#138 Bryant Men's Basketball 2014-2015 Preview

Bryant Bulldogs

2013-2014 Overall Rank: #138
Conference Rank: #1 NEC

Bryant Team Page#138 Bryant Men's Basketball 2014-2015 PreviewBuy Bryant Basketball Tickets

Tim O’Shea left his position as head coach at Ohio to come to Bryant in 2008 and has been the school’s lone Division I head coach. He led Bryant through the team’s reclassification process and helped the team earn it’s first ever Division I post season tournament, as Bryant went to the CBI in 2012-13. The team took a small step back last year, as Bryant was upset in the first round of the NEC Tournament. With O’Shea having established a solid foundation and a number of players returning off last year’s team, Bryant has their sights set on making their first ever trip to the NCAA Tournament.

2013-14 Record: 18-14, 10-6
2013-14 Postseason: None
Coach: Tim O’Shea
Coach Record: 57-125 at Bryant (177-220 Overall)

Who’s Out:
Bryant loses five players off last year’s team, including three players who started. Forward Alex Francis started every game for the Bulldogs last season, leading the team in rebounding, 8.2 per game, and was second in scoring, 18.6 per game. Guard Corey Maynard joined Francis in the starting lineup and was the do-it-all man in the backcourt, leading the team in assists, 4.3 per game, while ranking second in rebounding, 4.9 per game, and third in scoring, 13.3 per game. Two other seniors depart in Calvin McMath and Tim McKinney. McMath appeared in 29 games last year, starting 13, averaging 7.5 minutes per game, and McKinney appeared in eight games in the backcourt. Guard Declan Soukup is the fifth departure, as he decided to transfer out of the program. Soukup appeared in 13 games as a redshirt freshman last year, averaging 1.8 points per game.

Who’s In:
The Bulldogs bring in a very small recruiting class, signing just one player, guard Hunter Ware. Ware is a 6-foot-1 point guard from Kennesaw Georgia who opted to attend Bryant despite having some mid-major offers. He is the brother of Dustin Ware, who was a four-year starter at point guard for Georgia from 2008-2012. Boston University transfer Zach Chionuma will join Ware, as he is eligible this season after sitting out last year following his transfer. Chionuma averaged 1.8 points per game in two seasons at Boston U, appearing in 57 games.

Who to Watch:
If Bryant is to get over the hump this season, they will need better production out of the frontcourt. Dan Garvin is back after starting six games as a freshman last season. Garvin appeared in 27 games over the course of the season and averaged 6.0 points and 4.8 rebounds per game, while leading the team in blocks at 1.2 per contest. Curtis Oakley is also back and he is expected to see a larger role as a junior. Oakley has struggled a bit during his time at Bryant but has the potential to be a star. He averaged 3.8 points per game while playing just under 12 minutes a game last season and will look to improve those numbers. Bryant brings back three other players, 6-foot-7 Bosko Kostur, 6-foot-8 Ellis Williams and 6-foot-8 Andrew Socca. Kostur, who fits the mold of a small forward, averaged 2.8 points per game, appearing in nine contests last season. Williams appeared in 13 games, with one start, last year, averaging just under eight minutes a game, while Socca saw action in just one game as a redshirt freshman. All five of these players will should be counted on more this season.

Final Projection:
Bryant may be losing some key players, but the cupboard is far from bare. Dyami Starks, 18.9 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game, and Joe O’Shea, 9.0 points and 4.3 rebounds per game, are back in the backcourt after serving as starters last year. They will be relied on to produce this season. They will be joined by three returning backcourt members who could see increased minutes this season. Shane McLaughlin appeared in all 32 games, with 16 starts, and averaged 3.9 points and 2.6 assists per game last season. He should slide into the starting lineup this year and Justin Brickman and Terrill Toe could step into the reserve guard role. Brickman averaged 1.5 points per game in six appearances last year as a freshman, while Toe saw no regular season playing time. Bryant loses some very talented players off last year’s team, but if some of the younger players can step up and replace the lost production, Bryant could be looking at their first ever NCAA Tournament appearance.

Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA Tournament

Projected Starting Five:
Dyami Starks, Senior, Guard, 18.9 points per game
Shane McLaughlin, Sophomore, Guard, 3.9 points per game
Joe O’Shea, Senior, Guard, 9.0 points per game
Curtis Oakley, Junior, Forward, 3.8 points per game
Dan Garvin, Sophomore, Forward, 6.0 points per game

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 73.4 (91st in nation, 2nd in conference)
Scoring Defense: 72.0 (231, 5)
Field-Goal Percentage: 47.0 (44, 1)
Field-Goal Defense: 43.4 (166, 3)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 6.3 (156, 7)  
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 33.3 (206, 7)
Free-Throw Percentage: 70.3 (165, 7)
Rebound Margin: -2.2 (262, 5)
Assists Per Game: 13.1 (131, 2)
Turnovers Per Game: 12.4 (191, 6)


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