Pre­view­ing Richard Bland Bas­ket­ball

The Progress-Index Weekend - - SCOREBOARD -

SOUTH PRINCE GE­ORGE – The Richard Bland Col­lege of William & Mary men’s bas­ket­ball team will open its 2018-19 sea­son host­ing Hager­stown Com­mu­nity Col­lege on Nov. 3 at 2 p.m. in States­man Hall.

The States­men en­ter the sea­son el­e­vat­ing to Di­vi­sion I sta­tus in the NJCAA af­ter a suc­cess­ful stretch as a Di­vi­sion II pow­er­house, win­ning the Na­tional Cham­pi­onship in 2015, ad­vanc­ing to the Na­tional Cham­pi­onship Tour­na­ment Fi­nal Four in 2017 and na­tional par­tic­i­pa­tion last year.

RBC be­gins the sea­son with new head coach Pre­ston Bev­erly, an as­sis­tant coach the last three sea­sons, along with new as­sis­tant coaches Vin­cent Thi­bodeau and Ra­heem Martin. The chal­lenge of Di­vi­sion I com­pe­ti­tion is not lost on Bev­erly. “The Col­lege made a de­ci­sion to take all of its ath­let­ics teams to NJCAA Di­vi­sion !, and the bas­ket­ball pro­gram ben­e­fit­ted from the foun­da­tion it had de­vel­oped over the last sev­eral years,” Bev­erly ex­plains.

The States­men en­ter the 2018-19 sea­son with a brand-new ros­ter, wel­com­ing back three play­ers from last year’s team that suf­fered a 96-95 loss to Louis­burg in the Re­gion X Tour­na­ment, but still qual­i­fied for the na­tional tour­na­ment. Sopho­mores Ryan Jones (Smith­field, VA/Smith­field), Marvin Trot­man (Vir­ginia Beach, VA/At­lantic Shores Chris­tian) and Wayne Clev­ert (Rich­mond, VA/ Mills E. God­win) are the re­turn­ers. Jones is the top re­turn­ing scorer (6.4 ppg) and re­bounder (3.1 rpg) for RBC. He started in 19 of 33 games last sea­son, av­er­ag­ing 21 min­utes of ac­tion. Trot­man played in 31 games a year ago, av­er­ag­ing 4.7 ppg in nine min­utes of ac­tion. Clev­ert played in 30 games last sea­son av­er­ag­ing 5.1 min­utes per con­test.

Bev­erly says he has a ver­sa­tile team ca­pa­ble of play­ing in the half court or get­ting out in tran­si­tion when op­por­tu­ni­ties oc­cur. Hager­stown will be an early barom­e­ter on what to ex­pect as the States­men ma­ture through­out a 28-game sched­ule, 13 of which are at States­man Hall.

“I know Hager­stown is a re­ally good team with more ex­pe­ri­ence in Di­vi­sion I than we have right now,” Bev­erly says. “We’re look­ing for­ward to get­ting started af­ter a good pre-sea­son.”

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