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Patriot League Offseason News Update

October 16, 2003 Conference Notes No Comments



Patriot League Offseason News Update

by Steve Sheridan

American

The Eagles were very excited about their incoming first-year class for the 2003-2004 season, which includes co-State Player of the Year in Virginia Linas Lekavicius and 6-foot 10-inch Brayden Billbe. Lekavicius, a native of Silale, Lithuania, averaged over 25 points and 5 rebounds in his senior campaign. Billbe, from Mercer Island, Washington, was apparently influenced by a high school class field trip to D.C. to attend a school in the Washington area.

Army

The Black Knights of Army will have to deal with the loss of junior shooting guard Andy Smith, who will not be returning to the team due to unspecified reasons, head coach Jim Crews announced. Smith, who led the team in scoring last season with just under 10 points per game, started 18 contests for Army in his two seasons on the court and was a leader on the court for the Black Knights.

Bucknell

Bucknell head coach Pat Flannery added two new assistants to his staff for next season, as Nathan Davis and Mark Prosser join the Bucknell staff. Davis stays in the Patriot League, having spent the past five seasons as an assistant at Navy. Prosser, the son of Wake Forest head coach Skip Prosser, spent last season as an assistant coach at Wofford College.

The Bucknell basketball program was awarded three scholarships from the school’s Board of Trustees in June, and with them Flannery welcomed the first scholarship class in the history of Bucknell basketball. With the decision, Colgate and Lafayette remain as the last two schools still adhering to the league’s founding principle of need-based aid only for student-athletes.

Colgate

The new Raider recruiting class is highlighted by a twin pair of forwards, 6’7” power forward Kendall and 6’6” small forward Kyle Chones. Kendall will look to bring his strong inside game to a Raider squad that hopes to improve under the boards, while Kyle will fit right in with a team that loves to hoist ’em up from beyond the arc. Kendall and Kyle, two of three triplets, also have a brother Kameron (sensing a “K” theme), who is a first-year player at Brown University.

Holy Cross

The Holy Cross Crusaders honed their skills across the Atlantic in late August with five games against teams from Ireland, including BK Limerick University and the Waterford Crystal Institute. The team, which went 5-0 on the Irish tour, outscored their opponents by an average of 38 points over the five games, including a 61-point beating of Waterford. While the games may not have provided much competition for the Crusaders, the squad also did much sightseeing during their weeklong trip, including stops at glass-making factories and castles in Kilkenney and Blarney Castle.

Lafayette

The point guard position is a question mark for the Leopards for the upcoming season, after Andrew Pleick, who was petitioning the NCAA for an extra year of eligibility, had his appeal denied. Pleick had been counting on being able to return for another season with the Leopards after transferring to Easton from Drake University in 2000.
For the first time since 1996-97, Lafayette will not open the season with three consecutive road games, as the staff decided to disregard the recent trend and scheduled two of the team’s first three games to be played at the Kirby Sports Center.

Lehigh

The Lehigh Athletic Department announced that the team would be partnering with Yahoo! Sports to broadcast all Lehigh men’s basketball games over the Internet, in order to maximize the sound quality of its radio broadcasts around the country. The real-time broadcasts, which will be available with a subscription, will give fans the opportunity to listen in to the local radio broadcasts of many Lehigh sports, including every basketball game.

It was also announced that Matt Logie, who graduated from Lehigh this spring after a stellar four-year career for the Mountain Hawks, would be returning to the school as the Director of Basketball Operations for the 2003-2004 year. Logie will help out in all aspects of Lehigh basketball, including recruiting, summer camps and traveling.

Navy

Blake Flickner, who spent the last two seasons in the Colorado State basketball program, was hired as an assistant coach to replace Nathan Davis who, as mentioned above, left Navy for a job at Bucknell.
Dave Wojcik was also named an assistant coach, coming to the Naval Academy from Wheeling Central Catholic High School (Wheeling, West Virginia), where he was head coach. Wojcik takes over for Tom Marryott, who was named the interim Navy women’s basketball coach over the summer.

     

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