Nothing But Net

Jun 17th, 2013 | By | Category: Sports

BY Steven Kramer

With the loss of Chris Douglas and Darrell Johnson to graduation and a slew of newcomers thrown into the fray, not many knew what to expect from the 2012-13 men’s basketball team. An impressive summer trip to Montreal changed all of that as the improvement of veteran players like David Langan, Eric Selby and Quincy Pettiford was quite evident. From there, the Wolverines knew they might have something special as returning All-CAC performer Paul Reynolds prepared for his senior season.

Paul Reynolds

What concluded was Wesley’s first ever 20-win season, a program record 11-game winning streak, which included victories over No. 1 Virginia Wesleyan, ninth-ranked St. Mary’s, and 2011-12 National runner-up Cabrini. In the midst of the winning streak, head coach Jerry Kobasa was named the Division III National Coach of the Month for January. Reynolds was voted as the CAC and ECAC Player of the Year and earned All-America recognition from three different publications.

Reynolds was also selected to play in the Division III National All-Star Game, where he scored 20 points and helped the East All-Star team to a blowout victory over the West. Langan also earned First Team All CAC honors, marking the first time that two Wolverine players were named to the First Team.

Wesley got quite a boost from freshman Wayne Lennon, who was named the CAC and Mid-Atlantic Region Rookie of the Year. Midway through the season, starter Jacquard Hagan, who averaged over 11.8 points, went down with a season-ending injury, allowing Lennon more playing time. Lennon subsequently earned Freshman All-America accolades at the end of the season.

Three straight wins to open the season, followed by two narrow losses to ranked teams, gave many in Dover room for optimism. Reynolds was his usual, highly efficient self early on, but David Langan showed that he was also a dominant force, averaging a double-double which included a CAC-record 23 rebounds against Christopher Newport.

An early CAC loss to York (Pennsylvania) opened the eyes of many players on the Wolverines squad as students went home for winter break. The defeat must have been a blessing in disguise, as Wesley started its record-breaking streak with a pair of overtime victories over Eastern Mennonite and Bridgewater (Virginia) on Dec. 14-15. What followed shortly after was a win over local rival Washington College and an upset victory over top-ranked Virginia Wesleyan.

The Wolverines opened the 2013 calendar year with six straight victories, including a Jan. 2 win over Cabrini, before falling to St. Mary’s on the road on Jan. 30. Going 9-3 in the CAC, Wesley received a first round bye and a home game against Salisbury in the CAC Semifinals. Double-doubles by Reynolds and Langan helped the Navy & White defeat the Sea Gulls for the 14th time in the last 15 meetings before an overtime loss at St. Mary’s in the championship game.

Defeating Salisbury gave Wesley its 20th win of the year and the NCAA Selection Committee rewarded the Wolverines with an NCAA Tournament berth and a trip to the No. 7 Williams College Ephmen. Despite leading at halftime and a career high 35 points by Paul Reynolds, who was later referenced nationally as the “Charles Barkley of Division III,” the Wolverines fell to the Ephs by a single point.

Despite losing Reynolds, the Wolverines’ first all-time rebounder and second leading scorer, the future looks bright for Wesley. Both Langan and Lennon return, to go with a healthy Hagan, as well as key players like Selby, Pettiford and Brandin Youngblood.

Wesley is scheduled to open the 2013-14 season in Baltimore against Mount St. Mary’s College at the Johns Hopkins University tournament on Nov. 15

 

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