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William & Mary Tribe 2013-14 Preview

November 5, 2013 Conference Notes No Comments
williamandmary

William & Mary Tribe (13-17 overall, 7-11 conference)

 

 

 

Projected starting five:

Sr. G Brandon Britt
Sr. G Julian Boatner
Jr. G Marcus Thornton
Sr. F Kyle Gaillard
Sr. F Tim Rusthoven

Important departures:

G Matt Rum (5.3 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 2.7 apg) is the only starter who has departed from last season’s team, and no other significant contributor has departed.

Returning:

91.7 percent of scoring and 84.8 percent of rebounding

Additions:

Fr. G Daniel Dixon
Fr. G-F Omar Prewitt
Fr. G Michael Schlotman
Fr. F Jack Whitman

Schedule Highlights:

Six home games lead the way in the non-conference slate, including visits from Richmond and former CAA opponent Old Dominion. The toughest road games are at Wichita State in the Hall of Fame CBE Classic and at West Virginia. In CAA play, they open February with three straight on the road before four of the next five come in Williamsburg.

Projected finish and outlook:

If there’s a team that can be labeled a sleeper, this one fits the bill. The Tribe wasn’t very far from being 11-7 in CAA play, as they were in a lot of games that they had a chance to pull out. This team has a talented, veteran perimeter unit and an unheralded frontcourt group. Thornton is one of the conference’s best players, and his improvement seems to keep accelerating. Don’t be surprised if he’s among the frontrunners for Player of the Year. Britt simply wants to win and has a supporting cast that will allow him to do that as a floor leader if he stays healthy; he suffered a foot injury in October that slowed him in practice. Boatner played hurt all last year, and it showed as he shot well from long range but only managed to play just over 11 minutes a game. He’s healthy now and had a full off-season, so there’s hope that he can close out his career on a better note. Terry Tarpey is talented and plays hard, and with a year under his belt the sophomore should be even better this year backing them up along with the three freshmen perimeter players. Rusthoven is quietly a solid anchor who will at times get into foul trouble in part because of how hard he plays, while Gaillard may be this team’s X-factor. Fred Heldring, Tom Schalk and Sean Sheldon are also in the mix, and it would help if one of them distinguished himself to be the top reserve. Sheldon has made perhaps the biggest leap of that group since the end of last season. The Tribe was solid offensively last year, but head coach Tony Shaver feels they could have won a few more games with a little better defense, an area where they weren’t horrible but needed to be a little better. In his tenure, the Tribe has done well with their most experienced teams, and this one is right up there, so while few will talk about them as a contender right now it shouldn’t surprise anyone if they’re in the mix near the top come February.

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