2012-13 NAIA Basketball Preview: Bolstered by strong recruiting class, University of Michigan-Dearborn looking to escape WHAC cellar
October 3, 2012 in NAIA
At a glance
- Coach: John Mackson, second season
- Last year: 3-27, 2-16 WHAC
- Conference: Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference (WHAC)
- Key losses: Graham Nash, Eddie Johnson, Doug Sharples
- Key additions: Marcus Tillmon-Cornett (Northern Michigan transfer), De’Angelo Solomon (JUCO transfer from Henry Ford Community College), Jordan Jefferson (Alabama State transfer), Eric Murphy (freshman from Southfield Bradford), Marcquise Morgan (Alpena Community College transfer), Nadis Ahmic (freshman from Hamtramck), Patrick Hebda (freshman from Trenton), Drew McGuire (freshman from Warren Cousino)
- Team roster
- Team website
- UM-Dearborn news on BallinMichigan
The University of Michigan-Dearborn basketball team struggled last season. But the good news? They return an experienced roster, including the team’s leading scorer, and an influx of impact transfers and freshmen make the team good bet to move up in the WHAC standings.
The team brings back a significant portion of its offense. Leading scorer Julius Porter, a senior, averaged 14.6 points per game and Jamel Strickland, a sophomore, was the top freshman scorer in the league last season, averaging 7.6 points per game.
They’ll be joined by an impressive recruiting class. Here’s what MLive’s Steve Bell wrote about incoming freshman Murphy:
This is a breakthrough recruit for second-year coach John Mackson. Murphy had GLIAC interest and even U-D sniffing around at one point. He’s a versatile wing forward who gives Dearborn the chance to be the rare WHAC team with someone to match up athletically with what Davenport is rolling out there.
Add to that potential impact transfers Tillmon-Cornett, Solomon, Jefferson and Morgan (Note: Jefferson and Morgan won’t be eligible until January), and UM-Dearborn should put a team on the floor that is athletic, experienced and has depth.
UM-Dearborn has to get better on the road (they were 0-15 last season) and the team can’t get off to as poor a start as they did last season. The Wolves lost seven straight to open the season and were winless in December and January.
Unfortunately, their schedule makes that tough — they have two scrimmages against Division I opponents, two games against Division II opponents and several non-league games against quality teams. With Lawrence Tech and Marygrove added to the WHAC, it should make the conference schedule just a bit easier, but getting off to a better start will be imperative.
Circle these dates …
- Nov. 2 – UM-Dearborn takes on Division I Eastern Michigan in a scrimmage.
- Nov. 12 – The Wolves travel to take on Division II Grand Valley State.
- Jan. 2 – As Bell pointed out, Davenport is the most athletic team in the WHAC. UM-Dearborn hosts them Jan. 2 and tries to avenge 42- and 31-point losses last season.
- Jan. 3 – On the day after that conference showdown, the Wolves get to travel to Mt. Pleasant to take on their second Division I opponent, Central Michigan.
A ‘worst-to-first’ type turnaround is probably out of the question considering the talent at the top of the league, but UM-Dearborn should definitely be one of the most improve teams in the WHAC and competitive with several teams in the middle-tier of the standings.
- Lawrence Tech Blue Devils prepare for reboot
- Marygrove makes move to Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference
- Siena Heights tries to turn around fortunes with new coach