#125 William & Mary Men's Basketball 2013-2014 Preview

William & Mary Tribe

2013-2014 Overall Rank: #125
Conference Rank: #5 CAA

William & Mary Team Page#125 William and Mary Men's Basketball 2013-2014 PreviewBuy William & Mary Basketball Tickets

William & Mary may not win a CAA title this season, yet they could come surprisingly close. The Tribe returns four starters and has some of the best shooters in the conference. Last season the team won just 13 games and finished in the bottom half of the Colonial standings, but they did end the season strong, winning four of their last six regular season contests. The two losses came against 20 win teams George Mason and James Madison by a mere two points apiece. This was a team playing very good basketball at the end of the 2012-2013 campaign and now they are almost all back to keep the good times rolling.

2012-13 Record: 13-17, 7-11
2012-13 Postseason: None
Coach: Tony Shaver
Coach Record: 116-189 at William & Mary, 116-189 overall

Who’s Out:
There were four seniors on the roster last season, but of Doug Howard, Brett Goodloe, Andrew Pavloff and Matt Rum only Rum was a regular contributor. He started 27 games and led the Tribe with 2.7 assists and added 4.8 rebounds and 5.3 points. Obviously he was not much of a scorer and did not help the team’s impressive shooting percentage by connecting on just 34.2 percent of his attempts, but Rum was a great glue guy who did a bit of everything.

Who’s In:
Coach Tony Shaver has brought in four freshmen who are expected to compete for playing time right away. Michael Schlotman is a big point guard who has the versatility to help fill the void left by Rum. Schlotman played against some tough competition in Munster, Indiana and is ready to at least handle the ball and find all of his new scoring teammates. Schlotman has the size to help on the glass and so do fellow newcomers Omar Prewitt and Daniel Dixon. Prewitt is a 6-6 wing, while Dixon is 6-5. That size on the perimeter should help the Tribe compete on the glass and play better defense. Jack Whitman is a perfect fit for Coach Shaver’s system. Whitman can get up and down the floor very well for a 6-9, 225 pound forward and he can step outside and knock down the outside shot with consistency. This is a team that wants to shoot and they have added some more shooters with this class.

Who to Watch:
The returning four starters are a dynamic group of scorers, led by guard Marcus Thornton. Thornton averaged 18.8 points per game last season and connected on amazing 43.5 percent of his 7.1 attempts per game from beyond the arc. The 6-4 junior is more than just a shooter though. He will use his size, speed and strength to attack the basket with ease. Defending him is extremely difficult as it is, but with Brandon Britt, Tim Rusthoven and Kyle Gaillard on the floor, it gets even more difficult. Britt had a breakout junior season, finally finding consistency with his outside shot. Britt boosted his three-point shooting percentage to 37.6 and averaged 13.9 points. Gaillard and Rusthoven man the frontcourt. Gaillard, a 6-8 senior, can stretch out the defense with his shooting ability and is a pretty tough rebounder. However, he will need to get tougher on the glass now that Rum is not around to help. Rusthoven is yet another big time scoring threat. As a junior, the 6-9 forward averaged 14.4 points and 7.0 rebounds. He can hit the long ball on occasion, although Rusthoven is certainly much more efficient and productive in the post.

Final Projection:
Depth was a bit of concern last season and William & Mary traditionally does not have the talent to go too deep down the bench. That is starting to change. Terry Tarpey and Julian Boatner are likely to battle for the starting spot vacated by Rum. Tarpey had an up and down freshman campaign and played a lot like Britt did two years ago when he could not find his shooting touch. If he can start hitting the long ball, Tarpey could turn into yet another scoring option for the Tribe. Boatner is pretty much a shooter and he has been productive off of the bench. Fred Heldring and Tom Schalk averaged less than ten minutes per game, but they did provide nearly all of the depth in the frontcourt during the 2012-2013 campaign. This time they will get some help from Whitman. And that depth in the frontcourt could prove to be extremely important. The Tribe rebounded quite well for a team that hoists up so many three-pointers and having the size and athleticism to play how they want to play without getting consistently beat on the glass could make all of the difference.

Projected Postseason Tournament: CBI/CIT

Projected Starting Five:
Brandon Britt, Senior, Guard, 13.9 points per game
Marcus Thornton, Junior, Guard, 18.8 points per game
Terry Tarpey, Sophomore, Guard, 2.7 points per game
Kyle Gaillard, Senior, Forward, 8.5 points per game
Tim Rusthoven, Senior, Forward, 14.4 points per game

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 68.8 (140th in nation, 3rd in conference)
Scoring Defense: 68.3 (217, 7)
Field-Goal Percentage: 46.7 (30, 1)
Field-Goal Defense: 43.3 (200, 5)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 7.4 (55, 1)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 37.4 (42, 1)
Free-Throw Percentage: 70.9 (115, 6)
Rebound Margin: 0.2 (164, 6)
Assists Per Game: 14.3 (76, 1)
Turnovers Per Game: 13.0 (158, 6)


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