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AREA COLLEGE BASKETBALL PREVIEWS

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Division II men

Bowie State

League: Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association

Coach: Taft Hickman (21-55 career record)

1994-95 record: 8-18 overall, 7-12 in CIAA

Top returnees: Marquis Melton, 6-7, Sr., G (14.2 ppg, 6.6 rpg); David Burgin, 6-5, Jr., G/F (7.8 ppg, 5.4 rpg); Kevin English, 6-3, Jr., G (4.8 ppg, 2.8 rpg); Dwayne Moore, 6-6, So., G (3.3 ppg, 2.1 rpg).

Top newcomers: Dontae Blaney, 6-8, Jr., F; James Parker, 6-9, Fr., C; Shae Johnson, 5-9, So., G; Tony Morton, 5-10, Fr., G; .

Outlook: Bowie is picked to finish fourth in the CIAA's Northern Division, one spot higher than where it ended up last season. Hickman says the Bulldogs will return to the conference tournament with "a better package," the result of finding players who fit his up-tempo, pressing style of play. Blaney and Parker are wonderful additions. Blaney came over from Dodge Community College in Kansas, and Parker led Nansmond River High to the Virginia AA championship. They will pay immediate dividends.

Division III men

Frostburg State

League: Independent

Coach: Oscar Lewis (131-112)

1994-95 record: 17-8

Top returnees: Kelvin Clayton, 6-4, Sr., F (12.0 ppg, 8.3 rpg); Damon Stevenson, 6-0, Sr., G (15.5 ppg, 85 assists); Aaron Dale, 5-9, Sr., G (6.2 ppg, 79 assists); Pete Craig, 6-8, Sr., C (4.6 ppg, 4.0 rpg).

Top newcomers: Aaron Edwards, 6-4, Jr., F; Herb Jones, 6-2, Jr., G; Tom Shaffer, 6-6, So., F.

Outlook: Frostburg has won 17 games in each of the past two seasons, and with three starters back -- Clayton, Stevenson and Dale -- plus some talented role players, expectations are running high. Senior G Mike Longabardi started eight games, senior G Keith Dyson is a good outside shooter and Craig is an excellent shot-blocker. Also, sophomore G/F Mike Harvey appeared in 21 games last year.

Lewis is comfortable with his team's rebounding, experience, depth and overall quickness, but is leery of its outside shooting.

Goucher

League: Capital Athletic Conference

Coach: Leonard Trevino (56-71)

1994-95 record: 19-10 overall, 9-5 in CAC

Top returnees: Chad Beeten, 6-0, Sr., G (9.8 ppg, 2.4 apg); Predrag Durkovic, 6-7, Jr., F (16.0 ppg, 8.2 rpg); Marcus Washington, 6-5, So., F (8.4 ppg, 4.0 rpg); LeAndre Marshall, 5-10, So., G (4.1 ppg, 1.4 apg).

Top newcomers: Johnny Burke, 6-6, Fr., C; Igor Milosevic, 6-6, Fr., C; Dexter Martin, 6-4, Fr., F; Tavar Witherspoon, 6-4, Fr., F; Bakari Ward, 5-9, Fr., G; Vince Williams, 6-2, Fr., G.

Outlook: Entering its sixth season of intercollegiate competition, Goucher already has established itself as one of the top Division III programs in the region. The Gophers won their second straight CAC championship last winter and earned their first trip to the NCAA tournament, where they lost to Wilkes in the second round -- but not before beating defending national champion Lebanon Valley in the opening round.

Beeten and Durkovic are returning starters from the past two seasons, and Washington filled the role of sixth man.

Despite losing seven of 11 players who averaged 10 or more minutes, the Gophers could be a deeper team this season. They are picked to finish second, behind Catholic, in the conference.

Johns Hopkins

League: Centennial Conference

Coach: Bill Nelson (243-152)

1994-95 record: 5-19 overall, 5-8 in CC

Top returnees: Greg Roehrig, 6-7, So., C (14.1 ppg, 6.2 rpg); Wes Unseld, 6-3, Jr., F (12.8 ppg, 8.8 rpg); Matt Gorman, 6-4, Jr., F (8.9 ppg, 7.1 rpg); Isiah Sandlin, 6-4, So., G (8.3 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 32 steals); Ryan Peterson, 6-3, Jr., G (5.7 ppg, 3.8 rpg); Aaron Bevington, 6-3, Jr., G/F (5.4 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 2.1 apg); Scott Simmons, 6-1, Jr., G (4.8 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 2.3 apg).

Top newcomers: Matt Geschke, 6-3, Fr., G; Kamau Coar, 5-10, Fr., G; Brian Thomas, 5-10, So., G.

Outlook: The Blue Jays had appeared in five straight NCAA Division III tournaments until last season, when they were devastated by injuries, slowed by inexperience, and posted their worst record in Nelson's nine years as coach. All five starters are back and healthy, and Hopkins expects to get back into the post-season.

Poor outside shooting was one of the areas that doomed Hopkins last year, but that should change. Much is expected of )) Sandlin, who has tremendous range. As a freshman, he connected on 27 three-pointers. Simmons will run the offense again, but needs to score more if Hopkins is to challenge for the conference title.

The frontcourt includes Roehrig, last year's Mid-Atlantic Region Freshman of the Year who combines an excellent inside-outside game. Unseld was limited to four games because of a knee injury after being an integral part of the Hopkins team two years ago.

St. Mary's

League: Capital Athletic Conference

Coach: Bob Flynn (8-17)

1994-95 record: 8-17 overall, 3-11 in CAC

Top returnees: Barry Friedman, 6-2, Sr., G (injured); John Bowman, 6-2, Sr., G (4.7 ppg, 2.2 rpg); Andy Benincasa, 6-3, Jr., F (12.3 ppg, 6.0 rpg); Fred Johnson, 6-3, Sr., G (12.8 ppg, 5.6 rpg); Mike Lind, 6-6, Sr., F (10.6 ppg, 5.3 rpg).

Top newcomers: Demetrius Henson, 5-6, So., G; Kenny Logan, 6-6, Fr., F; Kevin Robinson, 6-5, Fr, G; Doug Walker, 6-1, Fr., G; Jared Marmen, 6-8, Fr., C; Brad Kosatka, 6-7, Fr., C; Matt McGrane, 6-5, Fr., F.

Outlook: Flynn, a former assistant at Mount St. Mary's, has a team with an intriguing blend of youth and experience -- a combination he said can make the Seahawks contenders in the CAC. They have four returning starters, but two of them may come off the bench this year. That's a good sign, Flynn said.

Friedman returns after missing last season with a foot injury. He was an all-conference guard two years ago, averaging 14.4 points and 3.2 rebounds. Henson, a transfer from North Carolina Wesleyan, is battling incumbent point guard Garrett O'Donnell (4.0 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 2.4 apg) for the starting job and 5-8 freshman Jason Bryan figures into the equation as well.

Salisbury State

League: Capital Athletic Conference

Coach: Ward Lambert (349-307)

1994-95 record: 12-13 overall, 7-7 in CAC.

Top returnees: Casey Musick, 6-0, Sr., G (15 ppg); Chuck Harvey, 6-1, Jr., G (11.6 ppg); Randy Clark, 6-4, Jr., F (7.8 ppg, 7.6 rpg); John DeRichie, 6-3, Jr., F (11.7 ppg); Craig Blackmon, 6-2, Sr., F (7.4 ppg, 4.0 rpg).

Top newcomers: Billy Lancaster, 6-4, Jr., F/C; Harold Victor, 6-4, So., F/C.

Outlook: The Sea Gulls return four starters but must replace forward Kyle Jefferson, the conference's Player of the Year. Musick (Cardinal Gibbons) will move from shooting guard to the point. Clark is a 57-percent career shooter, and DeRichie led Salisbury in three-point field goals last season.

Ward, beginning his 26th season, pinpoints depth, quickness at every position and a strong front line as team strengths. Inside defense and outside shooting need improvement, however.

Villa Julie

League: None

Coach: Brett Adams (2-21)

1994-95 record: 2-21

Top returnees: Shuron Woodyard, 6-2, So., F (13.0 ppg, 7.1 rpg); Brian Schilpp, 6-1, So., G/F (6.7 ppg, 3.5 rpg); Brandon Holt, 5-11, So., G (2.6 ppg, 1.5 rpg); Mike Ginski, 5-7, So.,G.

Top newcomers: Shane Burke, 6-5, Jr., F/C; Kelly Matthews, 5-10, So., G; Jason Karolkowski, 6-0, Fr., G/F; Donald Fair, 6-4, Fr., F; Michael Sokoloff, 5-11, Jr., G; Richard Black, 6-5, Fr., F.

Outlook: The Mustangs competed for the first time last season and took their lumps, but that was expected. When Adams was hired in July 1994, Villa Julie didn't have a team on its schedule, a gymnasium, a player or even a ball.

Two starters return: Woodyard and Schilpp. Woodyard led the ** team in numerous categories, and Schilpp became a defensive stalwart who often was called upon to guard the other team's best scorer, regardless of his position. The Mustangs were hurt by poor rebounding, but have added some size this winter. And they bring more depth to the table.

Washington College

League: Centennial Conference

Coach: Tom Finnegan (308-268)

1994-95 record: 13-11 overall, 7-6 in CC

Top returnees: Adam Poe, 6-2, Sr., G (13.6 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 1.6 apg); Edmund Hicks, 6-2, Sr., F (6.8 ppg, 3.9 rpg); Derek Cuff, 6-2, Jr., F (12.3 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 1.5 apg); Mark Awantang (4.1 ppg, 3.7 rpg).

Top newcomers: Matt Paszko, 6-5, Fr., C; T.J. Moretti, 6-5, Fr., C; Patrick Flaherty, 6-6, Fr., C; Corey Davis, 5-10, Fr., G.

Outlook: The Shoremen will be without preseason All-American point guard Ben Harris, a second-team All-Centennial Conference selection last year who is out with a broken foot. He averaged 20.1 points and led the team in steals, assists and three-pointers. How the Shoremen adjust to his absence will be crucial.

Finnegan, in his 25th season, has a nice mix of veterans and promising young talent. Poe and Hicks will play major roles. Cuff nearly doubled his averages in points, steals and assists last year.

Western Maryland

League: Centennial Conference

Coach: Nick Zoulias (50-95)

1994-95 record: 11-14 overall, 7-6 in CC

Top returnees: Daeviid St. Rose, 6-3, Jr., F (15.6 ppg, 5.7 rpg); Will Marshall, 6-6, So., F (11.8 ppg, 5.5 rpg); Steve Dziengeleski, 6-3, So., G/F (8.0 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 2.6 apg); Jeff Daniels, 6-5, Sr., F (11.4 ppg, 5.4 rpg); Andy Dziengeleski, 6-4, Sr., F (12.7 ppg, 4.0 rpg); Kris Shuck, 6-2, So., G (10.1 ppg, 4.0 rpg).

Top newcomers: Paddy Taylor, 6-1, Fr., G/F; Brian Tombs, 6-2, Fr., G.

Outlook: The Green Terror returns six players who started at some point last season, and it's picked to finish second in the Centennial's West Division. In all, nine players are back, the most important being St. Rose, a second-team All-Centennial Conference selection. He led Western Maryland in scoring and rebounding, and could lead it to a better record.

The Green Terror still is fairly young, with six sophomores and two freshmen in the mix. The only seniors are Daniels and Andy Dziengeleski. Bowie State

League: Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association

Coach: Ed Davis (39-39 career record)

1994-95 record: 19-9 overall, 13-6 in CIAA.

Top returnees: Brandey Lemons, 5-8, Jr., G (12.8 ppg, 3.8 rpg); Yolanda Matthews, 5-9, Jr., F (7.8 ppg, 4.6 rpg); Kim McCall, 6-1, Jr., F (7.3 ppg,6.7 rpg); Dawn Hancock, 5-8, Jr., G (4.7 ppg); Tarsha Wilson, 6-0, So., C (6.5 ppg, 6.6 rpg); Anita Creek, 6-0, So., F (6.0 ppg, 4.5 rpg), Kelly Evans, 6-1, Jr., C (7.4 ppg, 6.5 rpg).

Top newcomers: Rashida Brooks, 6-5, Fr., C; Noel White, 5-9, Jr., G; Rebecca Rolle, 5-4, Jr., G.

Outlook: Bowie posted its best record in a decade last season, and more good things should be forthcoming. In three years, Davis has taken the Bulldogs from 6-19 to 19 wins and a berth in the second round of the CIAA tournament. They led the Northern Division for three weeks before slipping to second place, but are poised for a run at the top.

Only one player was lost to graduation -- point guard Yetisha Mackey (10.8 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 94 assists). Lemons was named to the all-conference team last season, and she's sixth on the Bulldogs' all-time scoring list. Matthews is the defensive specialist, helping to hold opponents to 60 points a game and 35-percent shooting from the field. McCall led the team in rebounding and averaged one block a game. Hancock made 22 three-pointers and will continue to fire away from the outside. Wilson is coming off a knee injury that limited her to 15 games.

There are some impressive newcomers, as well, and good size overall. "Our major strength is that we return the nucleus of the team with six juniors," Davis said. "The big question we have to answer as a team this season will be, how do we finish the big games?"

Division III women

College of Notre Dame

League: Atlantic Women's College Conference

Coach: Tim Engle (63-69)

1994-95 record: 11-10

Top returnees: Jen Chaney, 5-9, Jr., F (15.2 ppg, 8.7 rpg); Julie Desmond, 5-3, Jr., G (15.6 ppg); Tinah Houck, 5-10, Jr., F (10.9 ppg, 7.3 rpg); Kelly Stephenson, 5-4, Jr., G (3.5 apg); Emily Yanero, 5-3, Soph., G (10.0 ppg).

Top newcomers: Maureen Ricey, 5-6, Fr., G; Erin Nauyalis, 5-10, Fr., F.

Outlook: The Gators enter their first season in the newly established AWCA, and are the early favorite to win the conference title. The main reason is the scoring combination of Chaney in the post and Desmond on the perimeter.

L Houck is an underrated worker inside, leading CND in blocked

shots last season and second in rebounding. Depth, especially in the front court, will be the key.

"This team knows what it takes to win, and the newcomers can only help," Engle said.

Frostburg State

League: None

Coach: Jim Crawley (306-138)

1994-95 record: 17-9

Top returnees: Heidi Von Colln, 5-4, Jr., G (12.7 ppg); Yvonne Bashaw, 5-8, Sr., F (9.3 rpg); Shelly Ridgeway, 5-3, G (15.2 ppg, 4.1 spg); Kara Reed, 5-4, G ( 14.8 ppg, 3.8 apg); Kim McMorris, 5-9, Sr., F (7.2 ppg, 9.5 rpg).

Top newcomers: Tracey Grossnickle, 5-7, Jr., F; Erin Jeffers, 5-7, Fr., G/F; Annie Rivers, 5-9, Fr., F.

Outlook: The Bobcats have a wealth of talent with the return of all five starters and two former starters, who sat out last season with injuries. It's possibly the deepest team in Crawley's 18 years at Frostburg.

Ridgeway and Reed make up one of the best back courts in the nation. Ridgeway led the Bobcats in scoring as a point guard and ranked 19th in the country in steals (4.1 spg). Reed, who was second in scoring, led Frostburg in assists as well as making 82 steals and grabbing 114 rebounds.

The front court will have a new look with Bashaw, one of last year's injured starters, and Grossnickle, a transfer.

Goucher

League: Capital Athletic Conference

Coach: Noelle Navarro (47-51)

1994-95 record: 17-9, 11-3 in the CAC

Top returnees: Alice Kennedy, 5-11, Jr., C (12.9 ppg, 7.5 rpg); Didi Cotton, 5-9, Sr., F (12.7 ppg, 5.7 rpg); Sarah Weaver, 5-9, Jr., F (10.3 ppg, 6.2 rpg); Melissa Paretti, 5-5, Jr., G (8.3 ppg, 4.6 apg); Candi Jones, 5-7, Sr., G (6.1 ppg, 4.1 apg)

Top newcomers: Zeena Huang, 5-5, Fr., G; Veronica Czeisler, 5-5, Fr., G.

Outlook: With four starters back, Goucher is seen as one of the top threats to overtake five-time CAC champion Marymount.

The offense is balanced, with three players back who averaged double digits. The Gophers regain the core of their defense, which held opponents to 36 percent shooting last season.

Kennedy and Cotton are two of the most consistent scorers. Weaver sparked the Gophers with her shooting and rebounding in the second half of last season.

Johns Hopkins

League: Centennial Conference

Coach: Nancy Blank (261-187)

1994-95 record: 22-7, 12-2 in Centennial

Top returnees: Angie Arnold, 5-6, Soph., G (14.3 ppg, 4.1 apg); Julie Anderson, 5-10, Soph., F (11.3 ppg, 9.1 rpg); Lori Leonard, 6-0, Sr., C (7.0 ppg, 8.6 rpg) ; Amelia Mikula, 5-10, Sr., F (5.7 ppg, 4.6 rpg)

Top newcomers: Kristen McKee, 5-5, Fr., G; Jennifer Deaderick, 5-9, Fr, F; Felicia Schorr, 6-1, Fr, C.

Outlook: Three starters return from last season's squad that advanced to the "Sweet 16" of the NCAA Division III tournament.

The Blue Jays are searching for some offensive punch, as only one of their top three scorers return. Arnold, who ranked second on the team in scoring, is one of the top all-around players in the conference with her ball-handling and outside shooting ability. Her leadership will mostly be needed early in the season.

"It is important that we get off to a good start because that will allow us to comfortably develop our team chemistry," Blank said. "If we can do this, then we expect to be one of the better teams in the region."

St. Mary's

League: Capital Athletic Conference

Coach: Jay Butler (5-17)

1994-95 record: 5-17, 2-12 in the CAC

Top returnees: Sarah Bannat, 5-10, Sr., F; Cindy Davenport, 5-9, Sr., G; Lesley Kline, 6-0, Soph., G; Tricia Kilroy, 5-11, Soph., F

Top newcomers: Ericka Pearson, 6-2, Fr., C; Kim Brown, 5-8, Fr., G; Sara Helms, 5-11, Fr., F; Tara Jensen, 5-9, Fr., G

Outlook: The Seahawks should improve and could make it into the top half of the conference. Picked sixth in CAC's preseason poll, St. Mary's has good depth, but must find some outside shooting.

Experience is a weakness because only four players have played on the college level. Bannat and Davenport will provide most of the scoring.

Salisbury State

League: Capital Athletic Conference

Coach: Bridget Benshtler (60-64)

1994-95 record: 21-7, 10-4 in the CAC

Top returnees: Amy Fenzel, 5-10, Sr., C (14.4 ppg, 8.6 rpg); Nicole Urban, 5-6, Fr., G (5.9 ppg, 4.4 rpg); Kristi Kauffman, 5-8, Jr., G (12.9 ppg, 4.1 rpg)

Top newcomers: Nakihah Baskerville, 5-10, Fr., C; Maisha Ellis, 5-8, Fr., F

Outlook: Last year's Sea Gulls produced the best season in the )) program's history, winning the CAC regular-season title and finishing second in the tournament.

The challenge is to fill the void left by all-conference center Kim Roth and injured guard Ava Tasker. Fenzel will anchor the frontcourt, and is the top returning scoring threat.

Villa Julie

League: None

Coach: Chris Ramer (first season)

1994-95 record: First season

Top newcomers: Megan O'Conner, 5-8, Sr., G/F; Niki Tyson, 5-5, Fr., G; Suzanne Kozarski, 6-1, Jr., C; Kari Stockslager, 5-8, Jr., F

Outlook: Hired in August to coach the Mustangs, Ramer did not have an opportunity to recruit, but has formed a team of 12 players, none of whom has college experience.

Kozarski averaged double figures in scoring and rebounding three years ago at Hereford.

Washington

League: Centennial Conference

Coach: Lanee Cole (24-26)

1994-95 record: 13-13, 7-8 in the Centennial

Top returnees: Eboni Taylor, 6-0, Jr., C (17.5 ppg, 12.5 rpg); Allison Wentworth, 5-10, Jr., F (13.2 ppg, 9.4 rpg); Karen Sieger, 5-9, Soph., F (8.2 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 2.6 spg); Lee Ann Lezzer, 5-9, Jr., G (8.2 ppg, 4.4 apg); Megan Miller, 5-10, Soph., G (7.3 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 4.0 apg)

Top newcomers: Erin Reed, 5-6, Fr., G; Mandy Pare, 5-9, Fr., G; Diane Zeng, 5-8, Fr., G

Outlook: All eight players return for the Shorewomen, who enter their third season in Division III with three juniors and no seniors on the roster.

"We are predominantly a young squad that has a great amount of experience behind us," Cole said. "Our aim is to become more consistent this year as we set out to improve our overall record and return to the Centennial Conference playoffs."

Western Maryland

League: Centennial Conference

Coach: Becky Martin (159-155)

1994-95 record: 14-9, 9-5 in the Centennial

Top returnees: Katie Haley, 5-11, Soph., F (12.9 ppg, 8.2 rpg); Erin Murphey, 5-1, Jr., G (9.8 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 4.0 apg); Heidi Snyder, 6-4, Jr., C (8.9 ppg, 6.8 rpg).

Top newcomers: Kristin Miller, 5-6, Fr., G; Kathi Snyder, 5-10, Fr., F/G; Michele Jarman, 5-11, Fr., F

Outlook: Sandi DeJager, the Green Terror's top scorer last year, has transferred, which likely will hinder Western Maryland's offensive game plan. And four players have injuries that will put them out for the first month of the season.

Martin said Murphey will look more to shoot this season. One possible scenario is the switching of Murphey to shooting guard if Miller can play at the point. Miller, who played at St. Mary's High School last season, has impressed with her perimeter skills.

Compiled by Jamison Hensley

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