THE BASKETBALL SEASON STARTS IN THREE DAYS!!! William & Mary will travel to Raleigh to take on NC State this Friday November 13. Can’t contain your excitement for this year? Neither can we. Not too long ago, we posted about W&M’s preseason CAA ranking and players who received preseason all-conference honors. In case you missed it, you can check it out here. Suffice to say, we’re ready to get rocking this year. So without delay, here’s our everything-you-need preview for your 2015 William & Mary Tribe BASKETBALL squad.
New Look: 2015 Tribe Basketball
The CAA changed a major rule this year: the 35-second shot clock will now change to a 30-second shot clock. Head Coach Tony Shaver has come out and said that he voted against this change, but also claimed that the rule may actually play to the Tribe’s strengths, as W&M boasts great scorers who play an up-tempo style of offense. The rule change will definitely change things up a bit this season, and may lend itself to some interesting offensive possessions.
Moving on the the players, this year’s starting five will look much the same as it did last year, but will feature one new face. With the departures of all-time great Marcus Thornton and senior Tom Schalk, the Tribe has some ground to cover. Thankfully, W&M has plenty of depth to work with this coming season. Tony Shaver provided last year’s bench with plenty of valuable playing time last year, and it’s time to see if that experience will pay off this coming season. So without further ado, let’s get to know your 2015 William & Mary Tribe basketball team.
Projected Starting Five: Terry Tarpey, Daniel Dixon, Omar Prewitt, Sean Sheldon, David Cohn
Sixth Man: Greg Malinowski
Depth: Oliver Tot, Jack Whitman, Connor Burchfield, Michael Schlotman, Jamison Glover, Paul Rowley
[Projected Starter] #0 Daniel Dixon, Junior, Guard (6’5”, 210): To make a long story short, when Dixon was on last year, the Tribe won. The Sophomore guard finished the year averaging just over 11 points per game. Dixon’s main contributions came from beyond the arc, where he finished #1 in the entire CAA in 3-point field goal percentage (45.1%), and 4th overall in 3-points made (73). This coming season, we look forward to seeing Dixon develop even further as a scorer, perhaps adding a nice dribble drive to the basket, which would undoubtedly bring up his scoring averages.
[Projected Starter] #4 Omar Prewitt, Junior, Guard (6’6”, 190): Everyone remembers when Omar dropped an insane 33 points against Hofstra in this past year’s semifinal game. In that game, Prewitt did a little bit of everything–finishing with an incredibly efficient 9 for 14 field goals made. After a relatively slow start a year ago, Omar came on strong and finished the year averaging 13.5 points per game. If Prewitt can get off to a fast start this coming year, the Tribe will be on track for a great season.
[Projected Starter] #34 David Cohn, Sophomore, Guard (6’2”, 170): Cohn transferred to W&M from Colorado State a season ago. Due to NCAA rules, he had to sit out last season, but was able to practice with the team the entire year. In his Freshman season at Colorado State, Cohn played in 31 games with five starts; he averaged 3.9 points and 1.2 rebounds per game, while dishing out 29 assists and garnering 12 steals. He can do a little bit of everything. Head Coach Tony Shaver has spoken very highly of Cohn up to this point, and we expect great things from him. As of now, we’re projecting Cohn as a starter in this coming season’s lineup. Only time will tell as to how well he will mesh with the rest of the boys–but it sounds like he’s more than ready to go.
[Projected Starter] #25 Terry Tarpey, Senior, Forward/Guard (6’5”, 210): Tarpey will undoubtedly be the leader of this year’s team, and has been named one of the two captains for the season. Tarpey was last season’s CAA Defensive Player of the Year, and truly embodies an all-around player that any team in the conference would love to have. At just 6’5”, he averaged 8.4 rebounds per game last year and led the entire CAA in rebounding. Tarpey has a nose for the ball, and has become known for forcing steals and creating fast breaks each game. The Tribe will benefit immensely not only from Tarpey’s play on the court this coming season, but also from his leadership this year.
[Projected Starter] #32 Sean Sheldon, Senior, Forward/Center (6’9”, 256): Sean Sheldon joins Terry Tarpey as a captain on this year’s squad. Sheldon lost some playing time to senior Tom Schalk a season ago, but did show a lot of improvement from his Sophomore to Junior year. In no other game was this improvement more apparent than when W&M defeated Northeastern in last year’s inaugural “Gold Rush” game. Sheldon went off, shooting 7 for 9, with 15 points, and 4 total rebounds. However, Sheldon’s offensive production sputtered toward the end of the season, as he averaged a mere 1.75 points per game during the CAA tournament and NIT game. Sheldon has been known for his defense, but we would love to see him develop some more consistent scoring habits. Either way, Sheldon is the tallest player on the team, and will surely see plenty of playing time this year.
Off the Bench
#5 Greg Malinowski, Sophomore, Forward/Guard (6’5”, 205): Showed great flashes on both ends of the court and showed a knack for getting to the basket in his Freshman year. He was definitely the most impressive Freshman a season ago. Malinowski can also shoot the occasional 3-point jumper. We project him to be the first man off the bench this coming season.
#21 Oliver Tot, Sophomore, Guard (6’6”, 200): Tot has insane ball-handling and passing ability, coupled with great court vision. The Slovakian product developed last year as he adjusted to an American style of play– but we want to see more. With another year under his belt, the assist-machine should be ready to go.
#41 Jack Whitman, Redshirt Sophomore, Forward (6’9”, 235): Whitman primarily functioned last season as the third big man behind Sheldon and Schalk. We haven’t seen much from him (mainly because he has yet to see extensive time on the floor). However, his height is a serious advantage, especially on a Tribe team that doesn’t have much of it. Look to see Whitman’s playing time significantly increase, especially as Sheldon’s primary back up this season.
#10 Connor Burchfield, Sophomore, Guard (6’4”, 175): Burchfield saw his playing time increase toward the end of last season. Known as a “3 point specialist,” he can certainly contribute from beyond the arc. Checking in at just 175 pounds, he is a lanky guard with a sharp shot. Burchfield reminds us of recent Tribe grad Julian Boatner, and may have the potential to one day be among the top 3 point shooters in the CAA.
#11 Michael Schlotman, Redshirt Sophomore, Guard (6’4”, 195): Schlotman began last season seeing a lot of playing time, but soon saw his time on the court diminish as Malinowski and Tot took the reigns. Schlotman has a great handle, but did not show an ability to get to the rack and score the ball in any significant way last season. If Schlotman becomes more willing to shoot the ball, he may see more playing time in the future.
#1 Jamison Glover, Sophomore, Guard (6’0”, 185): A great Tribe walk on player, Jamison Glover gives 200% each and every time he touches the court. He’s a shifty lefty, who knows how to put down his head and drive to the basket (rare on this Tribe team). We would love to see nothing more than increased playing time for Glover. Only time will tell if it’s in the cards this coming season.
Freshman Class: Tony Shaver often incorporates one or two Freshmen into the rotation each year–as he did last season. However, this season’s incoming class includes just one freshman, Hunter Seacat. Seacat is a 6’9” post-up forward/center from North Carolina. We’ll have to wait and see how much, if at all, Shaver plays him this season. Let’s also not forget Paul Rowley, the Northern Virginia product who redshirted his Freshman season and practiced with the team last year. Look for 6’8″ forward to gain some minutes in what will be his redshirt freshman year for the Tribe.
Conclusion: If you are a Tribe basketball super fan, or if you simply love Tribe basketball, be sure to check out Tribe Athletics’ preview video for this coming season, which was just released today! It offers an in-depth interview of head coach Tony Shaver and some awesome inside scoop for the coming season. You can check it out here.
William & Mary has made it to the CAA Championship each of the last two years under Tony Shaver, but has fallen short each time. What’s the saying…the third time is the charm? That sounds good to us. It’s time to get over the hump, make it to the championship yet again, and shock the world. See you in Kaplan. LET’S GO TRIBE!!!