William & Mary Men's Basketball 2015 NIT Tournament Capsule

William & Mary Tribe
CAA (20-12, 12-6)


The Colonial Athletic Association was down this year. It has gone through a number of iterations in the past couple of seasons with teams transferring in and out, and football having an effect, as it always does. William & Mary took advantage and had itself a fine basketball season in-conference. Although the two big out-of-conference tests each resulted in 20+ point blowouts (both coming on the road), it doesn’t take away from the Tribe’s CAA year.

Big Wins: 11/29 Wofford (66-62), 1/24 Northeastern (78-62), 1/31 at James Madison (84-65)
Bad Losses: 2/5 at Charleston (72-80), 2/14 Delaware (70-73), 2/28 Drexel (66-80)
Coach: Tony Shaver

Why They Can Surprise:
This is one of the very best shooting teams in the nation, hitting just shy of 50 percent of its field-goal attempts for the entire regular season. The efficiency onslaught wasn’t led by just one man. Marcus Thornton was the team’s leading scorer and one of the most prolific point-makers in the conference certainly, but he had lots of help this year on the offensive end. Guards Omar Prewitt, Terry Tarpey and Daniel Dixon shot it well; Dixon was especially proficient from behind the arc. On the interior, Sean Sheldon, Tom Schalk and Jack Whitman all hit shots when given the opportunity. Thanks to the expansive depth in the backcourt and the shot-making ability of nearly all of the rotation players, William & Mary racked up assists and points game after game. On the other side of the ball, the length of its guards really aided the team’s defensive rotations. Thornton, Dixon, Prewitt and Tarpey are all 6-4 or taller.

Why They Can Disappoint:
There are a few evident drawbacks of being guard-centric while lacking a true center. The Tribe fell victim to all of them this season. With so much substituting and different ball-handlers, the team turned the ball over too many times. And without long arms in the center of the defense, W&M routinely got outrebounded and gave up too many easy looks. The guards could create some havoc, specifically Tarpey and Prewitt, but its leading shot-blocker on the year was Tarpey. That won’t get it done against an opponent with size and girth on the blocks. Also, the postseason may reveal a larger truth about the rebuilding nature of the CAA as a whole. After all, against the Tribe’s toughest opponents this season, out-of-conference games against Florida and North Carolina, even its shooting strength failed to materialize. William & Mary shot 31.6 and 37.7 percent respectively in those outings.

Probable Starters:
Marcus Thornton, Senior, Guard, 19.9 ppg, 3.0 apg
Omar Prewitt, Sophomore, Guard, 13.4 ppg, 2.6 apg, 4.2 rpg
Terry Tarpey, Junior, Guard, 11.8 ppg, 3.1 apg, 8.5 rpg, 1.3 bpg
Daniel Dixon, Sophomore, Guard, 11.3 ppg, 1.2 apg
Sean Sheldon, Junior, Forward, 6.2 ppg, 4.2 rpg

Key Roleplayers:
Tom Schalk, Senior, Forward, 4.9 ppg, 2.9 rpg
Greg Malinowski, Freshman, Guard, 4.3 ppg
Jack Whitman, Freshman, Forward, 2.3 ppg
Oliver Tot, Freshman, Guard, 1.3 ppg, 1.2 apg

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 73.7 (40th in nation, 2nd in conference)
Scoring Defense: 66.6 (168, 5)
Field-Goal Percentage: 49.3 (5, 1)
Field-Goal Defense: 42.3 (138, 2)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 8.8 (16, 2)  
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 40.1 (10, 1)
Free-Throw Percentage: 73.4 (36, 2)
Rebound Margin: -0.1 (203, 5)
Assists Per Game: 14.8 (41, 2)
Turnovers Per Game: 11.7 (81, 3)

Recent Postseason Appearances:
2010    NIT    First Round loss to North Carolina
1983    NIT    First round loss to Virginia Tech

*all team stats through 3/8


See All Men’s Basketball Postseason Capsules