Team previews

State Division I men

November 18, 2005|By GARY LAMBRECHT

COPPIN STATE

Coach: Fang Mitchell, 20th season at Coppin State (318-245)

Affiliation: Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference

2004-05 record: 14-15 (13-5 MEAC)

Radio: None

Arena: Coppin Center (1,720)

Consensus MEAC favorite: South Carolina State

Consensus Coppin State prediction: Sixth

Starters lost: Three

Outlook: The Eagles got unexpectedly young in the offseason, when guard Raheem Scott and forward Nicholas King transferred after strong junior seasons, after failing to bridge philosophical differences with Mitchell. That puts more pressure on MEAC Rookie of the Year Darryl Proctor, who showed remarkable consistency as a freshman by averaging 13.7 points and 6.9 rebounds and shooting 47.9 percent from his forward spot. Coppin State once again will play defense first, meaning the backcourt of sophomore Darryl Roberts (8.0 ppg, 2.0 apg) and returning starter West Otis (5.6 ppg) will need to spark the pressing style Mitchell loves to play. If the Eagles find enough of a steady frontcourt rotation to rebound well, look for Coppin State to be in the thick of the MEAC race again.

LOYOLA

Coach: Jimmy Patsos, second season at Loyola (6-22)

Affiliation: Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference

2004-05 record: 6-22 (5-13 MAAC)

Radio: 1570 AM

Arena: Reitz Arena (3,253)

Consensus MAAC favorite: Iona

Consensus Loyola prediction: Ninth

Starters lost: One

Outlook: The Greyhounds think they can make a long-awaited move toward the middle of a tough conference, and they might be right. The face of this team has changed, starting with the additions of senior Andre Collins and junior Hassan Fofana, each of whom transferred from Maryland. Collins has the quickness and scoring ability at point guard to make an instant impact in the MAAC, and the size and bulk of the 6-10 Fofana in the middle should make Loyola meaner in the paint. Sophomore guards Freddie Stanback and Brad Farrell were solid contributors a year ago, but the freshman trio of guards Marquis Sullivan (Archbishop Spalding) and Sky Khaleel and 6-8 forward Jawaan Wright have the fans excited at Evergreen. Loyola improved by five victories in Patsos' rookie season.

UMBC

Coach: Randy Monroe, second season at UMBC (11-18)

Affiliation: America East

2004-05 record: 11-18 (5-13 America East)

Radio: 1370 AM

Arena: RAC Arena (4,024)

Consensus America East favorite: Albany

Consensus UMBC prediction: Eighth

Starters lost: Two

Outlook: The Retrievers lost two steady producers in guard Rob Gogerty and center Andrew Feeley, and eight of their 14 players are new to the program. Senior power forward John Zito, who has battled injuries throughout his career, gave UMBC solid production off the bench a year ago, and now needs to step up as a starter. The Retrievers figure to be big and raw in the middle, where 6-8 Uwem Eshietedoho and 6-10 Chris Timba, a native of Cameroon, look to establish defensive and rebounding presences as freshmen. The backcourt of junior point guard Chris Pugh and sophomore shooting guard Brian Hodges will dictate much for the Retrievers. Pugh takes excellent care of the ball, and Hodges made 50 three-pointers in limited minutes as a freshman.

UMES

Coach: Larry Lessett, second season at UMES (2-26)

Affiliation: Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference

2004-05 record: 2-26 (1-17 MEAC)

Radio: 960 AM

Arena: W.P. Hytche Athletic Center (5,500)

Consensus MEAC favorite: South Carolina State

Consensus UMES prediction: 11th

Starters lost: Three

Outlook: The Hawks are starting over again after a 17-game losing streak knocked them quickly to the bottom of the MEAC. Only five players return, which should make for some growing pains. Senior forward Tim Parham was the most consistent player, averaging 13.2 points and 9.9 rebounds in conference play. Sophomore shooting guard Ryan Leak scored 6.9 points a game against the league and helped the Hawks coming off the bench. Doubling that production would be a big help this season. Lessett's toughest challenge will be developing a backcourt rotation with so much youth. Six of UMES' 10 newcomers are guards. Keep an eye on Hagay Barav, who finished second in scoring in the Israeli High School League, and Jesse Brooks, a former teammate of Rudy Gay's at Archbishop Spalding.

MORGAN STATE

Coach: Butch Beard, fifth season at Morgan State

Affiliation: Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference

2004-05 record: 14-16 (11-7 MEAC)

Radio: WEAA (88.9 FM)

Arena: Hill Field House (4,250)

Consensus MEAC favorite: South Carolina State

Consensus Morgan State prediction: Ninth

Starters lost: Three

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