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2013-14 Men's Basketball Preview
Updated: Sunday 11/06/2013 (ET)
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WILLIAMSBURG, Va. - Excitement abounds for 2013-14 as the Tribe has a number of valued ingredients that could provide a recipe for success. The Green and Gold returns its top four scorers from last season and possesses a dynamic roster with a large group of veteran players complimented by an exciting mix of newcomers. W&M also returns 80 percent or more of nearly every significant statistic from a season ago.
Returning 10 letterwinners and four starters to go with the addition of an outstanding four-member freshman class, the Tribe jumped-started its 2013-14 campaign with an international trip in August. While the trip to the Dominican Republic included four games and an eight-day stay on a beach-front resort, the biggest value to head coach Tony Shaver and his team was the 10 practices and added time together during the trip.
The Dominican Republic trip demonstrated a trait of last season’s squad with an explosive Green and Gold offense. W&M posted a 3-1 mark with the lone loss coming to the D.R. Senior National Team, which is ranked No. 27 in the FIBA World Rankings and advanced to the semifinals of the FIBA Americas Championship to earn a spot in the Basketball World Cup. W&M averaged 76.8 points and 17.8 assists per game during the trip, while shooting 45.8 percent from the floor to go with an assist-to-turnover ratio of 1.3. That same Tribe offense led the CAA in 2012-13 in field goal percentage, 3-point shooting, and assists.
Highlighting the returners for the Green and Gold are a quartet of starters, including a pair of All-CAA players in junior Marcus Thornton and senior Tim Rusthoven. The duo is the first pair of returning all-league players for W&M since 1976, and this season will be just the third time in school history the Tribe has enjoyed this luxury. Senior Brandon Britt, who has 70 starts over his career, and fifth-year senior Kyle Gaillard, who started 28 of 30 games a season ago, add to the veteran mix.
Returning Starters GP/GS PPG RPG APG
3 Marcus Thornton Jr. 6-4 185 Upper Marlboro, Md. 30/30 18.8 2.8 2.8
12 Brandon Britt Sr. 6-2 200 Chesapeake, Va. 30/24 13.9 2.5 2.0
Returning Letterwinners GP/GS PPG RPG APG
2 Julian Boatner Sr. 6-2 185 Bloomington, Ind. 29/5 2.9 0.9 0.6
5 Ben Whitlatch Sr. 6-1 180 Bloomington, Ind. 2/0 0.5 0.0 0.0
0 Daniel Dixon Fr. 6-5 200 Great Falls, Va.        
11 Michael Schlotman Fr. 6-4 190 Munster, Ind.        

The Tribe returns one of the best backcourts in the CAA, welcoming back its top two scorers at the position. Senior Brandon Britt and junior Marcus Thornton represent one of league’s most dynamic guard duos after averaging nearly 33 combined points per game a season ago. Along with the two returning starters from 2012-13, the Tribe returns a significant veteran presence in senior Julian Boatner, who is among the top 3-point shooters in W&M history.
Thornton became third W&M player to be named first-team NABC All-District along with garnering second-team All-CAA and VaSID All-State honors. A pure scorer, he owns the nation’s 11th-best scoring average among returning players for 2013-14 at 18.8 points per game. His 565 total points a season ago were a W&M sophomore record and the ninth-most in program annals. He closed out 2012-13, scoring 10 or more points in 32 straight games, which is the longest current streak in the country.
Thornton was one of the top 3-point shooters in the country last year, ranking among the top-20 in both 3-pointers made per game and percentage. Along with his scoring capabilities, which included an 82.7 percent clip from the charity stripe, he also demonstrated the ability to be a combo guard with skills at the point position. He ranked among the CAA leaders and is among the top five returners in the league in assists per game, averaging 2.8 per contest a season ago.
Bitt, like Thornton, can also be a combo threat as a creator and scorer. He possesses ultra-quick speed and really excels in transition. Last season, he averaged nearly 14 points per game and demonstrated an improved ability to shoot from long-range. He connected on a career-high 37.6 percent from beyond the arc, including an incredible 61.1 percent over the final eight games of 2013.
In the Tribe’s final game of last March, Britt became the 34th player at W&M and eighth under head coach Tony Shaver to score 1,000 points over his career. A veteran player with 90 career appearances, he has averaged nearly two assists per game during his career.
Boatner gives the Tribe another elite-level 3-point shooter. He possesses a high basketball IQ and understands the intricacies of the W&M system.  Over his career, the 6-2 guard has shot better than 40 percent from long-range in two of his three seasons. Last year, he was a 44.9-percent 3-point shooter and ranked among the top-10 in program history in 3-point percentage. Through his first three seasons, Boatner also has 114 career 3-pointers, which ranks 15th in W&M history.
Senior walk-on Ben Whitlatch adds another veteran presence to the Tribe backcourt. The 6-1 guard is a blue-collar player, who brings it every day in practice. He couples a strong understanding of the Tribe offense with a high-level shooting ability from deep. Whitlatch demonstrated his ability to shoot the ball, knocking down a pair of triples against Old Dominion in 2012.
Complimenting the strong group are a pair of rookies in Michael Schlotman and Daniel Dixon. Schlotman provides W&M with a pure point guard and a player who knows how to win. Over his three years as the starting point guard for Munster High School in Indiana, he led his team to a 67-6 overall record. A first-team all-state selection and an Indiana All-Star choice, Schlotman ranked second on the Tribe in assists (11) during its trip to the Dominican Republic. He led W&M with six assists in its victory over the La Romana Pro Select Team to close out the trip.
Dixon comes to the Tribe as a freshman more mentally and physically developed than a typical first-year player. After a standout career at Langley High School in Northern Virginia, the 6-5 shooting guard spent a postgraduate season at Fishburne Military School, where he played with nine Division I recruits. Despite having his season cut short due to an injury, Dixon averaged 8.7 points, 2.6 rebounds, and 2.1 assists per game. A long, rangy player, his size and physical prowess provide the tools to make him an elite defender. Dixon also has a diverse offensive game and can shoot the ball from beyond the arc at a high level.
Returning Starters GP/GS PPG RPG APG
Returning Letterwinners GP/GS PPG RPG APG
25 Terry Tarpey So. 6-5 200 Stamford, Conn. 30/3 2.7 3.7 1.2
0  Daniel Dixon Fr. 6-5 200 Great Falls, Va.        
4 Omar Prewitt Fr. 6-6 180 Mount Sterling, Ky.        

Based on its depth, the Tribe has the ability to play a three-guard lineup or a large lineup with some added size. The Green and Gold have traditionally started a wing player at the 3 position and the 2013-14 roster affords the Tribe a pair of talented young options. Sophomore Terry Tarpey returns to the fold after being one of W&M’s top reserves a season ago, while freshman Omar Prewitt joins the team with exceptional prep credentials.
Last season, Tarpey started three games and appeared all 30 contests, averaging 15 minutes of court. One of the Tribe’s top rebounders, he averaged 3.7 boards per game last season. Like a number of Green and Gold players, Tarpey excels in transition both as a scorer and a creator where he can help start the break. He also gives W&M another great defensive option given his athleticism.
While Tarpey enjoyed a number of quality performances as a freshman, he really stood out during the Tribe’s trip to the Dominican Republic. As the starter in all four games at the wing position, Tarpey led the Tribe in rebounding (7.3 per game) and assists per game (3.0). He turned in a double-double performance with 10 points and 10 rebounds in the win over the La Romana Pro Select Team, while adding a seven-point, eight-rebound effort in the victory over the Dominican Republic U17 National Team. Along with leading the team in assists, Tarpey enjoyed an exceptional assist-to-turnover ratio of 4.0.
Prewitt dons the Green and Gold after a standout high school career in Kentucky, and he showed flashes of his talents during the program’s trip to the Dominican Republic. One of five finalists for Mr. Basketball in the state of Kentucky, he is a versatile scorer who shoots the ball at an elite level from long-range. Prewitt has the size and intelligence to play multiple positions within the Green and Gold system.
Prewitt averaged better than 23 points per game as a senior and graduated from Montgomery County as the program’s all-time leader in scoring, rebounding, 3-point shooting, and blocked shots. During the Green and Gold’s trip to the Dominican Republic, he was limited to just two games due to a minor injury, but in the opener against the La Romana Pro Select Team, he finished with nine points and a team-high 11 rebounds.
While Tarpey and Prewitt are the Tribe’s primary options at the wing position, the Green and Gold have the ability to go a number of directions with its lineup given its exceptional depth. During the 2012-13 campaign, W&M played a number of three-guard sets and will have that added ability given combo guard abilities of Thornton, Boatner and Britt. Given his size and physical tools, Dixon can slide over and fit into the wing position nicely as well.
Returning Starters GP/GS PPG RPG APG
22 Tim Rushoven Sr. 6-9 235 Winfield, Ill. 30/29 14.4 7.0 2.0
23 Kyle Gaillard 5th Yr. Sr. 6-8 220 Huntersville, N.C. 30/28 8.5 5.3 2.1
Returning Letterwinners GP/GS PPG RPG APG
24 Fred Heldring Sr. 6-9 245 Winnetka, Ill. 29/0 1.0 1.7 0.6
25 Terry Tarpey So. 6-5 200 Stamford, Conn. 30/3 2.7 3.7 1.2
31 Sean Sheldon So. 6-9 245 Traverse City, Mich. 17/0 0.5 0.8 0.2
43 Tom Schalk Jr. 6-8 220 Burnsville, Minn. 2/0 0.5 0.0 0.0
4 Omar Prewitt Fr. 6-6 180 Mount Sterling, Ky.        
41 Jack Whitman Fr. 6-9 225 Lexington, Ky.        

Like the guard position, the Tribe returns two starters in the post, but the Green and Gold welcome back its full compliment of reserves as well. Senior Tim Rusthoven headlines the group given his All-CAA status from a season ago, but fifth-year senior Kyle Gaillard, who started 28 of 30 games last season, gives the Tribe veteran athletic talent. Senior Fred Heldring and junior Tom Schalk both return after seeing significant minutes as key reserves throughout their careers. The position also includes an influx of young talent that further deepens the spot with sophomore Sean Sheldon and freshman Jack Whitman.
One of the top returning big-men in the CAA, Rusthoven was one of only three players in the league to ranked among the top 11 in scoring and rebounding. While he doesn’t possess the athleticism of his counterparts, the 6-9, 235-pounder makes up for it in toughness, skill and basketball IQ. He ranked among the national leaders in field goal percentage in 2012-13, leading the CAA at 56 percent shooting.
One of the most consistent players on the Green and Gold roster, Rusthoven scored double-digits points in 26 of the Tribe’s 30 contests, while pulling down five or more rebounds in 23 games. The Wheaton, Ill., native tallied five double-doubles in 2012-13, all in CAA play, which marked the most for a W&M player since 2004-05 and the sixth-most in the CAA. He scored 20-plus points on five occasions, including a career-high 25 at regular-season champion Northeastern in January of 2013. Rusthoven produced the best single-game rebounding performance for a W&M player since 1996 with 16 in a February victory over Hofstra.
Gaillard is the only remaining player on the Green and Gold roster from its 2010 National Invitational appearance. The most experienced Tribe player with 95 games of action, he possesses a unique combination of athleticism and skill. Gaillard finds a way to contribute in multiple facets of the game and is match-up nightmare. Last season, he produced two games with a 100 percent field goal percentage, including a 16-point, 7-of-7 effort at Richmond. As a sophomore in 2011, Gaillard scored a career-high 25 points against nationally renowned North Carolina and a trio of NBA top-20 picks. He averaged nearly nine points per game as one of the Tribe’s secondary scoring threats a season ago and ranked among the top-40 nationally according to in effective field goal percentage.
One of the top returning rebounders in the CAA, Gaillard pulled down nearly six boards per game last season. The 2012-13 CAA Scholar-Athlete of the Year, he is also a good defender. Against the Big South Freshman of the Year and former top-100 recruit, Gaillard limited High Point’s John Brown to just seven points on 2-of-9 shooting and just three rebounds for a player that entered the contest with W&M averaging 25 points and 7.5 rebounds per game. The Tribe senior also had a nice defensive effort against the CAA Player of the Year a season ago. He limited Towson’s Jerrelle Benimon to a 1-of-8 shooting performance in the second half as the mid-major All-American finished with just 12 points and six rebounds in a Tribe victory. Benimon ended last season averaging a double-double at better than 17 points and 11 rebounds per game.
Heldring gives the Tribe another experienced option, who has played in big moments and big environments. He has been a fixture in the Green and Gold rotation throughout his career, playing in 80 games with four starts. A physical presences and standout defender on the interior, Heldring is not known for his offensive game, but can score in a variety of ways around the hoop and can step out to knock down the open jumper.
Schalk provides even more depth at the forward slot. Over his career, he has appeared in 54 games with five starts. An energy player who provides an instant impact the Tribe, Schalk demonstrated his capability as a key reserve on the program’s trip to the Dominican Republic. He averaged five points and 4.3 rebounds, but the overall team boost he added was invaluable. He scored seven points in the Tribe’s lone setback of the trip to the D.R. Senior National Team, while turning in an impressive all-around game with five points, eight rebounds, and five assists against the La Romana Pro Select Team in the finale.
While the Green and Gold has four upperclassmen forwards, including three seniors, it also has a pair of exciting underclassmen. Sheldon appeared in 17 games as a freshman while learning the ropes from Rusthoven and Heldring. He is a high-motor, energy player that looks to outwork the opposition with his effort and athleticism. Sheldon is relentless on both ends of the court and excels in running the floor on the break. During the Tribe’s trip to the Dominican Republic, he averaged three points and 2.5 rebounds in 11 minutes per game. In the finale for the Tribe, Sheldon scored 10 points and pulled down five rebounds in a victory over the La Romana Pro Select Team.
Whitman joins the Tribe’s frontcourt after a stellar prep career at Lexington Catholic in Kentucky. A three-star recruit by, he was a first-team all-state selection as a junior and a senior, before earning Kentucky All-Star honors along with classmate Prewitt. He averaged a double-double each of his final two seasons at Lexington Catholic, and during the summer of 2012 led the Nike EYBL in rebounding at the Minneapolis event. Whitman runs the floor well for a bigman and adds athleticism to the position. During the Tribe’s Dominican Republic trip, he showed his potential with six points and three rebounds against the Dominican Republic Senior National Team.

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