William & Mary Tribe (20-13 overall, 12-6 conference)
Projected starting five:
Jr. G Omar Prewitt
Jr. G Daniel Dixon
So. G Greg Malinowski
Sr. F Terry Tarpey
Sr. F Sean Sheldon
G Marcus Thornton graduated and was drafted in the second round of the NBA Draft.
68.4 percent of scoring and 85.4 percent of rebounding
So. G David Cohn (transfer from Colorado State)
Fr. F Hunter Seacat
The Tribe has a challenging non-conference schedule that features six home games, including three straight to close it out. Included are visits from former CAA foe Old Dominion, Big South contender High Point and MAC contender Central Michigan. They also travel to NC State in the season opener, then Dayton and Virginia. CAA play begins with three of four at home, followed by four of five on the road.
Projected finish and outlook:
Tony Shaver continues to produce contending teams, and while the Tribe lose their all-time leading scorer in Thornton, they return a core that has been to two straight CAA championship games. That experience should certainly count for something from an intangibles standpoint, and they should be formidable. Tarpey is a tough do-everything player who led the conference in rebounding and steals and was a close second in blocked shots, while Prewitt didn’t have a sophomore slump after winning the league’s Rookie of the Year and Dixon is their best defender and a capable offensive player who could break out. Sheldon is steady inside, along with some reserves, while Malinowski seems the most likely holdover to snag the last starting guard spot unless Cohn grabs it. Oliver Tot is an intriguing prospect on the perimeter who now has a year of college under his belt, and classmate Connor Burchfield will be in the mix on the perimeter as well. William & Mary ran a great offense last season, and even without Thornton they should still be pretty good at that end since they all know how to play. They will be more balanced and should still get good shots, which they should make a good percentage of the time.