slides: Bryant Basketball 2015-16 Season Preview
Thursday, November 12, 2015
Bryant University Men's basketball team tips off their 2015-16 season on Saturday night, November 14th against the defending national champion Duke Blue Devils at Cameron Indoor Stadium. This is the second straight season in which Bryant has opened up with the defending national champions.
"It's helping in getting players excited about the program. Last spring when we announced it, it created a buzz around the team, and it also helps with recruiting. If you're talking to a kid from the midwest who has never heard of your program and you say we are playing Duke, you immediately have his attention," said Bryant head coach Tim O'Shea. "So Basically, we benefit off of what they have done just by playing them," O'Shea added.
Last season, Bryant finished 16-15 overall and 12-6 in the Northeast Conference. The Bulldogs went into the NEC tournament and defeated Sacred Heart in double overtime for the program's first Division I postseason win.
However, coach O'Shea says that momentum does not necessarily carry over.
"Every season is unique in its own way, you never know how it is going to play out. You start in non-conference play try and build something there and then go to conference play where it seems like every game is close, and you try to scratch out a few wins there," O'Shea explained.
The Bulldogs were picked to finish third in the NEC.
Dyami Starks and Joe O'Shea are gone, meaning sophomore Hunter Ware will start the season at guard next to Shane McLaughlin.
Shane McLaughlin will be one of the senior leaders on this year team, having started all 31 games for Bryant last season. McLaughlin led the team with 148 assists, averaging 4.7 per game, good enough for 54th in the country.
Behind Ware and McLaughlin will be senior Curtis Oakley Jr. who will be a key player for Bryant off the bench, as well as freshman Nisre Zouzoa. According to O'Shea, Zouzoua has had solid practices and is in competition for the final spot in the starting five.
The Bryant forwards will be led by junior Dan Garvin, who was named to the NEC preseason all-conference team.
Gavin is Bryant's leading returning scorer and rebounder averaging 11 points and eight rebounds per game last season. Garvin also registered 48 blocked shots and posted six double-doubles.
"When you have a guy like that, an upperclassman who has played a lot of games, he shoulders more responsibility in games and at the end of them and I think that he knows that," said O'Shea.
Redshirt Sophomore Bosko Kostur will be back in the starting lineup for the Bulldogs after starting the final 12 games of last season. Kostur averaged 7.9 points and 3.1 rebounds per game on the year but 12.4 points in the final 13 games.
One player to watch for is North Providence's own Marcel Pettway, a 6'8" freshman who coach O'Shea says is competing for a final starting spot.
After the season opener at Duke, Bryant plays three straight home games against Emerson, Prairie View and an opponent to be determined as part of the 2K Classic.
Bryant's biggest non-conference home game will come on December 5th when they host in-state rival Brown University.
Conference play begins for the Bulldogs on Saturday, January 2nd when they host Central Connecticut and the regular season ends on Saturday, February 27 on the road against LIU Brooklyn.
Related Slideshow: Bryant Bulldogs 2015-16 Projected Starting Lineup
G - Hunter Ware
As a freshman, Hunter Ware was only rookie to play in all 31 games for the Bulldogs last season, playing a role as the first player off the bench.
Prior to last season, head coach Tim O'Shea told GoLocal "I think when his career is done, he will go down as one of the better guards to ever play here."
Ware averaged 5.6 points and 1.3 rebounds per game while knocking down 25 three-pointers during the season.
Ware averaged 16.9 minutes per game for Bryant.
Photo courtesy of Bryantbulldogs.com
G - Shane McLaughlin
Shane McLaughlin returns to the starting point guard position for Bryant after holding in all 31 games last season.
McLaughlin dished out 148 assists and ranked 54th in the country in assists per game with 4.7 while also having the third best assist to turnover ratio in the NEC at 1.78.
McLaughlin averaged 7.5 points and 3.8 rebounds per game while shooting 40% from the field last season.
F - Bosko Kostur
Redshirt 6'7" Sophomore, Bosko Kostur will be back in the starting lineup for the Bulldogs after starting the final 12 games of last season.
Kostur averaged 7.9 points and 3.1 rebounds per game on the year, but 12.4 points in the final 13 games helping Bryant to a tournament game win.
Kostur appeared in nine games as a freshman before he was medically redshirted.
F - Dan Garvin
6'6" junior, Dan Garvin is Bryant's leading returning scorer and rebounder averaging 11 points and eight rebounds per game last season. Garvin also registered 48 blocked shots and posted six double-doubles.
Garvin was named to the All-NEC Second team and started all 31 games and playing 31 minutes per game for the Bulldogs.
"When you have a guy like that, an upper classman who has played a lot of games, he shoulders more responsibility in games and at the end of them and I think that he knows that," said O'Shea.
F - Marcel Pettway
Marcel Pettway is a 6'8" freshman forward from North Providence who coach O'Shea said had solid practices.
Pettway is a 2015 graduate of the Hoosac School in New York after spending three seasons at Wilbraham & Monson Academy in Massachusetts.
Pettway played his freshman season at North Providence High School.
6th Man - Curtis Oakley
Curtis Oakley, 6'4," will bring senior leadership off the bench this season for Bryant as well as some offense.
Last season, Oakley came off the bench in 27 games, started in three of them, and averaged 3.1 points per game while shooting 38 percent from the floor.
Oakley averaged 10.2 minutes per game, down from the 11.9 minutes per game he averaged as a sophomore.
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