By Tim Marcin
Elm Sports Editor
Change can be hard to deal with, especially when it comes to sports. College teams deal with change constantly and especially on a year-to-year basis, due to graduation.
Few teams are dealing with as much change as the Shoremen basketball team, however. They graduated eight players from last year’s squad that made a run to the conference semi-finals and went 14-13.
That includes leading scorer Kevin Breslin and three other starters. This year’s team will help the program celebrate its 100th anniversary of its first-ever game on Dec. 8, but it will look vastly different than the squad that played the 99th season.
The lone returning starter is junior guard Kevin Cunningham, who is the top returner in points per game (7.7), rebounds per game (4.3), assists per game (1.6) and steals per game (1.5). He may finally get to play alongside transfer guard Stephen Poarch from Gettysburg, who sat out last year after coming to Washington College. Poarch showed promise in his time with the Bullets, averaging 10.6 points per game in eight contests in the 2010-2011 season.
The senior class for WC is only two-deep, consisting of forward Charlie McShane and guard Wes Bill. McShane made four starts last season, while Bill wasn’t able to get on the court due to injury. Bill, McShane and Cunningham are the only upperclassmen for the Shoremen. The 14-man roster has two seniors, one junior, six sophomores and five freshmen.
The young players will have to learn—and quickly. The first matchup of the year for WC is away at Salisbury and is immediately followed by a game against Hampden-Sydney at home, ranked 25th nationally by D3Hoops.com. In case that wasn’t enough, they play ninth ranked and defending conference champion Franklin & Marshall in their third game of the year.
While the team is young, there is talent on the roster and the early challenges should present an opportunity to gain momentum early in the campaign. Change can be hard to deal with, but it can also be a great opportunity. Hopefully change treats the Shoremen well as they begin their second century of playing basketball.