October 5, 2012 in NAIA
At a glance
- Coach: Burt Paddock, fifth season
- Last year: 32-5, 16-2 WHAC
- Conference: Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference (WHAC)
- Key losses: James Nelson, Lonnie Fairfax, Damacious White, Ben Herrema, James Humphrey
- Key additions: Derek Brooks (Grand Rapids Community College transfer), Mike Betcher (Goshen College transfer), Ryan Dame (Grace Bible transfer), Sean Hill (Malcolm X C.C. transfer), Thomas Drew (Neosho Co. C.C. transfer), Dominez Burnett (freshman from Flint Northwestern), Juwan Loudermill (freshman from Muskegon), Kevin Rich (freshman from Northview), Kyle Stidom (freshman from Indianapolis), Tre Tigner (freshman from Detroit Consortium)
- Team roster
- Team website
- Davenport news on BallinMichigan
Although Davenport loses some key players from last season’s WHAC champions, the Panthers are primed to make another run at a national title thanks to some strong returning talent, a great recruiting class and impact transfers.
Davenport loses two All-Americans from last year’s team in Nelson and Humphrey, but the good news? They get one back. Javontae Ford, a junior, was second on the team in scoring at 14.6 points per game and fourth on the team in rebounding at 4.6 per game. Ford led the team in 3-point shooting, knocking down 43 percent of his shots from the perimeter, and he shot 48 percent from the field overall. That’s not a bad starting point for a team that has to replace four starters.
The good thing for Paddock is that his incoming class gives him many options. He has experienced players from solid JUCO programs in Brooks, Hill and Drew and he has several highly regarded freshmen who could push for minutes immediately.
The team also returns 6-foot-7 forward DeArmond Davis, who shot 56 percent from the field and averaged 4.7 rebounds per game last season off the bench. Returning senior guard Gabe Vanderjagt provides 3-point shooting off the bench.
Although the two departing All-Americans, Humphrey and Nelson, certainly leave a void, so do fellow starters Fairfax and White. Fairfax averaged six assists per game, took good care of the basketball and shot 48 percent from the field. White hit 42 percent of his 3-pointers and tied with Humphrey for the team lead in offensive rebounds. Humphrey and Nelson were the top rebounders on the team and Humphrey blocked nearly two shots per game.
All of those players were significant parts of the team’s success and Davenport will quickly need to find capable replacements in those roles.
Circle these dates …
- Oct. 30 – Davenport gets to test itself against a Division I opponent, Oakland University.
- Nov. 20 and Jan. 26 – Cornerstone gave Davenport one of its two league losses last season. The two meetings this year will be key in deciding who wins the WHAC title.
- Jan. 12 and Feb. 16 – See above. Indiana Tech beat Davenport once last season, and should once again be one of the teams in play for that league championship.
Despite the talent Davenport loses, until another team proves otherwise, the Panthers are the class of the WHAC. Whoever comes out of this conference has a good chance at making a run at the national title.
- 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
- Bolstered by strong recruiting class, University of Michigan-Dearborn looking to escape WHAC cellar
- First-year coach hopes to help Concordia build on .500 WHAC finish
- Aquinas must replace a couple key players after solid season
- Madonna returns an All-American in its quest for WHAC title
- Cornerstone looks to overtake Davenport in the standings