By Andrew Chirico
Both of Washington College’s men’s and women’s basketball programs have been busy with preseason practice in preparation for the upcoming 2015-2016 season. Both programs are looking for a bounce back season after missing their conference tournaments. The women’s team wants to build off of their upward trend in victories over the last two seasons. Meanwhile, the men’s team hopes for a strong first-year start from newly hired Head Coach, Aaron Goodman.
The WC men’s basketball team will have an entirely new coaching staff with Goodman and first-year assistant coach, Nick Sparacino, who Goodman sought out to bring along the program. Despite the departure of three players, the team returns three seniors, along with two juniors, five sophomores, and six new freshman.
Leading the Shoremen with experience is senior Dave Knox. Knox led the team with 14 points per game, which was ranked 9th in the conference. Not only did Knox lead the team in points, but he also had a team high of minutes per game, with an average of 30.7. Following Knox is fellow senior Pat Morgan, who averaged 10.6 points per game along with 27.9 minutes per game.
Leading the junior class is James Drury, who averaged 10.4 points per game last season. Drury has the ability to hit the three-ball consistently, providing an offensive spark for the Shoremen. Fellow sophomores Tas Dixon and Joey Shelton look to provide contributions after impactful freshman seasons. Dixon and Shelton both averaged over fifteen minutes per game.
Goodman is excited to kick-off his inaugural season as Head Coach for WC. He is happy with the preseason progress and looks to continue that into the regular season.
“I believe we did a tremendous job under the leadership of our strength and conditioning coaches and pre- season captains. We came into the practice season stronger and in great practice shape,” said Goodman. “We will be high octane and exciting, while playing smartly. We will share the ball to get great shots, defend, and rebound with intensity, play hard for each other, and play hard for Washington College.”
The WC women’s basketball program is led by third-year Head Coach Alisha Mosley. Mosley is joined by Assistant Coach Steve Kaneshiki, who was the Shorewomen head coach in the 2007-2008 season. This year’s team will be one of the youngest the program as seen as it returns no seniors and just one junior.
Junior Ali Grundy is one of two returning starters for WC. Grundy was the 2014 Team Most Improved Player. In her freshman season, Grundy averaged 1.2 points per game. Last season, as a sophomore, Grundy jumped her pointer per game total to 8.1. She also led the team with assists, with 2.7 per game. Following Grundy as a returning starter is sophomore Brynne Brouse, who averaged 3.8 rebounds per game as a post player.
Besides Grundy and Brouse, the team is very young. It returns six sophomores along with four freshman. Mosley is looking forward to developing the young lineup.
“This is a great upside for the program. I will be able to grow and shape this young team into a top contender in the Centennial Conference,” said Mosley. “My only expectation of the team is to compete and to get better every day. I want us to be playing our best basketball by mid-season. Can we compete for a spot in the tournament, I believe we can.”
The Shoremen open there season on Nov. 13 versus Wiedner and at home on Nov. 17 at 7:30 p.m. against Montclair State. The Shorewomen open their season on Nov. 14 when they travel to New York to take on Norwich. Their home opener is on Nov. 18 at 7 p.m. versus Stevenson.