Umbc

November 13, 1998|By Christian Ewell

Coach: Tom Sullivan, fourth season at UMBC (24-58), 14th overall (178-183).

Affiliation: Northeast Conference.

1997-98 record: 14-14 overall, 6-6 in Big South.

Radio: None.

Arena: UMBC Fieldhouse (4,024).

Starters lost: One.

Tickets: $6 adults, $3 students. Call 410-455-2205.

Best home game: Mount St. Mary's, Dec. 3. Retrievers' first-ever NEC game comes against Jim Phelan, whose team is favored to win the conference.

Best visiting player: Rick Mickens, Central Connecticut State, Feb. 11. The junior was the NEC's second-leading scorer (19.8 ppg) last season.

Outlook: If a big man develops, the Retrievers might be able to surprise in their first season in the NEC, as they return four starters. For now, the hopes in the middle reside with 6-foot-10 freshman Brett Kindelmann and 6-8 sophomore Nick Grella, who averaged barely a point and rebound last season. Other than that, UMBC has the nucleus of a fairly athletic club, led by three sophomores: guards Terence Ward and Rich Giddens and forward Kennedy Okafor, who combined for 40.5 points a game as freshmen. Small forward Isaac Green returns, as does Tim Hyland, who be the third guard when Sullivan opts for a smaller lineup.

Around the league: Mount St. Mary's is expected to kick it into gear once Melvin Whitaker shows up, but St. Francis, N.Y., has just about everyone returning from a 15-12 team that finished third in the league.

Returning players

Name -- Rich Giddens

Yr. -- So.

Ht. -- 6-5

Wt. -- 210

Pos. -- G

Fast breaks -- Averaged 15.5 points as a freshman.

@Name -- Rod Harrison

Yr. -- Sr.

Ht. -- 5-11

Wt. -- 190

Pos. -- G

Fast breaks -- Last of an old guard.

Name -- Isaac Green

Yr. -- Jr.

Ht. -- 6-6

Wt. -- 225

Pos. -- F

Fast breaks -- Saw thunder stolen by freshmen.

Name -- Nick Grella

Yr. -- So.

Ht. -- 6-8

Wt. -- 255

Pos. -- C

Fast breaks -- Will start when UMBC needs size.

Name -- Varian Harvey

Yr. -- Jr.

Ht. -- 6-4

Wt. -- 205

Pos. -- F

Fast breaks -- Walk-on from Kutztown University.

Name -- Tim Hyland

Yr. -- So.

Ht. -- 6-0

Wt. -- 175

Pos. -- G

Fast breaks -- Fractured wrist derailed debut season.

Name -- Brad Martin

Yr. -- So.

Ht. -- 6-5

Wt. -- 205

Pos. -- F

Fast breaks -- Hoping to give Okafor inside help.

@Name -- Kerry Martin

Yr. -- Jr.

Ht. -- 6-7

Wt. -- 205

Pos. -- F

Fast breaks -- Key defensive reserve; 23 blocks in '97-98.

Name -- Kennedy Okafor

Yr. -- So.

Ht. -- 6-7

Wt. -- 257

Pos. -- F

Fast breaks -- Big South's top newcomer last season.

@Name -- Terence Ward

Yr. -- So.

Ht. -- 6-1

Wt. -- 165

Pos. -- G

Fast breaks -- Pretty much it for UMBC point guards.

@Name -- Jason Womble

Yr. -- Jr.

Ht. -- 6-2

Wt. -- 205

Pos. -- G

Fast breaks -- Likely to back up Ward.

Newcomers

Name -- Gbemiga Adekule

Yr. -- Fr.

Ht. -- 6-5

Wt. -- 195

Pos. -- F

Fast breaks -- Walk-on played at Woodlawn High last season.

Name -- Brett Kindelmann

Yr. -- Fr.

Ht. -- 6-10

Wt. -- 235

Pos. -- C

Fast breaks -- Retrievers hoping for swift development.

Name -- Neil Streeter

Yr. -- Fr.

Ht. -- 6-2

Wt. -- 185

Pos. -- G

Fast breaks -- A promising option at shooting guard.

Pub Date: 11/13/98

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