WESTMINSTER, Md. – In Kevin Curley's four years at the helm of the McDaniel men's basketball team, he has preached defense first. In each of those first four years, the Green Terror has finished in the top four in the Centennial Conference (CC) in scoring defense.
Last season, his squad upped its game at the defensive end, holding teams to a CC-low 58.9 points per game, which was also 11th in all of Division III.
However, McDaniel finished eighth in the 10-team conference in scoring offense at 60.7 points per game, scoring 62 or fewer points in 14 of the 26 games a season ago.
Defense is still on Curley's mind as the 2011-12 season opens with the Pride of Maryland tournament. However, he is optimistic that he can get more points from a more veteran team.
Devon Lesniak (Westminster, Md./Winters Mill) leads a six-member senior class, earning a second-team all-conference spot after averaging a team-best 14.7 points per game.
Seniors Cullen Murray-Kemp (Trappe, Md./Easton), Louis Sarris-Grau (Huntingdon Valley, Pa./Lower Moreland) and Marcus Dyson (Scotch Plains, N.J./Union Catholic) and sophomore Evan Pupelis (Manhasset, N.Y./Manhasset) round out a quartet of players who all averaged more than five points and will join Lesniak as the key returners.
Seniors Woody Butler (Smithsburg, Md./Middletown) and Mitch Belella (Smithsburg, St. Maria Goretti) as well as juniors Tyler Rudd (Glen Burnie, Md./Glen Burnie) and Christopher Cowles (West Chester, Pa./Bayard Rustin) played significant roles at points last year and will look to reprise those roles as the season opens at Frostburg.
A group of freshman – all of who could make a near-immediate impact – coupled with a veteran group that returns 11 of the 12 from last year's conference playoff run could translate into even more success this season.
Click play below to watch and listen to Coach Curley preview the upcoming season.