Official USA South Conference Thread Topic

Season 62 lookahead

The top five players scheduled to return to the USA South next season, by stat category

1. Daniel DeMoss, Averett, 21.2 ppg
2. Gregory Corle, Methodist, 13.2
3. Justin Carter, Oglethorpe, 12.1
4. Christopher Twigg, Ferrum, 11.5
5. Alex Holloman, Palm Beach Atlantic, 11.5

1. John Carnes, N. Carolina Wesleyan, 10.2 rpg
2. Virgil Thompson, Averett, 8.8
3. Willy Adams, LaGrange, 7.8
4. David Stonebraker, Ferrum, 7.6
5. Daniel Land, Shenandoah, 7.3

1. Allen Coronado, Chowan, 5.0 apg
2. Christopher Twigg, Ferrum, 4.9
3. Clarence Dorazio, Greensboro, 4.3
4. Richard Scott, Piedmont, 4.0
5. Craig Elliott, Greensboro, 3.9

1. Gregory Corle, Methodist, 1.9 spg
2. Donald Brown, Shenandoah, 1.8
3. Justin Carter, Oglethorpe, 1.6
4. Manuel Pye, Ferrum, 1.5
5. Charles Davis, Shenandoah, 1.5
10/9/2011 8:58 PM
I am hoping that Demoss and Thompson can keep me competitive next season.  This year was a very young team.  Gotta get better.
10/10/2011 11:43 AM
I lost a lot.  Going to be leaning very heavily on Corle this year.
10/19/2011 2:38 AM
Ive got what i hope is my 3rd top 20 class in a row.....ive got 1 senior and i feel like i can win it this year even better..........we'll laid plans...and all
10/19/2011 7:18 PM
THE HORNETS' NEST - Season 62 preview

No, that was not an illusion, Hornet Nation. All that teasing in the media last year about good things on the horizon wasn't smoke and mirrors. Shenandoah is ranked No. 18 nationally to begin the preseason in the WCAA poll. Vickie Dee's Roundball Review ranks the Hornets the No. 22 team overall in rating strength while noting the team ranks No. 6 in speed, No. 21 in defense and No. 4 in ball handling. 

Of course, all that's on paper. It's what happens on the court that counts and, so far, all the Hornets have to show there is some off-season controversy. 

James Swanson, a junior-to-be on this year's team who averaged 6.8 points per game as a sophomore, was released from his scholarship in the off-season. He was arguably the team's top ball handler and quickly found a home at Oberlin College. The reason for Swanson's departure, according to the coaching staff, was Swanson's lack of an off-season work ethic. 

"Look, it's really simple," Hornet coach Red Nu said. "We expect our players to adhere to a certain set of standards for workouts in the off-season. When we have a bunch of underclassmen busting their butts to gain 10, 12, 16 skill points in the off-season, and he (Swanson) comes trotting in here having lost three, it's time for a change. If he's not going to make it, then as the head coach, I will."

So Swanson is out. In is highly-touted freshman Theodore Fields from Gayville-Volin High School in Gayville, South Dakota. He's a seven category high-potential player who will be redshirted immediately to work on defense this year. 

"All part of my plan to send assistant coach John Chandler to the most bizarre places I can during recruiting season," Nu said of the call to scout a player in the self-professed Hay Capital of the World. "The running joke this season in staff meeings will be that he was a John in Gayville."

On the court, the Hornets will look to continue using their speed and pressure defense to drive opponents crazy. Senior Donald Brown needs 63 steals to finish as Shenandoah's all-time leader in that category. Sophomore Charles Davis, who will now see more playing time with Swanson out of the equation, also proved himself a pressure defender straight out of the box last season. A non-conference meeting against preseason No. 6 Brandeis should provide a stiff early challenge. Three other USA South teams are also ranked in the preseason, all in the opposite conference division.

The rumblings have been there since last season's recruiting class was released. Nu has staked some of his reputation in calling this the Hornets' year. Coming from the man that delivered the Hornets' their best RPI season ever four seasons ago, those words carry weight. The dance, only the 4th 20-win season in school history -- this is a year to be dreaming big here in Winchester. Throw that pumpkin in the air and let's see how things go!
10/21/2011 10:00 AM
THE HORNETS" NEST -- Season 62 wrap

What to make of this season for the Hornets? On the plus side, the team did its best in terms of post-season awards, with four of its 11 members, as well as head coach Red Nu, honored by the USA South. Of the players, Rummel finished second team all-conference. Land was third team while Brown and Massey were each honorable mention selections. Unfortunately, all be Land will be gone next year. The Hornets were also co-champs in their division of the USA South with a 12-4 mark. 

Despite that, however, the team finished just 21-9 overall. Shenandoah did not go dancing as many had predicted this season. Instead, the Hornets made their first-ever PIT appearance, playing three straight road games before falling to Roanoke out of the hated ODAC. The Hornets' wins in rounds 1 and 2 were among the most lopsided games recorded in the Season 62 slate. 

But now what? Nu must replace four players and the expectation is for the Hornets to backslide, but by how much? The team still returns leading scorer Mark Nusbaum next year, as well as all-conference third-teamer Daniel Land. Nu will need to go searching for at least one big to replace the Rummel-Massey combo being lost to graduation, but beyond that, who knows. Twenty-win seasons aren't common in WInchester. The question is whether the Hornets have arrived enough to make such things more common around campus. 
11/12/2011 10:53 PM
Season 63 lookahead

Statistical leaders eligible to return to the USA South for Season 63.

1. James Zermeno, Greensboro 15.1 ppg
2. Calvin Hogue, Greensboro 15.0
3. Justin Carter, Oglethorpe 14.8
4. Bruce Johnson, Chowan 14.6
5. Nathan Mable, Oglethorpe 13.5

1. John Zoss, Ferrum 8.8 rpg
2. Virgil Thompson, Averett 8.5
3. Daniel Land, Shenandoah 7.7
4. Calvin Hogue, Greensboro 7.5
5. Larry Berg, Palm Beach Atlantic 7.3

1. Allen Coronado, Chowan 5.2 apg
2. Robert Falls, Averett 4.5
3. Craig Elliott, Greensboro 4.1
4. Paul Carroll, Oglethorpe 3.7
5. Robert Lemieux, Piedmont 3.3

1. James Zermeno, Greensboro 1.9 spg
2. Rufus Bryan, Palm Beach Atlantic 1.6
3. Charles Davis, Shenandoah 1.5
4. Nathan Mable, Oglethorpe 1.5
5. William Lee, Palm Beach Atlantic 1.5
11/14/2011 3:35 PM
THE HORNETS' NEST -- Season 63

Hornet basketball enters the year just outside the top 25. Shenandoah appears on the list of other teams receiving votes, holding the No. 31 position. The team boasts the No. 15 defensive lineup in the country according to the early season skill rankings. Needless to say, expectations are again high around Winchester.

Four new names have been added to the roster for Season 63, so let's meet the new faced on a recruiting class rumored to have ranked No. 35 in the nation.

-- Robert Lachapelle comes to the program from Connecticut and should evolve into an upper 50s/low 70s Ath/Spd guard. Whether that role is PG or SG will depend on how far his high-high potential on the perimeter grows from its current ghastly 17 rating. With a stamina destined for the 90s by graduation, I'm hoping Lachapelle becomes good at whatever role he takes with the team as he will be capable of eating a lot of minutes by graduation.

-- Joseph McBride transfers to Shenandoah from Central Washington. After a multi-state search turned up no shooting guard prospects that looked certain, the Hornets dipped into the transfer ranks. McBride is a sharpshooter with an 80 Per and will be a true sophomore with the program. Although there will be a learning curve, expect to see McBride coming off the bench to chuck up a few shots from behind the arc and give defenses an exterior threat to ponder.

-- John Anderson or "Neo" as his teammates have named him looks to be a good fit for a motion offense power forward. Looked at as a D2 player, Anderson's grades dissuaded the bigger schools and landed him with a Winchester program with a proven track record of success in the classroom. His LP game could go 80+ before all is finished, which combined with an Ath/Spd 50/40 split should provide some scoring punch. He's also high potential in passing, which will grow that category into the 40s.

-- Mickey Ritter is another post player plucked from the Pennsylvania Christian prep school ranks. Fans wanting to see Ritter play this year had best attend the Hornets' exhibition games, because it is almost a sure deal the freshman will be slapped with a redshirt this year. He's a project that needs a year to develop his athleticism and defense to the levels expected of a Hornet PF/C sort of player. Once there though, Ritter's rebounding and low post ability should have him right at home in the paint. Coaches were also attracted to the high upside in Ritter's perimeter shooting and ball handling, explaining his place on the roster.

Schedule-wise, some idiot slapped three consecutive games against ranked teams on the front end of the schedule, so don't be surprised if the wheels start a little slow around Winchester. By the end of non-con, the Hornets should be sitting near .500 -- anything better is a very good sign -- and then it is into a brutal USA South slate where six teams in addition to the Hornets received mention in the polls. There's national tournament talent here, but as we saw last season, that doesn't necessarily equate to a national tournament appearance. Get ready to go to war, Hornet fans -- it's going to be one of those seasons!
11/22/2011 11:42 AM
Hornets' Nest, Season 63 wrap

For the first time in school history, the Shenandoah Hornets were celebrating a national tournament victory. The glorious moment came in a 97-65 thrashing of 26-1 Lawrence in the opening round. The celebration proved to be short-lived as the Hornets were beaten at their own game and run off the floor 90-79 by Drew in the second round. Ironically, it was the same Drew program that ended Coach Red Nu's only other national tournament trek with the Hornets. Nevertheless, Shenandoah celebrates the first back-to-back 20-win seasons in school history, despite finishing the regular season with the toughest strength of schedule in the nation. The Season 63 team also celebrates the highest RPI finish in school history by a longshot. 

But here's the best part, Hornet fans -- as good as this year's team was, next year's should be even better. That's right, 11 of 12 players are back for next year in Winchester. The Hornets only concern is replacing big man Daniel Land, who averaged 9.7 points and 7.6 rebounds per contest. Land has been a fixture in the Hornets' starting lineup since his sophomore season and finishes No. 3 in career rebounds, No. 5 in career shooting percentage and No. 8 in career blocked shots. It's not a small hole to fill, but it is the only one. 

Meanwhile, coming back are the members of a junior class that may not have been ranked as one of the top recruiting classes three years ago, but which certainly has grown to pack a punch on the hardwood. Charles Davis (9.3 ppg) will start next year just 44 steals away from taking over the career lead for the Hornets. Considering he's never had fewer than 41 in a season, there's a good chance he'll get there. David Simmons (8.3 ppg, 7.6 rpg) stepped up huge in his first full season as a starter. Sophomore Dennis Frisch (11.5 ppg, 3.7 rpg) also had a big year as a mostly fulltime starter as he paid dividends for his redshirt two seasons ago. All three were all-conference honorable mention. Stiffed by the post-season committee was two-year scoring leader Mark Nusbaum, who built on his sophomore success to average 12.3 ppg this season. 

Buy your season tickets now, Hornet fans! Space in the gym might be extremely limited come next year. 
12/11/2011 10:34 PM
Season 64 lookahead

Stat leaders eligible to return to the USA South next season

1. Bruce Johnson, Chowan 17.0 ppg
2. Tyrone Urbano, Piedmont 14.6
3. Alonzo Dixon, Piedmont 14.1
4. Scott Potts, Methodist 13.3
5. Phillip Natale, Greensboro 12.9

1. Scott Harris, Chowan 8.6 rpg
2. Larry Berg, Palm Beach Atlantic 8.4
3. David Simmons, Shenandoah 7.6
4. Joshua Boutin, Oglethorpe 7.3
5. Frank Carbonell, Averett 6.9

1. Craig Elliott, Greensboro 6.9 apg
2. Steven Brunton, Piedmont 3.1
3. Kelvin Gould, Christopher Newport 3.0
4. Wilbert Gabbert, Oglethorpe 2.9
5. Robert Lemieux, Piedmont 2.9
Note: James Lynde, Piedmont, also averaged 2.9 apg.

1. Dennis Frisch, Shenandoah 1.8 spg
2. Mark Nusbaum, Shenandoah 1.7
3. Charles Davis, Shenandoah 1.6
4. Charles Browning, Palm Beach Atlantic 1.5
5. Timothy Shackelford, Methodist 1.5
12/13/2011 11:42 AM
HORNETS' NEST -- Season 64 preview

The Shenandoah Hornets begin the season ranked No. 9 according to the preseason voters. After winning the first national tournament game in school history last season, the focus this year is on returning and going even deeper into the dance and once again returning to above that 20-win plateau. 

The Hornets had just one space to fill on the roster in the off-season and that scholarship went to Eugene McCathern -- an in-state post product from Grundy who should gain to over 600 over the span of his career. The question will be whether to redshirt McCathern this year to build his stamina, or allow him to play, where his rebounding number alone should provide the Hornets with a quality 8-10 mpg off the bench. 

As for what comes back, do we really need to introduce them to you? The Season 64 Hornets will be all about pressure. The team features the top 3 returners in steals. Charles Davis should make a run for ownership of the career lead in the category and will finish high on the all-time chart even if his teammates steal too many basketballs for him to get there. Mark Nusbaum should break onto Shenandoah's all-time scoring chart this season and finish somewhere in the top 10 by year's end. 

In the unit rankings, Shenandoah has been tabbed as the No. 23 team for athleticism, No. 12 for team speed, No. 9 in defense, No. 22 in ball handling and No. 13 in overall rating. Hopefully, that all looks as good on a court as it does on paper since a non-conference game against preseason No. 1 Emory lurks on the schedule. This will, obviously, be a pinnacle season for the Hornets, so the goal will be to make the best impression possible so that when the time comes to reload in recruiting, Winchester will look to be a popular place for this year's high school seniors. 
12/24/2011 1:28 PM
THE HORNETS' NEST -- Season 64 wrap

The most successful season in Shenandoah history is now in the books. The Hornets finished with a 28-4 record, having advanced to the national tournament's Sweet 16 before bowing out to nearby Lynchburg, who was at least kind enough to leave some of the local product behind for drowning the coaching staff's sorrows. The Hornets finished the year with the No. 7 ranking in the national polls. 

A senior class that won a school-record 81 games over the course of its four years in the program leaves behind a host of legacy for others to aspire to. First-team all-USA South selection Mark Nusbaum finishes his Hornet career fifth on the school's all-time scoring chart. With 1,249 points, Nusbaum scored more than any Shenandoah player in the last half-century on the hardwood, not bad for someone who was expected to provide "bench depth and an occasional spot start" when he was written about as an incoming freshman. Just goes to show what the pundits know. Teammate and third-team all-conference selection Charles Davis ends his four-year career 12th on the school's career scoring chart. That pair also factors prominently in the school's all-time steals department, where Davis graduates as the best ball-thief in school history with 191 career takeaways. Nusbaum graduates fourth on the charts. 

The question is whether Davis' name remains atop the career steals chart for very long. Returning second-team all-conference selection Dennis Fritsch is already 15th on the career steals list, needing just 55 to tie Davis for the record. Frisch had exactly 55 steals this season after netting 53 as a sophomore. David Simmons, another first-team USA South selection for conference coach of the year Red Nu, ends with the No. 6 spot on the school's career rebounding chart and the No. 10 position for career blocked shots. 

Senior Chad Harris and freshman Mickey Ritter were both named all-conference honorable mention selections. Ritter was also the conference's freshman of the year. 

Parting is such sweet sorrow, and for the members of this senior class at Shenandoah, it shall indeed be so. The question now is whether Nu can ride this wave of Hornet enthusiasm while out on the recruiting trail this spring. The cupboard isn't completely empty around Winchester, either. Frisch will be back and could be a 700+ rating when he does. Ritter will come back as a highly-watched sophomore and junior-to-be Theodore Fields, he from Gayville, S.D., might finally get his chance to step out of the shadows and showcase his ability without a stable of senior guards ahead of him in the rotation. Fields will be rated 600+ when Season 65 begins. 

Enjoy the sweet taste of success from this season, Hornet fans, and we look forward to seeing you back in Winchester in Season 65. 
1/15/2012 12:34 PM
Season 65 lookahead

The top players eligible to return to the USA South by stat category.

1. Tony Barnes, Averett 14.8 ppg
2. Kenneth Hampton, Chowan 13.4
3. Eddie Powell, Greensboro 13.2
4. William Lee, Palm Beach Atlantic 12.7
5. Anthony Smith, Oglethorpe 12.4

1. Brendan Zahniser, Averett 9.0 rpg
2. Joshua Boutin, Oglethorpe 8.3
3. Jayson Hardy, Greensboro 8.0
4. Luther Arce, Christopher Newport 8.0
5. Wayne Wilson, Chowan 7.7

1. Eddie Williams, Chowan 6.4 apg
2. Dennis Frisch, Shenandoah 5.3
3. Steven Brunton, Piedmont 4.8
4. Wilbert Gabbert, Oglethorpe 3.9
5. Timothy Schackelford, Methodist 3.1

1. Dennis Frisch, Shenandoah 1.7 spg
2. William Lee, Palm Beach Atlantic 1.7
3. Anthony Smith, Oglethorpe 1.6
4. John Corso, Ferrum 1.5
5. Donald Miller, Methodist 1.5
1/16/2012 3:43 PM
THE HORNETS' NEST -- Season 65 preview

The new era begins in WInchester. The most successful senior class ever at Shenandoah has moved on after posting the most successful season in the history of Shenandoah. The question now is whether Red Nu can produce another 20-win season without those bodies on campus. 

The Hornets begin this season, once again, with one of the most athletic (#25) and defensively inclined (#14) teams in the nation. Dennis Frisch was named a second-team Preseason All American, another first for Nu's tenure in town. Frisch will certainly be leaned on to take on an even greater leadership role than he did last year, when he burst on the scene as a point guard, posting his second straight season of averaging 11+ points per game. Frisch is also on the prowl for the school record in career steals. Theodore Fields and Joseph McBride will have to step up and produce more in support for Frisch, who will certainly miss the plethora of weapons he dished the ball off to a season ago. 

There are five new faces in town this season to take the place of the departed graduates. Many eyes will look to this group and the shoes that were left for them to fill are significant: 

-- George Dixon will grow into a post role for the Hornets. His offensive game won't bloom much, but he has high rebounding and shot block potential and the defense will rise to lockdown standards. Outside of that, the Hornets believe he has good court vision for a big man and should be able to distribute the ball well by the time he graduates. Like others before him, Dixon was a D2 wannabe who didn't make the test scores and opted to enroll in the Hornets' academically superior wine-tasting school to earn his education. 

-- Richard Pursel was getting a lot of attention from Centre before opting to become a Hornet. It might take a season for Pursel's athleticism to hit a level where his rebounding and shot blocking -- both of which could end up in the 90s -- really start to show up on the floor, but the coaching staff is committed to giving Pursel at least 10 minutes per game this season in an effort to see it develop. Pursel's low post game won't grow much, but he has a high-potential jump shot that could make life interesting if it grows significantly. 

-- James Lehner arrives in town from Albuquerque, a familiar stomping ground for Nu in the off-season. With high potential in the low post, on the perimeter and in defense, it is hoped Lehner develops into a force at the small forward slot rather than fizzling like some previous impact SF wannabes seem to have done in Nu's motion scheme. At worst, he should be a 7 point per game senior in the motion. At best, he'll turn into the sort of flex player that can line up in a number of positions and make life interesting for opponents. 

-- Hugh Veras will redshirt this season, meaning the Hornets will use an 11-man rotation throughout the season. Veras had a host of low high-potential categories, but kept his high-high in perimeter shooting, which should allow him to become a critical contributor after a redshirt year. We'll do everything we can to spike that perimeter number this year so that he can step in as an SG next year if needed.  

-- Roger Smith arrives all the way from Alaska as this year's class held a decidedly western flavor to it. Smith will be a PG mainly as his speed could enter the 80s or higher. With high potentials in both low post and perimeter, he could blossom into an amazing threat with the rock. At the very least, his speed will hopefully draw some contact from time to time. 

Overall, the recruiting class ranked #12 according to the news stand magazines. The Hornets were one of 15 additional teams to receive votes in the preseason top 25 poll and begin the year as the No. 40 team in the country.

Fans ought not expect another top-10 finish or a trip to the Sweet 16 and 28 wins. This is a reloading season in the program. That said, this should not be a return to the .500 seasons or worse of a few years back. After three consecutive 20-win seasons, Nu's program looks to be established now. The team might not get to that 20-win plateau this year, but if the stars align, a serious run at 20 wins could be made. If that comes to pass, then also expect the Hornets to be suiting up in some sort of tournament after the conference postseason for the fourth consecutive year. 
1/27/2012 1:18 AM
THE HORNETS' NEST -- Season 65 wrap

The defining moment of Shenandoah's 65th season on the hardwood came five minutes into its game at Brandeis in the third game of the season. Pre-season second-team All American Dennis Frisch fell to the court in pain and was diagnosed with a torn hamstring. He would miss the next seven games, costing him any shot at postseason All-American honors [Edit: Oops, despite not meeting the 80% of games threshold to appear in the national stats, he apparently was eligible for national awards and was named a second team All-American] and sending the Hornets into a tailspin that saw them go 4-6 in the non-conference.

Frisch returned for the start of conference play and Shenandoah quickly regained life. The Hornets busted off a 12-4 conference campaign that surpassed preseason expectations. Frisch was named the conference player of the year and conference defensive player of the year after averaging 18.2 points per game for the season and accounting for nearly 2.5 steals per contest. Frisch ends his Hornet career as the co-leader in career steals, matching three-year teammate Charles Davis with 191 career takeaways. Think of where he could have been without missing, in essence, eight games during his senior year. Frisch was also the No. 5 scorer in school history and No. 12 assist distributor in Hornet history. It is an understatement to say he'll be missed when Shenandoah takes the floor next year.

Also honored this season were "Neo" Anderson, a third-team all-conference pick after netting 8 points per game and Season 64 freshman of the year Mickey Ritter, who once again earned honorable mention status in the league. If you ask us, Roger Smith got shafted in the freshman of the year balloting after averaging 5.3 points per game and stepping in to start seven games in Frisch's absence.

Overall, the Hornets' streak of 20-win seasons is over after the team posted a 17-12 mark. The team's national tournament appearance streak continued, however, as the school received one of the final at-large bids to the Dance. Shenandoah fell 61-51 to No. 12 Emory in the opening round. Overall, it wasn't bad for a rebuilding year that saw the Hornets breaking in five freshmen. The team graduates Frisch and three-point shootist McBride, who never blossomed this season the way some hoped he would. Other than that, the team will return 10 bodies to uniform, which should mean that 17-12, once thought of as a favorable mark, should now represent the standard for what passes as a rebuilding year in these parts.
2/13/2012 8:14 PM (edited)
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