Bobcats seek improvement
Published in Sports on November 17, 2004 1:56 PM
When the Carolinas-Virginia Athletics Conference expanded to 11 schools in 1995-96, Lees-McRae finished seventh in the men's basketball conference standings and won seven conference games. Over the next eight seasons, the Bobcats won as many as seven games only once and never finished in the top eight again.
Lees-McRae is picked ninth in this year's CVAC preseason men's basketball coaches poll, meaning the Bobcats are expected to finish out of the top eight for the ninth consecutive year. But Lees-McRae might have a few surprises in store for 2004-05.
Lees-McRae returns all five starters from last year's squad, which posted an overall record of 10-18 and a 6-14 mark in the CVAC. Seven of the Bobcats' losses last season were by less than four points, including three decided in overtime. Lees-McRae took Elite Eight participant Pfeiffer down to the wire before falling 111-104.
Sophomore guard Aaron Dugger (6-5) was last year's CVAC Freshman of the Year and ranked seventh in the conference in scoring with 16.4 points per game. Junior Tyreek Ramseur (6-6) ranked eighth in scoring (15.5 ppg) and fifth in rebounding with 7.1 boards per game. His 88.3 free throw percentage was the third-highest in the conference. Senior Antwon Brown (6-6) ranked sixth in the CVAC in assists and fifth in steals.
Lees-McRae also returns senior Shawn Zellers (6-4) and junior Jeff McGowan (6-3). Top newcomers include junior college transfer Mike Fox (6-4) and freshman Eli Henson (6-3).
As a team, Lees-McRae ranked fourth in the CVAC in scoring and second in offensive rebounds, second chance points and steals.
"We know we can score with anybody in the league, the key is how good we can defend and (how we) mature as the season goes on," said sixth-year head coach Randy Unger. "I really feel that this team is going to be hard to play against and I am really looking forward to this upcoming season."
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