong swingman with good ball-handling skills and his thunderous dunking ability should attract capacity crowds to the MSAC. Alon Zaibert, another newcomer hailing from Eretz Yisroel, comes to YU as a junior after having played professional ball for Hapoel TelAviv and most recently for Grossmont Community College in San Diego, CA. After serving in the Israeli Army, Alon should have no problem handling the mere four night practice schedule. Alon has a sweet three-point shot and may develop into the backbone of this year’s team. 

Three point specialist Jake Rosenberg will return for his third and final season as a Mac. His sweet touch and leadership should carry this years squad. And swingman Neil Bronstein’s surprising quickness for a big man will have opposing teams fooled when he steps onto the court. 


After an impressive rookie season, Joel Jacobson returns as the Mac’s centerpiece. His immense frame and strong inside moves will once again give the Macs a convincing front-court. Newly acquired freshman Alex Shakhmurov joins the Macs after playing for the Francis Lewis High School championship basketball team. Whenaskedhowhefeelsaboutthe team, this 6' 7" center from Queens, NY replied, “I’m happy to be at Yeshiva this year.” Alex came to the United States five years ago and has learned how to play the game pretty well. Alex has a nice baby hook and strong rebounding skills that will surely help the front line. Returning junior Steven Kupferman brings his strong low post moves and third-year leadership and experience to the team. 

In addition to the six new players, Coaches Halpert and Post additional help on the bench, Assistant Coach Even Goldstein will be joining the Macs this season. Coach Goldstein was the assistant coach of the Vermont state high school basketball champions last year at Mount Midsfield High school. Goldstein is also a regular at many of the local summer basketball camps. He is expected to improve the Macs conditioning for the upcoming season. The Macs are scheduled to participate in the Annual Molloy College Basketball Tournament in Rockville Center, NY on Thanksgiving weekend. They also have a road trip planned against Rhodes College of Memphis during January. The Macs will kick off the season against Emerson College on Sunday November 19, 1995 at l:00 pm.

Photo Caption: The Commentator Archives 

Photo Credit: The Commentator