Division II menBowie StateAffiliation: Central...

November 16, 1999|By Mark Hoeflich

Division II men

Bowie State

Affiliation: Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association.

Coach: Luke D'Alessio, first season.

1998-99 record: 6-21, 3-13.

Top players: James Rice, 5-10, Sr., G (16.4 3.7 rpg); Anthony Nelson, 6-0, Soph., G (8.2 ppg, 2.3 rpg); Jason Johnson, 6-6, Jr., F (7.3 ppg, 3.0 rpg); Jamar Woods, 6-7, Soph., F (3.1 ppg, 2.7 rpg).

Outlook: D'Alessio, former coach at Catonsville Community College, brings his up-tempo style to a program that hasn't seen a winning season in 30 years. The backcourt is solid with Rice, last season's leading scorer despite a foot injury, and Nelson, a CIAA all-rookie team selection. But the Bulldogs need a better inside presence and D'Alessio anticipates immediate returns from Johnson, a transfer from Catonsville, and Woods.

Division III men

Frostburg State

Affiliation: Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference

Coach: Web Hatch, first season.

1998-99 record: 11-14, 5-7.

Top players: Steve Re, 6-5, Sr., F (14.9 ppg, 5.5 rpg); Rob Ayers, 6-5, Jr., (13.7 ppg, 5.9 rpg); David Manigault, 6-0, Soph., G (6.1 ppg, 2.1 apg).

Outlook: Hatch, an assistant at Virginia Military last season, brings a more disciplined approach in an effort to improve shot selection and rebounding. With Re and Ayers among four post players at 6 feet 5 , the Bobcats vow to establish more of an inside game, particularly now that Manigault is comfortable running the point. "We're going to run a more structured offense and not press as much on defense," Hatch said.

Goucher

Affiliation: Capital Athletic Conference.

Coach: Leonard Trevino, 10th season (137-99).

1998-99 record: 23-5, 12-2.

Top players: Darrian Lee, 6-2, Jr., G (7.8 ppg, 4.0 rpg); Mark Schuler, 5-9, Sr., G (7.2 ppg, 1.3 rpg); Todd Sykes, 6-5, Soph, F (6.3 ppg, 4.0 rpg); Josh Stolz, 6-5 Jr., F (4.7 ppg, 3.7 rpg); Tavar Witherspoon, 6-4, Sr., F (injured last season).

Outlook: The Gophers' biggest hurdle is overcoming the loss of point guard and two-time CAC Player of the Year Bakari Ward to graduation. But Trevino likes his team's chances with more options for points. Witherspoon's return is a boost to an interchangeable frontcourt in which Sykes and Stolz are among five returners. "Our big men are athletic and we're going to make opponents move with us," Trevino said. Lee and Schuler are quality defenders and shooters who lack only experience as starters. "We fully expect to contend for the conference title," Trevino said.

Johns Hopkins

Affiliation: Centennial Conference.

Coach: Bill Nelson, 14th season (212-131).

1998-99 record: 21-6, 11-2.

Top players: Joel Wertman, 6-1, Sr., F (18.8 ppg, 8.7 rpg); Nino Vanin, 6-2, Sr., G (10.2 ppg, 2.9 rpg); Jake Strohman, 6-3, Sr., G (5.4 ppg, 4.0 rpg); Jon Olson, 6-5, Sr., F (3.7 ppg, 6.0 rpg).

Outlook: The Blue Jays' defense figures to be no worse than the group that allowed 57.9 points a game (second in the nation) last season. Yet Nelson hopes for better execution at the other end. Leading the way is Wertman, the reigning conference Player of the Year, who shot 56.2 percent last season. Olson figures to play a bigger role, with Wertman likely to see more double teams, and Nelson anticipates increased production from Strohman and Vanin. Brian Cosgrove (Loyola) gives Hopkins another threat on the perimeter. "As long as we stay hungry defensively, we'll be pretty good," Nelson said.

Salisbury State

Affiliation: Capital Athletic Conference.

Coach: Wade Lambert, 30th season (416-350).

1998-99 record: 12-14, 6-8.

Top players: Victor Jackson, 6-3, Soph., F (13.6 ppg, 4.8 rpg); Colin Exelby, 6-3, Sr., G (10.4 ppg, 2.7 apg); Josh Merkel, 6-1, Jr., G (8.2 ppg).

Outlook: Lambert begins his final season at Salisbury having to integrate several new faces into the starting lineup. Jackson, last season's CAC Rookie of the Year, and Exelby are a solid inside-outside combination, but scoring is in short supply behind them. Lambert's top priority is finding a point guard among Dan Fisher, Ali Azizikia and Jard Silberzhan.

St. Mary's

Affiliation: Capital Athletic Conference.

Coach: Alfred Johnson, first season.

1998-99 record: 13-13, 7-7.

Top players: Sheldon Taylor, 6-1, Jr., G-F (14.8 ppg, 6.6 rpg); Brandon Jones, 6-2 Soph., G (12.9 ppg, 2.2 rpg); Harvey Davis, 6-1, Jr., G-F (9.2 ppg, 3.8 rpg); Matt Conklin, 6-0, Jr., G (4.8 ppg, 3.0 apg).

Outlook: The Seahawks' athletic front line includes Taylor, who shot a career-high 52.7 percent from the field and 41.7 from behind the arc last season, and Davis, who can shoot the medium-range jumper. Johnson said the Seahawks have one of the best groups of guards in the conference, led by point man Conklin (75 assists) and Jones, last season's second-leading scorer off the bench.

Villa Julie

Affiliation: Independent.

Coach: Brett Adams, sixth season (22-101)

1998-99 record: 4-21.

Top players: Jermaine Smith, 6-5, Soph., C (14.4 ppg, 9.5 rpg); Ayinde Edwards, 6-2, Jr., G (12.4 ppg, 5.6 rpg); Brock Jourdan, 6-0, Jr., G (9.6 ppg, 3.4 apg); Steve Johnson, 6-1, Fr., G.

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