FROSTBURG, MD -
Frostburg State will open its 2003-04 season by hosting the FSU Tip-Off Tournament this Friday and Saturday at Bobcat Arena.
Friday's action will begin with Salisbury facing Bridgewater at 6, followed by Bobcats taking on Waynesburg at 8.
The tournament continues Saturday with the consolation game at 2 followed by the championship contest at 4.
Frostburg State looks to return to the top tier of the AMCC after posting disappointing 10-16 overall and 5-7 AMCC records in 2002-03.
The Bobcats and fifth-year head coach Webb Hatch will have to overcome the loss of Pierre Bowery, the school’s all-time leading shot blocker (192) and second-leading scorer (1,809 points), but welcome back two starters in senior guard Ryan Grabill (Boonsboro, Md./Williamsport), who averaged 7.3 ppg and 4.3 apg, and senior forward Myro Small (Berlin, Md./Stephen Decatur), who added 7.0 ppg and 2.9 rpg last season.
Junior guard Chris Vaughn (Manchester, Md./North Carroll), who averaged 5.7 points and 1.7 rebounds per game last season, and much-improved sophomore forward Dan Ryley (Frederick, Md./St. John's Prospect Hall), who scored 34 points and grabbed 12 rebounds in 11 games, are among the key returners.
Waynesburg transfer David Quay (Lewiston, Pa./Indian Valley) and Prince George's Community College transfer Paul Owens (Hyattsville, Md./Northwestern) should give the Bobcats some needed muscle inside. Quay is 6-4, 200, while Owens is 6-8, 260.
Waynesburg, 16-9 last season, takes on a new look with the retirement of head coach Rudy Marisa, who guided the Yellow Jackets to a 565-300 record the last 34 years, and the loss of four starters, including 2,000-point scorer Ray Robinson.
First-year mentor Frank Ferraro, a long-time assistant for Marisa, will look to build around senior guard Mike King (13.1 ppg). Guard Ray Gillespie (4.7 ppg) is the only other returning letterwinner from last season. Junior 6-5 center Phil McLaughlin (3.8 ppg, 3.1 rpg) looks to made an immediate impact after transferring from Heidelberg. A host of freshmen will also battle for time throughout the lineup.
Bridgewater will look to improve on its 14-12 record last season and returns all five starters as well as most of its supporting cast.
Junior guard Ricky Easterling is the team's top returner after averaging 15.4 points and 3.1 assist per game and earning first-team All-ODAC honors.
Senior forward Ryan Lambert (7.6 ppg, 5.0 rpg), junior guard Ashby Tarkington (9.7 ppg, 44% 3-pt), sophomore forward Clay Michael (8.3 ppg, 6.5 rpg) and sophomore guard Harry Moore (10.8 ppg, 3.3 rpg) are also back.
Salisbury aims to rebound from a tough 6-20 season but returns just two of its starters.
Gone is Hasheem Alexander and his 21.3 points per game, but fourth-year head coach Steve Holmes welcomes back senior guard/forward Ryan Freeman (9.4 ppg, 6.0 rpg) and sophomore guard Justin Rice (9.0 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 3.4 apg) as the Sea Gulls look to build on their rich tradition which includes five NCAA Tournament appearances (1985, 1991, 1992, 1996 & 1997) and two trips to the Elite Eight.
For further information on this release, contact:
Office of Sports Information
Frostburg State University
101 Braddock Road
Frostburg, MD 21532-2303