Men’s Basketball Season Preview

Men’s Basketball Season Preview

CHESTERTOWN, Md. – Last season the Shoremen returned to the upper half of the Centennial Conference by qualifying for the Centennial Conference Tournament for the first time in seven years and won a first round conference tournament game.  This season the Shoremen will look to build off its 2018-19 season where the team had its first winning record in seven years at 14-13 (9-9 Centennial) which concluded with a trip to the Centennial Conference Tournament semifinal round as the four seed under fifth-year head coach Aaron Goodman.    

For the team to continue to be a perennial contender in the conference, the team will need to continue to be better on both sides of the ball in 2019-20.  While the numbers improved significantly on the defensive end in 2018-19, the offense had a slight regression.

On the defensive side of the ball, the Shoremen improved their points against dramatically from 75.9 points per game allowed in 2017-18 to 69.7 allowed last winter, an improvement of 6.2 points per game as Washington was fifth in the conference in points per game allowed.  The field goal percentage defense was better in 2018-19 from the season prior as they went from 46.7% to 43.5%, an improvement of 3.2% which was sixth in the CC.  Three-point field goal defensive percentage improved by 2% as they allowed just 32.2% to be made last season compared to 34.2% in 2017-18 as the team ranked fourth in the conference in three-point field goal percentage defense.  Washington was second in the conference turnovers forced per game at 15.9 and was fourth in steals per game at 7.3.

On the boards, Washington improved its rebounding margin deficit for the fourth straight year under Goodman as they were at just -0.6 last year.  In Goodman's first season in 2015-16, it was -9.2.  On the offensive glass, WC was second in the CC in offensive boards per game at 11.7.

On the offensive end of the ball, the Shoremen will seek to improve in all facets.  Scoring wise, Washington saw its points per game go down from 68.1 points per game to 67.1 per game which was seventh in the Centennial.  Their overall field goal percentage dropped from 40.1% to 39.6% as Washington finished last in field goal percentage.  Three-point field goal shooting dropped from 34.5% to 32.4% where the squad ranked sixth in the conference.  From the foul line, the Shoremen were last at 67.3%, but still made the most free throws (429) and took the most free throws (637) of any Centennial Conference team.  The Shoremen were a +1.8 in turnover per game ratio as they coughed it up just 14.1 times per game compared to 15.9 for the opponent.

The senior class consists of the three captains in guard Austin Allen (Silver Spring, Md./Saint Andrew's Episcopal), forward Alec Lewis (Jefferson, Md./Brunswick) and forward Dallas Marshall (Germantown, Md./Clarksburg).  Marshall led the team in scoring at 11.5 points per game, rebounds (5.3), steals (1.3), blocks (1.1) and was second on the team in assists per contest (1.7) as he earned All-Centennial Conference second team honors as he played and started in all 27 contests last winter.  He improved his scoring by 1.5 points per game from his sophomore campaign in 2017-18.   Marshall was one of three Shoremen to average 1.0 or more steals per game a season ago.   The senior finished sixth in the CC in offensive rebounds (65), seventh in blocks (29), eighth in made free throws (70) and ninth in steals (34).  Lewis more than doubled his points per game average last year as he went from 4.7 points per game in 2017-18 to 10.3 points per outing in 2018-19 and shot 40% from three-point range which led the team and was good for sixth in the Centennial as he played in all 27 games and earned 25 starts.  Lewis, who hit the game-winning three-pointer at Franklin & Marshall in January to ignite the Shoremen's run to the Centennial Conference Tournament also averaged 3.5 rebounds per game and was third on the team at 1.3 assist per contest.  Lewis' 91 free throws were good for second in the conference.  Allen, who started in all 27 contests, averaged 6.6 points per game, pulled down 4.4 boards which was good for third on the team and was one of three WC players to average a steal or more per game as his 1.0 was good for second.      

Five juniors are back in the fold this season and they are forward Daniel Brown (Silver Spring, Md./Paint Branch), center Logan Bunch (Raleigh, N.C./Athens Drive), guard Derrick Carter (Waldorf, Md./St. Charles), guard/forward Barry McCormick (Annapolis, Md./Archbishop Spalding) and guard Cole Storm (Oreland, Pa./Germantown Academy)Barry McCormick in 22 games off the bench averaged 5.8 points per game and drained a squad-high 83.1% from the foul line, including the two game-winning free throws at Johns Hopkins, as he grabbed 2.5 rebounds per contest.  McCormick was fourth in the Centennial from the charity stripe in 2018-19.  Brown played in all 27 games last year, 19 starts, and averaged 5.8 points per game and 5.1 rebounds per outing with his 54 total offensive boards ranking him eighth amongst all CC players.  He averaged just a block and steal per game as he was 0.9 for both.  Bunch improved his scoring and rebounding last season as he went from 1.4 points per game in 2017-18 to 4.3 and went from 1.7 rebounds per contest as a freshman to 3.6 as a sophomore in 21 games, nine starts.  He also shot 52.3% from the floor and 50% from three-point range.  Storm shot 75.0% from the free throw line in 24 games last season as he had 1.7-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio.  Carter got into 18 games last season, which was a career-best.   

Goodman's squad has a trio of sophomores on the 2019-20 team and they are guard Dilyn Becker (Ephrata, Pa./Ephrata), guard Tino Nyawata (Rockville, Md./St. Andrew's Episcopal) and guard Tray Wright (Baltimore, Md./Saint Paul's School for Boys).  Wright made an immediate impact on the program as he averaged 9.0 points per game, good for third on the team, 4.0 rebounds per outing, a team-high 2.9 assists per game and was second on the team in steals per game at 1.2.  Wright was fifth in the Centennial in assists (79) and free throws made (75).  Nyawata is back this season after redshirting last year due to injury as he appeared in six games as a freshman in 2017-18.  Becker participated in 14 games last winter in his rookie season.

Rounding out the team are four freshmen in center/forward Patrick Devitt (Sherwood Forest, Md./St. Mary's), forward Nick Romeo (Ambler, Pa./Lansdale Catholic), guard/forward Tyler Struve (Parkland, Fla./North Broward Prep) and forward/center Chris Weaver (Centreville, Va./St. Mary's Ryken [Md.]).

The Shoremen have one set of players who attended the same high school as Allen and Nyawata both attended St. Andrew's Episcopal.

In the Centennial Conference Preseason Poll, the Shoremen were picked to make a return trip to the conference tournament as they were selected fifth in the poll with 98 vote-points as coaches and athletic communications people were not permitted to vote for their own team.  #1 Swarthmore was picked first with 156 vote-points and 14 first place votes.  Johns Hopkins received the other six first place votes and were second at 149 vote-points.  Ursinus was picked third at 114 vote-points and Franklin & Marshall was selected fourth with 106 vote-points.  Six through 10 were Muhlenberg (89), Dickinson (82), Haverford (42), Gettysburg (38) and McDaniel (26).

Serving on Goodman's staff are assistant coaches Jesse Case, Mike Durilla '13 and Cody Joyce.  Durilla and Joyce are second-year members of the coaching staff, while Case is serving in his first season on the Shoremen bench.  Case, a 2019 graduate of Lynchburg, played in 86 career games for Hornets, starting in 56, where he averaged 8.1 points and 2.5 assists per game.        

Schedule Breakdown
Total Games: 25 (13 home, 11 away, one neutral)
Season and Away Opener: November 8 at St. Mary's (Md.) (7:00 p.m.)
Home Opener: November 17 vs. Yeshiva (2:00 p.m.)
Centennial Home Opener: December 4 vs. Muhlenberg (8:00 p.m.)
Centennial Away Opener: November 26 at #1 Swarthmore (6:00 p.m.)
Centennial Home Opponents: Muhlenberg, Franklin & Marshall (12/7), Johns Hopkins (1/11), McDaniel (1/15), Dickinson (1/25), #1 Swarthmore (1/29), Haverford (2/6), Ursinus (2/12), Gettysburg (2/15)
Centennial Away Opponents: #1 Swarthmore, Ursinus (12/18), Haverford (1/9), Gettysburg (1/18), Muhlenberg (1/22), Franklin & Marshall (2/1), #15 Johns Hopkins (2/8), McDaniel (2/19), Dickinson (2/22)
Non-Conference Home Opponent: Yeshiva, Cairn (11/21), Penn State-Harrisburg (11/23), #9 Christopher Newport (1/2)
Non-Conference Away Opponents: St. Mary's, Chicago (11/30), High Point (1/2)
Non-Conference Neutral Opponents: #24 Randolph-Macon at St. Mary's (11/9)
Exhibition Opponent: at Navy (11/10) – Does not count in standings
NCAA Tournament Teams: Christopher Newport (National Semifinalist), Randolph-Macon, Swarthmore (National Finalist)