Question: What do Dino Gregory (Maryland), Henry Sims (Georgetown), Chase Adams (Pittsburgh), Louis Birdsong (George Mason), Brian Johnson (Delaware), Dejuan Goodwin (Marist) and Kevin Swecker (Longwood) have in common?

Answer: All seven Division I men's college basketball players graduated from Mount St. Joseph.


One year from now, three current Gaels will likely join that illustrious Div. I club.Mount St. Joseph coach Pat Clatchey dealt with the losses last year of five of his top eight players -- due to either injury or transfer -- as the Gaels battled to a 21-13 record. Now Clatchey's looking forward to a drama-free 2009-10 season with his three senior leaders: point guard Eric Atkins, forward Ryley Beaumont and shooting guard Matt Miller.

"We have a pretty good nucleus coming back," Clatchey said. "We got through last year and we'll get some guys back this year. Hopefully it can all mesh and gel together."

Atkins, a Notre Dame commitment and the reigning Baltimore Catholic League player of the year, is the known quantity for the Gaels. After his successful summer on the AAU circuit with D.C. Assault, and an appearance at the National Basketball Player's Association Top 100 camp, Clatchey expects the 6-foot-2, 165-pounder to step up once again.

"I just want to see Eric really concentrate on what he's doing and maybe take it up a notch," Clatchey said. "He's had a great career. Last year he had to do so much with the injury situation. He definitely delivered, being BCL Player of the Year. I think he's just really ready to finish on a strong note to his career."

Beaumont holds offers from Fairfield, Elon, Longwood, Bucknell, Quinnipiac and Loyola, among others. The 6-foot-6 forward averaged nearly 19 points per game last year, according to Clatchey.

"He's just a guy that can shoot and score, and can get to the basket," Clatchey said. "He's very good at moving without the ball. He can score in a variety of ways. I think some guys can shoot and score, and he's capable of doing both."

Miller could be Mount St. Joseph's x-factor this season. The senior missed last season with a torn ACL.

"Sophomore year he was 5-4, 115 pounds," Clatchey said. "Junior year, he was about 5-7, 145, 150 pounds."

Now Miller has sprouted to 6-2, 180 pounds, and emerged as a legitimate Div. I prospect with offers on the table.

"He's big, strong and good," Clatchey said. "He'll make a huge difference for us. We went to a team camp two weeks ago, and he had 16 offensive rebounds and 16 or 17 threes in four games. He's just a smart, smart player. He doesn't make mistakes. He sees the open man and makes the open shots."

Clatchey hopes to contend for the MIAA A conference and BCL championships this year, and then send Atkins, Beaumont and Miller off to join the ranks of ex-Gaels playing DI basketball.

"We have really good kids," Clatchey said. "Our kids are quality players and they do the work in the classroom."