CHESTERTOWN, MD -- Perhaps it's only fitting. The Washington College men's basketball team will celebrate the 100th anniversary of its first-ever game on December 8th and the Shoremen will be starting their second century of competition with a young team and just one returning starter back from their run to the 2012 Centennial Conference Semifinals.
The Shoremen graduated seven players from last year's team, which finished 14-13 overall and 9-9 in the conference. Headlining that list was Kevin Breslin, a three-time All-Centennial Conference selection now suiting up for the Washington Generals. Rather than a large senior class, the 2012-13 edition of the Shoremen features a total of 11 freshmen and sophomores on a 14-man roster.
The team's two seniors are forward Charlie McShane (West Deptford, NJ/West Deptford) and guard Wes Bill (Blue Bell, PA/Germantown Friends). McShane made four starts in 26 games last season, averaging 2.6 points and 1.6 rebounds per game and sporting a true shooting percentage (a metric which takes into account two-pointers, three-pointers, and free throws) of 56.6% - tops among the team's regulars. Bill has battled through injuries during his collegiate career and is looking to take the court for the first time since appearing in seven games as a freshman.
Guard Kevin Cunningham (Mt. Laurel, NJ/Lenape) is the Shoremen's lone junior and lone returning regular starter. Cunningham made 22 starts in 26 games in 2011-12. He's also the squad's leading returner in points per game (7.7), rebounds per game (4.3), assists per game (1.6), and steals per game (1.5).
Guards John Weston (Tampa, FL/Bolles School) and Stephen Poarch (Middletown, DE/Sanford School) head up the Shoremen's sophomore class. Weston made eight starts in 25 games last season, averaging 3.7 points per game for the season and 6.6 in his eight starts. Poarch sat out last season after transferring from Gettysburg College. He averaged 10.6 points and 3.0 rebounds in eight games, all of them starts, for Gettysburg at the beginning of the 2010-11 season.
Guards Sean Flanigan (Wilmington, DE/St. Mark's) and Sean Brooks (North Wales, PA/North Penn) and forwards Mark Henry (Spring City, PA/Owen J. Roberts) and Connor Silhanek (Lansdale, PA/North Penn) comprise the rest of the Shoremen's sophomore class. Flanigan averaged 1.6 points in 12 games as a freshman, while Brooks appeared in four games. Henry put up impressive numbers of 4.7 points and 3.6 rebounds per game in just 8.4 minutes per game in seven contests, but an injury hampered his season. Silhanek is playing his first season of collegiate basketball; he played for a league championship team at North Penn (PA) High School.
Five freshmen complete the Shoremen's roster, four of whom are forwards. Alexis Chahine (Columbia, MD/Glenelg) led Glenelg (MD) High School in blocks as a senior, while Daniel Garthwaite (Salem, OR/West Salem) was an all-conference player at West Salem (OR) High School. Dave Knox(Warrington, PA/Central Bucks South) was an all-league and All-Intelligencer selection at Central Bucks (PA) High School South, while Pat Morgan(Havertown, PA/Haverford) was an All-Delco player at Haverford (PA) High School. Rounding out the freshman class is guard Peter Gould(Philadelphia, PA/Delaware Valley Friends), who played his scholastic basketball at Delaware Valley Friends (PA) High School.
Rob Nugent returns for his 12th season at the helm of the Shoremen and will have a new face with him on the sidelines. Dorian Long, who had served as an assistant coach at Neumann University since 2008, was hired as the Shoremen's assistant coach in August after former assistant Robert Hughestook the head coaching job at Rosemont College.
The Shoremen led the Centennial Conference in three-point shooting percentage, steals, and turnover margin in 2011-12. Winning the turnover battle has become a staple of Nugent's Shoremen teams as they have led the conference in that category four of the last five seasons. (They finished second in 2010-11.)
The 2012-13 schedule will not allow the Shoremen to ease into anything. Washington opens its season Thursday, November 15th,
at Eastern Shore rival Salisbury University. Two days later, they
will host Hampden-Sydney - ranked 25th in the nation in the D3Hoops.com
Preseason Top 25 - in their home opener. Three days after that, they
will travel to ninth-ranked Franklin & Marshall (the defending
Centennial Conference Champion) for their Centennial Conference opener.
Their non-conference slate also includes a home game against Hood, road
games at Wesley and Catholic, and an appearance in Randolph-Macon
College's Coaches Classic December 29th
and 30th. The Shoremen will play the host Yellow Jackets first in that
tournament before playing either Frostburg State or Manhattanville the