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Men's Basketball Experience Will Drive the Bobcats Towards AMCC Title

Frostburg, Md. — With four of its five leading scorers from last season returning, the Frostburg State men's basketball team is positive about competing for the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference title this season.

After finishing 14-12 (9-9 AMCC) last season, Head Coach Webb Hatch returns for his seventh season with 10 returning letterwinners. Added to that talent are five newcomers looking for time on the floor.

"We are quicker and deeper than we were a year ago," says Hatch. "We also have more size and should be flexible with our lineups."

Seniors Jason Peterson (Aberdeen, Md./Aberdeen) and Daniel Ryley (Frederick, Md./St. John's Prospect Hall) paced the team last season with 15.2 and 13.2 points per game last season, respectively.

Peterson was second last season with 28 steals and 22 blocks. He shot 56.4 percent from the floor and added four double-doubles. "Jason is an offensive player," states Hatch. "He is an explosive threat with the potential to score points in bunches."

Ryley was named to the All-AMCC Second Team for the second year in a row after leading the team with 6.1 rebounds per game. He started 16 of the 24 games in which he played. "Dan has the most experience on this team," comments Hatch. "He should be one of the top big men in the AMCC this year."

Red-shirt sophomore Brian Owen (Gainesville, Va./Brentsville) and senior Victor Arana (Aberdeen, Md./Ellison, Texas) will also play key roles in the FSU offense.

Owen will be a key shooter outside the arc for the Bobcats. Last year he started 12 games and led the team by shooting 38.5 percent from three-point range. Owen averaged 9.0 points per game and 1.1 assists per game while also adding 17 steals and five blocks.

Arana, a co-captain, will be starting on the floor in the point guard position this year. Last season he started in 17 of 19 games and averaged 8.0 PPG and 2.9 APG. Arana also added 2.9 RPG, 16 steals and two blocks.

"Brian is stronger and quicker this year. We will need that when it comes to rebounds," Hatch added. "Victor is an unselfish, vocal player who is probably our most fundamentally sound player."

Senior Marcus McIntyre (Washington, D.C./Wilson) and sophomore Keith Hazel (Weirton, W. Va./ Weir) will both be looking for time in the frontcourt.

McIntyre, a co-captain, finished the season strong, playing in the final 12 games, starting the last six. In those six games, McIntyre scored in double figures five times. He averaged 6.3 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.1 assists. Hazel saw action in seven games last year. He averaged 0.9 points, 0.7 rebounds and 0.1 assists per game.

"Marcus has worked hard over the past two years to improve his skills," added Hatch. "Keith is a strong and quick lefty with excellent three-point range on his shot."

Seniors Brandon Howell (Silver Spring, Md./Bethesda-Chevy Chase) and Dawan El-Amin (Baltimore, Md./Academy Park, Pa.) and sophomores Brian Green, Jr. (Baltimore, Md./Archbishop Curley) and Dale DeBerry, Jr. (Upper Marlboro, Md./Riverdale Baptist) will all be competing for time in the guard position.

Howell saw action in 10 games with one start last year. He averaged 3.9 points, 1.7 rebounds and 0.6 assists per game. El-Amin played in six games and averaged 0.8 points, 0.7 rebounds and 0.5 steals per contest.

Green was called up from the junior varsity midway through last season playing in 13 games with one start. He scored a career-high 12 points against Pitt-Greensburg. DeBerry also moved up from JV in the middle of last season. He played in 10 games with one start and averaged 3.2 points, 0.9 rebounds and 0.3 assists per game.

"Brandon is a good three-point shooter that can rebound from the two spot. Dawan is a very versatile player that is the best defender on the team," Hatch commented. "Brian will be our back-up point guard this year and Dale is a slasher with the ability to get to the rim."

Juniors Davon Collier (Baltimore, Md./Douglass) and Manny Gross (Baltimore, Md./Owings Mills) are both transfers that will add depth to the frontcourt.

Collier comes to Frostburg from Baltimore City Community College, where he played for two years and was voted Co-MVP as a sophomore. Gross transferred from CCBC-Catonsville, where he played for two years.

"Davon adds a strong inside presence on the floor with his good shooting and excellent passing," Hatch stated. "Manny is a reserve forward and center. He is a very coachable kid."

Freshmen Devin Jones (Glen Burnie, Md./Old Mill), Kenan Myers (Capitol Heights, Md./Montgomery Blair) and Carter Simmons (Annapolis, Md./Southern) will all be competing for playing time as the year progresses.

"Devin is a good ball handler and an excellent defender, while Kenan is athletic and very talented," added Hatch. "Carter is a good rebounder at 6'6' and is very coachable."

This year, Hatch has a challenging out of conference schedule beginning with the Pride of Maryland Tournament against McDaniel. The tournament pits eight Division III schools from the state of Maryland against each other over a three day period. They will also face Shenandoah and regional powers Mary Washington and Christopher Newport.

Last season the Bobcats finished in sixth place after finishing the conference at .500. They were knocked out of the first round of the play-offs by Lake Erie, who was picked to finish first in this season's AMCC preseason poll.

The Bobcats are picked to finish fifth in this year's AMCC preseason coaches poll, behind last year's champions Pitt-Greensburg and ahead of Pitt-Bradford.

"We have the potential to be a very competitive team that can challenge for the AMCC title," said Hatch. "However, I am concerned about our perimeter shooting and our rebounding. We will continue to work on these areas and hopefully in February we will be playing out best basketball when tournament time arrives."

For further information on this release, contact:

Office of Sports Information
Frostburg State University
101 Braddock Road
Frostburg, MD  21532-2303

Telephone: 301-687-4371
Fax: 301-687-4780