125 days ago on March 7th 2021, the William and Mary men’s basketball team walked off the court after a 63-47 loss to Northeastern in the CAA quarterfinals. It was the culmination of a frustrating, yet promising season filled with several fresh new faces, three all-CAA selections, and one devastating pandemic.
To take it back even further, it has been 497 days since the Tribe played in front of fans at Kaplan Arena. A lot has changed since then, including the ushering in of new W&M athletic director Brian Mann, the departure of all-time great Nathan Knight, and needless to say, Tribe fans are more than itching to get back in the stands to watch their team play. As we head into the dog days of summer, let’s take a look at what’s going on in the life of the William and Mary men’s basketball team.
16 days after the Tribe’s CAA quarterfinal loss, senior guard Luke Loewe announced that he would enter the transfer portal as a graduate transfer, taking advantage of the extra year of eligibility afforded to each NCAA student-athlete. Loewe experienced incredible growth during his time in Williamsburg, increasing his scoring average from 1.1 points per game as a freshman, to 16.2 points per game as a senior.
Ten days later on April 2nd, the former sharpshooter from Fon Du Lac, Wisconsin announced he would be heading closer to home to join the Minnesota Golden Gophers. We truly wish him the best in his future endeavors and know that he will perform exceedingly well in the Big Ten.
As Loewe seems to be the only departure at the moment, the Tribe’s ceiling for the 2021-2022 season is incredibly high. This young team (still only four seniors) has another year of experience under their belts and we all know Coach Dane Fischer will have them ready to play come November.
Joining the team all the way from the Sunshine State is 6-7 forward Brandon Carroll, a graduate transfer from Florida Southern. Originally from the Bronx, Carroll brings four years of NCAA experience to the team, and will certainly look to contribute in a big way this winter. Carroll averaged 16.4 points and 4.5 rebounds per game last season for the Moccasins. He fits the mold of this Tribe team perfectly, as one of the premier three point shooters in the Sunshine State Conference last season.
A new season also means a new recruiting class, and the second group of freshmen in the Dane Fischer era is sure to be a good one. Joining the Tribe this fall is 6-1 guard Tyler Rice, 6-6 forward Julian Lewis, and 6-10 forward Langdon Hatton. Tyler Rice comes to Williamsburg as a 3-time SC state champion at Ridge View High School, a winning mentality that we hope will be contagious for the Tribe this season.
Julian Lewis was an all-state performer at Huron High School in Ann Arbor, Michigan, averaging 12.5 points and 7 rebounds per game last season. Like Tyler Rice, he too was a top-10 rated player in his state, coming in at #6 in the Michigan ranks. His rebounding ability will be much needed in what was a thin front-court for the Tribe in 2020-2021. Langdon Hatton looks to contribute in the paint as well. The Georgetown, Indiana native brings height and post skills to this Tribe lineup; he averaged a double-double as a junior in high school.
The coaching staff, with an eye toward the future, has been active on the recruiting trail as of late, offering scholarships to Matthew Filipowski and Aidan Hadaway, members of the high school Class of 2022. Filipowski, a 6-11, 235 pound center from Wilbraham, Massachusetts, also has offers from power 5 schools Pittsburgh and Illinois. Filiposwki’s size immediately jumps off the page, and his post moves coupled with his size would make an immediate impact for the Tribe.
Hadaway is a 6-8 small forward from Lafayette, Georgia, and is currently a 3-star recruit according to Rivals.com. He has offers from Georgia and Ohio, among others, and would bolster the wing spot in Williamsburg come 2022 and beyond.
If you’ve made it this far, you are certainly just as excited as I am about this upcoming season, and I have good news for you: the athletic department recently announced that all Tribe sports in the upcoming academic year will feature 100% fan capacity. If that isn’t a reason to get your season tickets now, then I am not sure what is. Now while it’s still a little early for the 2021-2022 schedule release, basketball’s home opener is sure to feature a raucous crowd in Kaplan Arena. Be sure to be there early and don’t forget… Let’s Go Tribe!