Local Division I college men’s basketball preview for 2018-19

Almost eight months have passed since the UMBC men’s basketball team invigorated the Baltimore landscape with a historic run in the NCAA tournament that included becoming the first No. 16 seed to knock off a No. 1 seed after upending Virginia, 74-54, on March 16.

Is there another program that harbors hope of a similar path to the postseason? Could a player from the area draw interest from a club at the next level?

Here is a snapshot for every Division I in-state team — excluding Maryland — heading into the 2018-19 season.

Coppin State

2017-18 record (Postseason finish): 5-27 (No NCAA tournament)

2018-19 projection: 9th out of 12 in Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference preseason poll

Key returners: Senior G/F Lamar Morgan (12.3 points per game, 5.1 rebounds per game), senior F Chad Andrews-Fulton (6.5 PPG, 4.9 RPG)

Key losses: PG Karonn Davis (11.7 PPG, 4.6 assists per game), senior F Adam Traore (6.4 PPG, 5.6 RPG)

Outlook: The Eagles welcome back three of five starters, and that does not include sophomore guard Taqwain Drummond, who started 13 games and averaged 3.7 PPG and 2.5 RPG. A full season from redshirt sophomore G DeJuan Clayton (10.2 PPG in six starts) could further fortify coach Juan Dixon’s starting five, which lost Traore to Division II’s University of Charleston.

Loyola Maryland

2017-18 record (Postseason finish): 9-22 (No NCAA tournament)

2018-19 projection: 10th out of 10 in Patriot League preseason poll

Key returners: Junior G Chuck Champion (11.5 PPG, 2.8 RPG), junior G Andrew Kostecka (11.0 PPG, 2.1 steals per game)

Key losses: G Andre Walker (15.8 PPG, 3.9 RPG), F Cam Gregory (10.6 PPG, 8.2 RPG)

Outlook: Three starters are back for first-year Greyhounds coach Tavaras Hardy, who succeeded Orlando “G.G.” Smith after serving the past two seasons as an assistant at Georgia Tech. A pair of 6-foot-7 forwards in sophomore Brent Holcombe (4.8 PPG, 3.8 RPG) and junior KaVaughn Scott (3.8 PPG, 3.8 RPG) may have to fill the void in rebounds created by Gregory’s graduation.

Morgan State

2017-18 record (Postseason finish): 13-19 (No NCAA tournament)

2018-19 projection: 6th out of 12 in Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference preseason poll

Key returners: Senior G Martez Cameron (8.6 PPG, 4.4 APG), junior G Stanley Davis Jr. (7.4 PPG, 3.0 RPG)

Key losses: G Tiwian Kendley (26.1 PPG, .453 field-goal percentage), F Phillip Carr (13.7 PPG, 9.3 RPG)

Outlook: The loss of Kendley and Carr — the top two scorers from last season — may cause some sleepless nights for coach Todd Bozeman. But the cupboard is far from bare as three starters are back, and there are also three others who started at least five games each last season and averaged more than five points each.

Mount St. Mary’s

2017-18 record (Postseason finish): 18-14 (No NCAA tournament)

2018-19 projection: 10th out of 10 in Northeast Conference preseason poll

Key returners: Sophomore F Omar Habwe (2.6 PPG, 1.5 RPG), sophomore G James West IV (1.2 PPG)

Key losses: G Junior Robinson (22.0 PPG, 4.8 APG), G Jonah Antonio (11.3 PPG, 3.8 RPG)

Outlook: Coach Dan Engelstad, who succeeded Jamion Christian after he departed for Siena, has his work cut out for him as last year’s top seven scorers either graduated or transferred. Eight of the 17 players listed on the roster are freshmen, and only graduate student guard/forward K.J. Scott has more than one year of experience at the collegiate level.

Navy

2017-18 record (Postseason finish): 20-12 (No NCAA tournament)

2018-19 projection: 8th out of 10 in Patriot League preseason poll

Key returners: Senior PG Hasan Abdullah (9.9 PPG, 3.4 APG), senior SF George Kiernan (9.8 PPG, 4.7 RPG)

Key losses: G Shawn Anderson (13.3 PPG, 5.1 RPG), G Bryce Dulin (10.1 PPG, 3.1 RPG)

Outlook: The graduation of Anderson, Dulin and forward Tom Lacey (8.6 PPG, 6.5 RPG) sapped the team of its top two scorers and top rebounder. The hope for coach Ed DeChellis is that Kiernan (9.8 PPG, 4.7 RPG) can make the transition from reserve to starter to help support two returning starters in Abdullah and junior PF Evan Wieck (5.5 PPG, 3.2 RPG).

Towson

2017-18 record (Postseason finish): 18-14 (No NCAA tournament)

2018-19 projection: 10th out of 10 in Colonial Athletic Association preseason poll

Key returners: Redshirt senior G Jordan McNeil (4.7 PPG, 1.6 RPG), senior F Alex Thomas (2.7 PPG, 3.9 RPG)

Key losses: Junior G Zane Martin (19.8 PPG, 2.7 APG), G Mike Morsell (14.0 PPG, 4.2 RPG)

Outlook: The upcoming season may require a certain touch from coach Pat Skerry as the team tries to overcome the transfer of Martin to New Mexico and graduation of Morsell and three other top scorers from last season. Thomas is the lone returning starter, while McNeil will have to prove he can make the leap from the bench to the starting lineup.

UMBC

2017-18 record (Postseason finish): 25-11 (NCAA tournament second round)

2018-19 projection: 3rd out of nine in America East preseason poll

Key returners: Senior F Joe Sherburne (10.7 PPG, 3.9 RPG), junior F Arkel Lamar (10.3 PPG, 5.9 RPG)

Key losses: SG Jarius Lyles (20.2 PPG, 5.5 RPG), PG K.J. Maura (11.3 PPG, 5.0 APG)

Outlook: Replicating last season’s march to the America East tournament championship and the second round of the NCAA tournament may depend on how quickly coach Ryan Odom can replace Lyles and Maura. The good news is that Sherburne and Lamar are flanked by sophomore forward Daniel Akin (3.5 PPG, 3.4 RPG) and junior forward Max Curran (4.6 PPG, 3.1 RPG).

UMES

2017-18 record (Postseason finish): 8-25 (No NCAA tournament)

2018-19 projection: 11th out of 12 in Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference preseason poll

Key returners: Junior F Tyler Jones (12.1 PPG), redshirt junior G Ahmad Frost (10.8 PPG, 1.3 steals per game)

Key losses: PG Logan McIntosh (11.9 PPG, 4.6 APG), sophomore F Miryne Thomas (11.1 PPG, 7.8 RPG)

Outlook: Interim coach Clifford Reed, who succeeded Bobby Collins when the school elected not to renew his contract after last season, will miss two of last year’s top four scorers in McIntosh and Thomas, who transferred to Ball State. But in addition to Jones and Frost, Reed will welcome back graduate student guard Ryan Andino (13.0 PPG in 2016-17) and redshirt junior guard Dontae Caldwell (8.5 PPG, 5.3 RPG in 2016-17), both of whom sat out last season due to injuries.

edward.lee@baltsun.com

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