#105 Winthrop Men's Basketball 2021-2022 Preview

Winthrop Eagles
2021-2022 Overall Rank: #105
Conference Rank: #1 Big South
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Coach Pat Kelsey led Winthrop to four Big South regular season titles over the last six years and leaves Rock Hill, South Carolina after nine years leading the program. That puts the Eagles in a transition season, but new coach Mark Prosser is up for the job of continuing Winthrop’s success. Coach Prosser spent the last three seasons at Western Carolina with mixed results, but he has a talented roster and has already brought in plenty of transfers to help fill the holes.
2020-21 Record: 23-2, 17-1
2020-21 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Mark Prosser
Coach Record: 0-0 at Winthrop, 42-76 overall
Key Departed Players:
Chandler Vaudrin, Guard, 12.0 ppg
Charles Falden, Guard, 10.1 ppg
Kyle Zunic, Guard, 5.0 ppg
Adonis Arms, Guard, 10.5 ppg
Key Returning Players:
D.J. Burns Jr, Junior, Forward, 10.1 ppg
Micheal Anumba, Senior, Guard, 6.4 ppg
Josh Corbin, Sophomore, Guard, 6.6 ppg
Kelton Talford, Sophomore, Forward, 5.7 ppg
Russell Jones Jr, Junior, Guard, 4.9 ppg
Chase Claxton, Junior, Forward, 4.3 ppg
Jamal King, Junior, Guard, 3.6 ppg
Toneari Lane, Sophomore, Guard, 2.4 ppg
Key New Players:
Drew Buggs, Senior, Guard, Transfer from Missouri
Patrick Good, Junior, Guard, Transfer from ETSU
Cory Hightower, Senior, Forward, Transfer from Western Carolina
Sin’Cere McMahon, Sophomore, Guard, Transfer from Western Carolina
Cameron Whiteside, Junior, Guard, Transfer from UVA-Wise (DII)
Losing Chandler Vaudrin to the professional ranks and Charles Falden and Adonis Arms to the transfer window hurts, but the Eagles bring in four Division I transfers to help Winthrop fans forget about those departures. Drew Buggs never found too many minutes at Missouri last year, but before that he was a dynamic playmaker at Hawaii. In 2019-2020 he averaged 9.4 points, 5.4 assists and 4.5 rebounds. Both Sin’Cere McMahon and Cory Hightower followed Coach Prosser from Western Carolina. McMahon is just a sophomore and could emerge as a very dangerous shooter off the bench. Hightower is the more proven commodity and the 6-7 senior averaged 13.8 points and 6.2 rebounds with the Catamounts last year. Of course, there is some talent returning too. D.J. Burns is a tough 6-9, 275 pound forward who averaged 10.1 points and 3.4 rebounds as a sophomore. Kelton Talford showed some promise as a freshman, especially on the glass. Fellow sophomore Josh Corbin managed to rank fifth on the team with 6.6 points per game despite averaging just 14.0 minutes. He was mostly just a three-point shooter as a freshman, but expect even more in 2021-2022. Michael Anumba is the only returning senior on the roster and he will again be a leader on the floor after starting nearly every game during the last three seasons. Coach Prosser has some work to do bringing in the new players and getting more out of the younger returning players who will be looking to make a larger impact this year. But despite those potential issues, this is the most talented team in the Big South and that will pay off by the time conference play rolls around.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 78.9 (31st in nation, 1st in conference)
Scoring Defense: 67.0 (81, 2)
Field-Goal Percentage: 45.7 (80, 4)
Field-Goal Defense: 43.1 (164, 4)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 8.4 (67, 2)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 35.2 (110, 4)
Free-Throw Percentage: 68.8 (236, 6)
Rebound Margin: 8.7 (9, 1)
Assists Per Game: 15.0 (60, 1)
Turnovers Per Game: 14.0 (222, 6)