By Carson Metzker
Elm Staff Writer
Sophomore Dallas Marshall fights for the ball at a home contest in the 2016-17 season.
Men’s basketball looks to improve upon their record of 7-18 as they enter the 2017-18 season. Although last year’s results were somewhat disappointing, the team has many key players returning and has added some young talent.
The Shoremen are returning three upperclassmen: juniors Kevin McCormick and Kaiden WIlliams, and senior Tas Dixon. All three upperclassmen played key roles in the previous season.
The Shoremen only graduated two players at the end of the 2016-2017 season: James Drury and Brian Shapiro. Despite this, the Shoremen have the exciting prospect of the new recruiting class, which is made up of seven freshmen. The team will be led by captains Tas Dixon, Kevin McCormick sophomores Dallas Marshall and Josh Porteous.
“The upperclassmen have been a part of two or three rebuilding seasons,” McCormick said. “Now we’d like to be a part of a winning season. There’s a lot of opportunities for young guys to play so it’s up to us as upperclassmen to push them and show them our expectations so that they’re ready to transition into competition at the collegiate level.”
Building on the challenges of the past few season will be crucial if the Shoremen are to have success on the court this season. Over the last three seasons, the Shoremen have achieved a combined total of 16 wins. While this may seem discouraging, the team has banded together this off-season to continue striving for success.
“The main focus has been accountability,” he said. “When a team can police themselves and make sure everyone is doing what they should be doing on time and in the correct way, it makes a coach’s job a lot easier and it translates into better team play. We have been complacent in the past, allowing guys to lose focus as the season goes on. We’re looking to change that this year.”
The strong leadership of the captains and upperclassmen is sure to make a huge impact in the upcoming season. The team has put in the extra work, and are now ready to look towards their first game. The team is also hoping to improve their conference performance in 2018 from 3-18 record.
“The Centennial Conference is always a tricky league and teams surprise and disappoint. We’ve been on the wrong side of it for too long,” McCormick said. “We’re undersized as a whole against every team we play, but that creates matchup problems for the opponent just as much as us. If we can win the rebounding battle, we will beat a lot of teams. It’s going to come down to taking the extra step forward to finish games with winning plays, because anyone can beat anyone else in our league.”
McCormick said their goal is to make the conference playoffs. To do that, they need to finish in the top half of the standings.
The Shoremen’s season will begin with an away game against rival, Salisbury University, on Nov. 15. Their home opener will be one week later, against Conference rival, Swarthmore College.