AREA MEN'S DIVISION III TEAMS AT A GLANCE

THE BALTIMORE SUN

How quickly will Johns Hopkins recover from the loss of the most successful class in school history? How much can Goucher College improve on the best season in its short history? After 10 successful years as the top assistant at Mount St. Mary's, will rookie head coach Bob Flynn work more magic at St. Mary's College?

Those are the questions to be answered in Division III men's basketball around the area this season.

The fans at Johns Hopkins have been spoiled by the success engineered by eighth-year coach Bill Nelson, and Nelson has quite a task on his hands this winter. All five starters graduated from last year's team, which went 20-7.

At Goucher, coach Leonard Trevino needed only three seasons to turn a brand-new program into a winning one. Last year, Trevino guided Goucher to a 17-9 record, easily the best in school history. And unlike Nelson, Trevino has everybody back from that squad, which claimed Hopkins among its upset victims.

Flynn replaces Bob Valvano at St. Mary's, where Valvano went 14-12 last year. Despite the loss of several key starters, Flynn thinks St. Mary's can compete with Goucher for the Capital Athletic Conference title. The CAC champion will receive an automatic bid to the newly expanded, 64-team NCAA tournament.

FROSTBURG STATE

Coach: Oscar Lewis (eighth season, 114-104)

Affiliation: Independent

1993-94 record: 17-9

Starters lost: 4

Key returnees: Kelvin Clayton, 6-4, F; Scott Newman, 6-2, G; Damon Stevenson, 6-0, G; Rodney Jeffries, 6-5, C; Pete Craig, 6-8, C.

Top newcomers: Tyrone Freeman, 6-3, F; Mike Harvey, 6-4, G; Michael Longabardi, 5-7, G.

Outlook: The Bobcats lost their three top scorers, who supplied 41.2 points per game, to graduation. With no returning player who averaged in double figures, offense could be a problem. The Bobcats will play more up-tempo, with a veteran backcourt and questionable post play. Clayton is the most experienced player in the frontcourt. Clayton, who will move from small to power forward, averaged 9.9 points and 7.9 rebounds. The backcourt of Newman and Stevenson is solid. Newman hit 47 three-pointers, which ranked second on the Bobcats, and made a team-leading 41 percent of his three-pointers. The defensive stopper, Stevenson, is also a consistent shooter (50 percent overall, 45 percent on three-point attempts).

GOUCHER

Coach: Leonard Trevino, (fifth season, 37-69)

Affiliation: Capital Athletic Conference

1993-94 record: 17-9

Starters lost: 0

Key players: David Clark, 6-3, G; Gerard Garlic, 5-11, G; Chad Beeton, 6-0, G; Joe Suarez, 5-11, G; Thurmond Toland, 6-4, F; Predrag Durkovic, 6-7, C; Peter Manlove, 6-3, F; Jeff Klein, 6-6, F.

Top newcomers: Marcus Washington, 6-4, F; Rod Stewart, 6-4, F.

Outlook: Ranked No. 10 in the nation in the preseason by the Division III News and the favorite in the CAC, the Gophers have major expectations in their fifth season of existence. The major -- incentive is that for the first time the CAC champion gets an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. Goucher returns its top nine scorers from a team that won its last nine games and the conference title. Clark, the CAC Player of the Year, will switch from shooting to point guard after averaging 18.6 points, 6.2 rebounds and 4.6 assists. The Gophers will move from a three-guard to a two-guard offense, pushing three-year starting point guard Joe Suarez to the bench. The new offense comes with the arrival of Washington, an honorable mention McDonald's All-American from DeMatha. Durkovic is the force inside, averaging 14.9 points and 7.3 rebounds.

JOHNS HOPKINS

Coach: Bill Nelson (14th season, 238-133)

Affiliation: Centennial Conference

1993-94 record: 20-7, 10-3

Starters lost: 5

Key returnees: Wes Unseld, 6-3, F; Matt Gorman, 6-5, F; Scott Simmons, 6-0, G; Aaron Bevington, 6-4, F; Gavin Loughlin, 6-4, F.

Top newcomers: Isiah Sandlin, 6-4, G; Josh Amoss, 6-0, G; Sloan Wobbeking, 6-6, F.

Outlook: Having lost all five starters, the Blue Jays must replace a group that contributed 80 percent of their points, 69 percent of their rebounds, 87 percent of their three-pointers and 89 percent of their assists. The Blue Jays will look to Sandlin to fill the scoring gap. The Oregon 3A Player of the Year, Sandlin is a three-point specialist. Hopkins is smaller than last season, but quicker and will force a fast-paced game. Sandlin can handle the ball but the tempo will be mainly controlled by Simmons, a sophomore point guard. Last season, Simmons had 22 assists but made 41 turnovers. Unseld (Loyola) is Hopkins' top returning scorer (4.9) and rebounder (2.4), and played in all 27 games last year.

ST. MARY'S

Coach: Bob Flynn (first season)

Affiliation: Capital Athletic Conference

1993-94 record: 14-12

Starters lost: 3

Key returnees: Barry Friedman, 6-2, G; Steve Michelotti, 6-1, G; Michael Lind, 6-5, F; John Bowman, 6-4, F; Chris Harney, 6-3, F.

Top newcomers: Sean Soyars, 6-5, F; Garrett O'Donnell, 5-11, F; Michael Scott, 6-4, F; Fred Johnson, 6-3, F.

Outlook: The Seahawks face some obvious problems in Flynn's first season: Only two of their top six scorers return, no proven rebounder remains and no one is taller than 6-5. To counter those weaknesses, St. Mary's looks to open up the offense with a large influx of talent and one of the top backcourts in the conference. Friedman, a second-team All-CAC selection, averaged 14.4 points and led the Seahawks in three-pointers (73), assists (4.3) and free-throw percentage (.835). Along with Friedman, Michelotti is a strong and physical guard who averaged 11.1 points. The high-scoring newcomers include Johnson, a transfer who averaged 18 points at Potomac State, and Soyars, who averaged 23 points and 12 rebounds at Arundel. Soyars will return in early December after recovering from arthroscopic knee surgery. In the eight-team CAC preseason coaches' poll, St. Mary's was picked to finish seventh.

SALISBURY STATE

Coach: Ward Lambert (25th season, 337-294)

Affiliation: Capital Athletic Conference

1993-94 record: 14-11

Starters lost: 3

Key returnees: Kyle Jefferson, 6-3, F; Craig Blackmon, 6-3, F; Casey Musick, 5-11, G; John DeRichie, 6-3, G; Brian

King, 6-8, C; Greg Potter, 6-4, F; Randy Clark, 6-4, F.

Outlook: The Sea Gulls' run-and-gun offense is in full gear with nine returning letter winners. The offense, fifth in Division III at 97 points last season, is led by the high-scoring tandem of Jefferson (Hammond) and Blackmon. Jefferson averaged 17.8 points and a team-leading 9.2 rebounds. The other main threat, Blackmon, scored 20.4 points per game but missed the last 15 with a foot injury. A questionable backcourt could hinder the Sea Gulls' pressing style. Musick is a reliable shooting guard, but DeRichie is untested at point guard. DeRichie was primarily Musick's backup at shooting guard last season. Salisbury State was picked third in the CAC preseason coaches' poll.

VILLA JULIE

Coach: Brett Adams (first year)

Affiliation: Independent

Key players: Donte Dudley, 6-2, F/G; Shuron Woodyard, 6-2, F; William Mulcahy, 5-10, G; Brian Schilpp, 6-1, G/F; James Neff, 5-11, G; Brandon Holt, 5-11, G; Mike Ginski, 5-7, G.

Outlook: In their inaugural season, the Mustangs will struggle with a roster of six freshmen, two sophomores and a senior, none taller than 6-2. Villa Julie also will play 17 of its 23 games on the road. However, Villa Julie nabbed Dudley (Woodlawn), a first-team All-Metro pick and Baltimore County's Player of the Year in 1992-93, when he averaged 17.4 points, 8.6 rebounds and 3.5 rebounds. The versatile 6-2, 175-pound swingman missed all but two games last season because of a knee injury.

WASHINGTON

Coach: Tom Finnegan (24th season, 295-257)

Affiliation: Centennial Conference

1993-94 record: 13-12, 7-6

Starters lost: 2

Key returnees: Ben Harris, 6-0, G; Jerry Davis, 6-4, C; Edmund Hicks, 6-4, F; Ken Lapp, 6-6, C; Adam Poe, 6-3, G; Derek Cuff, 6-2, F.

Top newcomers: Greg Metrinko, 5-8, G; James Carpenter, 6-1, G; Joe Burke, 6-5, F.

Outlook: The Shoremen could make an impact if they develop a supporting group for a strong core that includes Harris, Davis, Hicks (South River) and Cuff. Washington won seven of its last nine games last season, and could make a similar late run once a regular rotation is set. Finnegan predicts a breakthrough year for Davis, last season's most improved player for the Shoremen. Davis averaged 5.9 points and 7.2 rebounds. Harris is one of the most underrated guards in the conference. The sophomore captain was among the top five in the Centennial Conference in four different categories. He is the top returner in scoring (14.8) and assists (2.8).

WESTERN MARYLAND

Coach: Nick Zoulias (sixth season, 39-81)

Affiliation: Centennial Conference

1993-94 record: 7-17, 3-10

Starters lost: 2

Key returnees: Pat Young, 6-0, G; Jeff Daniels, 6-5, F; Andy Dziengeleski, 6-4, F; Steve Dziengeleski, 6-3, G/F; Jason Lyall, 6-0, G.

Top newcomers: Will Marshall, 6-6, F; Kris Shuck, 6-2, G.

Outlook: With six freshmen and only three players with tested game experience, the Green Terror faces another rebuilding year. Before missing his last nine games with an ankle injury, Young (Mount St. Joseph) averaged 16.7 points and 3.1 assists. He faces the difficult task of being the team's top shooter who is also responsible for running an offense that shot 44 percent. Young holds the Green Terror record with 130 three-pointers and is 178 points shy of becoming the 13th Western Maryland player to reach 1,000 points. Marshall (Sparrows Point) will be pressed into the starting lineup immediately. His three-point shooting should take some pressure off Young, and his aggressive rebounding should improve the Green Terror, which was out-rebounded by an average of six per game.

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