CHESTERTOWN, Md. – The 2016-17 Shoremen Basketball season had its moments. The team swept Gettysburg for the first time ever and allowed its fewest points in a home game in 26 years versus McDaniel as the team improved by four wins overall and two victories in the Centennial Conference. This season Washington College looks to build off of those blocks and take the next step toward becoming one of the upper echelon teams under third year head coach Aaron Goodman as the team looks to improve on its 7-18 overall record and 3-15 conference mark from a season ago with another young squad as 14 of the 17 players on the team are freshmen and sophomores.
For this to happen, the team will need to improve on both sides of the ball in 2017-18, especially defensively.
Despite having a pair of games where the squad allowed just 44 points, the team surrendered 1.3 more points per game as they finished last in the conference in PPG allowed at 75.9 and will look to reduce that number this winter. Washington will also seek to be better with its field goal defensive percentage as they were last in the Centennial at 49.5%. However despite being last in points per game allowed and field goal percentage defense, the defense was in the upper part of the conference in three categories. Washington was second in turnovers forced per game (17.3) and third in the Centennial in both three-point field goal defensive percentage at 32.5% and steals per contest (8.6). The Shoremen did improve their rebounding margin deficit from -9.2 boards per game in 2015-16 to -7.5 in 2016-17.
On the offensive side of the ball, the Shoremen made strides in field goal percentage as they jumped from 37.3% to 41.1% and went from 30.5% in three-point field goal percentage to 33.6%. And the offense improved as the team went from 62.8 points per game to 68.5 points per game. From the foul line, the Shoremen did regress though as they went from 70.9% in 2015-16 to 68.5%, so the team will look to bounce back from the charity stripe this season. The Shoremen had a +2.6 turnover per game ratio than their opponents last season. WC's 14.7 turnovers per game trailed just McDaniel (13.2) and Franklin & Marshall (14.3).
The team will continue to employ a high tempo style of basketball that fans of the Shoremen have come to know.
The lone senior on the team is guard Tas Dixon (Ardmore, Pa./Harriton), the team's Most Valuable Player from last season. Dixon was one of two players to start in all 25 games a season ago for Goodman's squad. He averaged 7.8 points per game, 3.2 assists per game and 2.7 rebounds per game. Dixon also canned 80 free throws, which was good for eighth in the conference and in conference only games, he made 60, which ranked sixth in the CC. The senior was sixth overall and sixth in CC games in assists and had 24 of his 30 steals in CC play, which was good for eighth in conference contests. He was tied for third on the team in points per game and led the team in assists and assists per contest.
Goodman's third squad has two juniors and they consist of guard Kevin McCormick (Springfield, Pa./Springfield) and forward Kaiden Williams (Elkton, Md./Caravel Academy (Del.). Kevin McCormick will look to bounce back from a 1.9 points per game average as a sophomore after averaging 5.7 points per game as a freshman. Williams appeared in a career-best 23 contests a season ago, averaging 2.0 points per game and 1.5 boards per contest.
Seven sophomores return in the fold the Shoremen this season and they consist of guard Austin Allen (Silver Spring, Md./Saint Andrew's Episcopal), guard Armand del Castillo (Miami, Fla./Monsignor Rice), guard Jack Greer (Atlanta, Ga./Wesleyan School), forward/guard Alec Lewis (Jefferson, Md./Brunswick), forward Dallas Marshall (Germantown, Md./Clarksburg), guard Josh Porteous (Cocoa Beach, Fla./Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy) and guard Nick Schmelzer (Alexandria, Va./Bishop Ireton). Marshall is the team's top returning scorer at 7.9 points per game and the team's top returning field goal percentage shooter at 47.3%. He led the team in rebounds per game (4.4) and was second on the team in three-point field goal goal percentage at 41.7% as he joined Dixon in being the only two WC players to start all 25 games. Porteous, who played in 24 games and started 23 times, averaged 6.6 points per game and tied for the team lead in steals per game at 1.3. Schmelzer came off the bench 23 times averaged 5.3 points per contest and shot 42.5% from three-point range and 80% from the foul line. Allen averaged 1.2 steals per game in 24 games, 23 starts, and is one of three WC players back who averaged over a theft per contest to go along with five points per game. Lewis averaged 3.9 points per contests and two boards per in 25 games, 15 starts, while shooting 79.6% from the free throw stripe. del Castillo and Greer both averaged 3.3 points per game in 22 games last year, with Greer shooting 37% from behind the arc.
Seven freshmen join the team this season and they are forward Daniel Brown (Silver Spring, Md./Paint Branch), center/forward Logan Bunch (Raleigh, N.C./Athens Drive), guard Derrick Carter (Waldorf, Md./St. Charles), guard/forward Barry McCormick (Annapolis, Md./Archbishop Spalding), guard Tino Nyawata (Rockville, Md./St. Andrew's Episcopal), guard Cole Storm (Oreland, Pa./Germantown Academy) and guard Mike Winterburn (Germantown, Md./Clarksburg).
The Shoremen had two sets of players who attended the same high school. Allen and Nyawata both attended St. Andrew's Episcopal, while Marshall and Winterburn both went to Clarksburg.
Serving on Goodman's staff are assistant coaches Alex Bates and Christian Harbaugh. Bates is in his second year on the staff while Harbaugh joins the staff for the upcoming season. Harbaugh will be graduating this December from Point Park University in Pittsburgh.
Washington will open the regular season on Wednesday, November 15 at 7:30 p.m. when they travel to Delmarva rival Salisbury. After a game at Goucher on Sunday, November 19 at 2:00 p.m., the Shoremen play their home and Centennial Conference opener on Tuesday, November 21 against reigning Centennial champion Swarthmore at 8:00 p.m. The Shoremen will play at Division I Navy for an exhibition game on Wednesday, November 22 and will also play in a game that will count at Division I Mount St. Mary's on December 15. In addition to Salisbury, Goucher and Mount St. Mary's, the Shoremen will travel to Shenandoah (December 4) and Elizabethtown (December 10) out of conference and will host Frostburg St. (November 26) and Cairn (November 28) in non-conference action. The Shoremen will play three teams who reached the NCAA Tournament in 2017, Mount St. Mary's (who reached the NCAA Division I Tournament before losing to Villanova in the First Round), Salisbury and Swarthmore.