New coaches, new rules result in big changes 'Madness' over, season approaches

November 02, 1992|By Paul McMullen | Paul McMullen,Staff Writer

Restrictions mandated by the NCAA won't be the only changes in college basketball this season. Among the state's nine Division I programs, two have new coaches and two others are entering a new conference.

Don DeVoe is new to Navy, but he's in his 20th year as a head coach in Division I. UMES also has a new coach in Rob Chavez, who spent the previous five seasons at Chemeketa (Ore.) Community College.

Towson State and UMBC, meanwhile, left the East Coast Conference for the Big South, which has one of the 30 automatic bids to the NCAA tournament.

Besides pushing the practice starting date from Oct. 15 to yesterday, the NCAA reform movement has put other restrictions on Division I. Regular-season schedules were cut from 27 to 26 games, scholarships were trimmed from 15 to 14 and staffs are limited to two full-time assistants and one "restricted-earnings" position, an assistant's job that can't pay more than $12,000 a year.

A look at the state's eight Division I teams other than Maryland (with last season's record in parentheses):

Coppin State (15-13)

Coach Fang Mitchell has seven players back, but only two appeared in all 28 games last season when injuries and disciplinary problems hindered the Eagles. The top returnees are junior forward Tariq Saunders (16.6 points per game, 6.8 rebounds per game), junior center Coleman Scott and sophomore guard Keith Carmichael (11.0 ppg).

Coppin State will have at least seven new players, the top recruit being Stephen Stewart, a 6-foot-5 forward who last played in 1989-90 for Parkway High in Philadelphia. He's the younger brother of Washington Bullets forward Larry Stewart, who carried the Eagles to the NCAA tournament in 1990.

Michael Thomas, a 6-8 center, is another sophomore who sat out last season with academic problems.

Loyola (14-14)

Coach Tom Schneider will concern himself with retooling the Greyhounds' game from the perimeter to inside. Kevin Green has gone to the Rockford Lightning of the CBA, Kevin Anderson only has lacrosse eligibility left and point guard Tracy Bergan is taking courses at the University of Maryland in the hope of returning to Evergreen next fall.

The Greyhounds have three recruits, the best being Dallas Shannon, a 6-11 Canadian who spent two years at Spartanburg (S.C.) Methodist Junior College. Michael Reese (16.1 ppg, 6.6 rpg) could spend time in the backcourt, where sophomore Matt Gabriel steps up after missing most of last season with leg injuries.

Seniors George Sereikas, junior David Credle and sophomore B. J. Pendleton (5.0 rpg) are inside players who could help the Greyhounds to their first winning season since 1986-87.

Morgan State (6-23)

There are 10 returnees from a group that was 2-19 before splitting its last eight games. Guard Obadiah Johnson (13.4 ppg), forward Charles Feagin and 6-11 center Jarrad Smith head a sophomore class that coach Michael Holmes hopes to build around. Matt Burrell and Michael Brewer are steady senior forwards.

Five new players were on hand for Midnight Madness. Malik White is a 6-11 transfer from New Mexico State with one year of eligibility remaining, junior point guard Chico Langston has two years after transferring from Ventura (Calif.) Junior College, and 6-11 Gerald Johnson is a Proposition 48 sophomore.

Terrence Hunter, a 6-6 transfer from Wagner, is being kept out of practice because of disciplinary reasons.

Navy (6-22)

The Mids have gone 37-104 since the departure of David Robinson in 1987. DeVoe's rebuilding job wasn't helped when Patriot League all-rookie forward Derrick Wall and guard Mark Majick, last year's plebe standouts, left the academy last summer.

Swingman John Haase (13.0 ppg) and point guard Victor Mickel (5.8 assists per game) are the best of nine returning lettermen. That group also has senior forward Chuck Robinson and senior guard Michael Burd.

The plebe class includes 6-10 center Alex Kohnen and guard Billy Butler, who prepped at Maine Central Institute. Jim Hamilton and James Norris will compete for playing time at forward.

Mount St. Mary's (6-22)

The Mountaineers are coming back from their worst season in 20 years, but their luck began to change last week. Fifth-year guard Kevin Booth (19.3 ppg) suffered a fracture to his right fibula in a pickup game Oct. 5 and wasn't expected back for another two weeks, but on Friday he received clearance to practice.

Booth joined nine other returning players and four recruits at Midnight Madness. Junior guard Phil Galvin (13.4 ppg), junior forward Chad Stull and sophomore forward Michael Watson (8.6 ppg, 5.2 rpg) played well in stretches.

Coach Jim Phelan wants a quicker lineup, and point guard Chris McGuthrie and Jeff Balistrere are freshmen who can get up and down the court. Center Kenny Gardner (St. Maria Goretti) was MVP of the Catholic League.

Towson State (17-13)

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