The University of Mary Washington men's basketball team enters the 2017-18 season with high hopes, as they welcome back a large group of veteran experience buoied by a talented group of newcomers.
Leading the returnees is is the lone senior on the team, All-Capital Athletic Conference forward Eric Shaw. A first team all-league and second team all-state selection, Shaw led the team with 16.9 points per game on 43.8% shooting, and averaged 6.1 rebounds per game. The 6-7 forward netted double figures in 21 games a year ago.
Also returning to the starting lineup for head coach Marcus Kahn in his fourth season at the helm is junior point guard Jacob Williams, junior forward Johnny Cronin, sophomore guard A.J. Robinson, and sophomore guard Austin Hall. Williams averaged 6.7 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 2.8 assists per game, among the best in the CAC. Cronin averaged 9.8 PPG and 6.3 rebounds per contest, while shooting 59.5% from the field.
Robinson, a midyear transfer last season, averaged 10.3 PPG in 12 games and was one of the top free throw shooters in the country, netting 94.4% of his charity attempts. Hall played in all 25 games, starting 14, and scored 8.1 PPG, contributing double figures in 11 games.
Also back to the fold this season is sophomore Mark Madison, who gained CAC Rookie of the Year honors in 2015-16 after scoring 12.8 PPG in starting 25 contests. Veterans Sekai Walker and Tyler Withers will provide depth at the guard and post positions, respectively.
A large incoming class includes transfer Khiorie Stewart and freshmen Mike Janowski, Zack Calloway, Riley Welch, Kile McNair, Ryan Williams, and Jordan Shaw at the guard slots, and Drew Johnson, Serge Ekpuk, and Tavion Britt at forward.
The Eagles will open the 2017-18 campaign on Wednesday night when they visit Eastern Mennonite University at 8 p.m. The Eagles will make their home debut on Friday as part of the Hyatt Place Tipoff Tournament at 7 p.m. against Randolph College.