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Men's Basketball Looks to Challenge for AMCC Title, NCAA Tourney Bid

FROSTBURG, MD - Despite the loss of its top two scorers from a year ago, the Frostburg State men’s basketball team enters the 2004-05 season expecting to challenge yet again for the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference title and the league’s automatic berth in the NCAA Division III Tournament.

Myro Small and Ryan Grabill, who combined for 25.6 points and 10.1 rebounds per game and earned All-AMCC honors last year, are gone and just two starters – junior Daniel Ryley (Frederick, Md./St. John’s Prospect Hall) and sophomore Antione McCall (Essex, Md./Eastern Tech) – return from last year’s squad that finished 15-13 overall (6-6 AMCC) and fell to La Roche 44-42 in overtime in the conference championship game.

However, nine of the 15 players on this year’s roster have played under sixth-year Head Coach Webb Hatch, and six talented newcomers should help the Bobcats challenge for their fourth AMCC title game appearance in the last five years.

“We are faster than we were one year ago, and we’re also deeper and more athletic,” said Hatch.

Ryley should continue to emerge as one of the top inside players in the league. Last season he earned second-team All-AMCC honors after leading the Bobcats in rebounding (5.8) and blocks (36) and finishing third on the team in scoring (10.0). He also added 23 assists and 17 steals.

“Daniel is stronger than he was last year,” Hatch commented. “He is our best inside player and will be a solid scorer for us again”

McCall will add depth to the frontcourt with his ability to play multiple positions. After working his way into the starting lineup midway through the season, he averaged 18.3 points over a late three-game stretch, scoring a career-high 22 in a key win over Lake Erie. He also came close to his first double-double with eight points and nine rebounds in the AMCC championship game.

For the season, McCall finished fourth on the team with 7.2 points per game and fifth with 4.2 rebounds per contest. He also shot .498 from the floor and added 14 blocks.

“Antione is a versatile player that can play both guard and forward,” said Hatch. “He loves to get inside and mix things up.”

Senior guard Chris Vaughn (Manchester, Md./North Carroll) will be one of the team’s key shooters again this season. One of four players to see action in all 28 games last year, he averaged 6.6 points and 2.5 rebounds and added 40 assists and 20 steals.

He finished second on the team with 43 three-pointers and scored in double-digits eight times, including a career-high 22-point outing against Eastern Mennonite.

Senior forward David Quay, Jr. (Lewistown, Pa./Indian Valley) returns for one last season as a Bobcat. He played in 18 games last season and averaged 7.0 points and 4.7 rebounds.

“David has a great attitude,” said Hatch. “He is a good inside player, rebounder and defender.”

Senior Jamal Peterson (Mitchellville, Md./Laurel), junior Steve Coursey (Ellicott City, Md./Howard) and red-shirt freshman Brian Owen (Gainesville, Va./Brentsville) will be looking for time at the guard position.

Peterson played for Hatch during the 2001-02 and 2002-03 seasons and has a strong grasp of the system.

Coursey saw action in every game last year and averaged 4.0 points and 2.6 rebounds. He finished second on the team with 47 assists and was third with 24 steals.

Owen saw action in just eight games last year before suffering a season-ending foot injury. In just his third collegiate contest, he scored 16 points against Division II powerhouse Indiana (Pa.) and should be a solid threat on the floor.

“Brian is a versatile shooter who can play any position,” said Hatch. “This kid eats and sleeps basketball.”

Also returning from injury are redshirt-senior Dustin Long (Accident, Md./Northern Garrett) and redshirt-junior Kamillo Rosenthal (Munich Germany/Bishop Sullivan).

Long played in just two games before suffering an injury that ended his season last year. He looks to play either the forward or center position.

“Dustin is a crafty player who knows how to play the game,” said Hatch. “He passes and sees the floor well.”

Rosenthal has missed the last year and a half with a recurring foot injury but is a dangerous shooter who can take over games. He averaged 13.8 points in the final eight games of 2001-02, scoring 20 points three times, and averaged 16.0 points in FSU’s first six games of 2002-03 before re-injuring his foot.

“No one plays harder than Kamillo,” said Hatch. “He is vocal and is willing to dive for a loose ball. No one will outwork him.”

Four transfers and two true freshmen look to make an immediate impact.

Juniors Jason Peterson (Aberdeen, Md./Aberdeen), Dawan El-Amin (Baltimore, Md./Academy Park, Pa.) and Victor Arana (Aberdeen, Md./Ellison, Texas) as well as sophomore Brandon Coleman (Germantown, Md./Watkins Mill) all are transfers who are going to add depth to the squad.

Peterson and Arana both come to Frostburg from Harford Community College, where they played for one year.

“Both Jason and Victor are very talented,” said Hatch. “They are going to be good players.”

El-Amin played two years at CCBC-Catonsville and will look to battle for time at guard.

Coleman joins the Bobcat program from Teikyo Post University. While this will be his first time playing basketball on the collegiate level, he was a stellar two-sport athlete in high school.

“Brandon has the defensive skills because he played defensive end in high school,” Hatch commented. “He is strong and gets better every day.”

Also added to the roster are freshmen Keith Hazel (Weirton, W.Va./Weir) and Shane McDade (Cumberland, Md./Allegany). Both can play the guard and forward spots.

“Keith is an extremely good shooter, while Shane has been a pleasant surprise,” said Hatch.

This year is no different than the rest, as Hatch is challenging his players with tough non-conference competition. The Bobcats take on Johns Hopkins, either Neumann or Keystone, Waynesburg, Shenandoah, Salisbury, Christopher Newport and Washington & Jefferson before finishing with 16 straight AMCC contests.

The Bobcats have been picked to finish second in the AMCC according to the preseason coaches poll behind favorite Pitt-Greensburg and ahead of defending regular-season champion Penn State Behrend.

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