First PSAC home game to be held on Dec. 7 for Shepherd men
SHEPHERDSTOWN — New rivalries. Several national powers. Home-and home games against eight East Division opponents. It’s Shepherd first season in the PSAC.
And the first conference games come up on Nov. 23 and Nov. 24 at Edinboro and Mercyhurst.
Coming off a 14-16 record season in 2018-19 and leaving the MEC, the Rams plunge headfirst into a season-long series of games against teams they’ve rarely played in the recent past.
With the Rams in the league’s East Division are Mansfield, Lock Haven, Kutztown, Shippensburg, West Chester, Bloomsburg, Millersville and East Stroudsburg.
All eight of those teams will be played on a home-and-home basis, giving Shepherd 16 of its 22 conference games.
There are also nine teams in the West Division, but Shepherd will play only six of them. Slippery Rock, Indiana, California, Mercyhurst, Edinboro and Seton Hill will each be played once, while Pitt-Johnstown, Gannon and Clarion won’t be played at all this season.
The season begins on Nov. 8 with the annual two-night Clarion Hotel tournament, where Shepherd faces Charleston, before competing with Bowie State on Nov. 9.
Other home games prior to the new year are with Frostburg (Nov. 16), Slippery Rock (Dec. 7), Wilson College (Dec. 15), Indiana (Dec. 20) and Seton Hill (Dec. 21).
Returning Shepherd players with the most experience are guard Thomas Lang, forward/guard Jon Preston, forward Kyle Daggett, forward/guard Jarrell Jones, center Emmanuel Aghayere, guard Cam Stephens and forward Noah Wimbush.
Joining those seven returnees will be guard P.J. Jordan, a 5-foot-10 freshman from Rockville; Marcus Gorham, 6-foot-5, 242-pound center from Oxon Hill; and Daniel McClain-Corley, a 6-foot-5, 170-pound forward/guard from Massanutten Military Academy.
Lang, Preston and Jones had plenty of nights last season when each was a double-figure scorer. Lang is the lone senior on the 2019-2020 team.
Last season in the East Division, the teams with the best records were Shippensburg at 23-7, East Stroudsburg at 21-8, West Chester with its 21-9 record, Millersville at 16-13 and Kutztown at 16-14.
The Crimson Hawks of Indiana finished with a 30-3 overall record, while Mercyhurst was 26-8 and Slippery Rock was 19-10. Shepherd plays all three of those West Division rivals.
New rivalries. Several national powers. Towns, cities and hamlets the Rams haven’t seen. And no more Fairmont, West Liberty, Glenville or Concord.