College notebook: Struggling Hornets begin rugged MEAC schedule

DSU coach Keith Walker by .

Keith Walker

One historic result highlighted the Delaware State men’s basketball team’s nonconference schedule but there was not much to celebrate after that.

Now the Hornets shift their focus to MidEastern Athletic Conference play. They open up the MEAC slate today at North Carolina A&T (4 p.m.) followed by a trip to North Carolina Central on Monday (7:30 p.m.).

DelState enters the MEAC with just one victory over a Division I opponent. Overall, the Hornets are 3-12, with two of the wins coming against Division III teams.

The one victory was at St. John’s, marking the first time in school history Delaware State defeated a team from the Big East. But since then, Delaware State has lost seven of eight, with the only win coming over Keystone College.

The Hornets have been idle since a 77-66 loss at Hawaii on Dec. 29.

They won’t get any favors starting MEAC play. Their first four games are against teams who traditionally battle for the conference title and all were predicted to finish in the top-seven during the conference’s preseason poll.

If there’s any positives for the Hornets, its the first game looks quite winnable on paper. North Carolina A&T also struggled in the nonconference portion of its schedule and carries a 13-game losing streak into tonight’s matchup.

But then its a tough contest at North Carolina Central who went 9-5 against nonconference teams.

Delaware State’s home opener is next Saturday against Hampton — the team who has won the MEAC Tournament each of the last two years. Then the Hornets host Norfolk State the following Monday who was picked fifth in the preseason poll.

Plenty of Spiders joining Hens

As expected, new Delaware football coach Danny Rocco has brought many of his former Richmond assistants with him.

The staff that Rocco announced on Thursday includes nine men who had been with Rocco at Richmond, where he coached for the past six years.

The group is headlined by defensive coordinator Chris Cosh.

Last year was Cosh’s first as the Spiders’ DC, with Richmond finishing third in the Colonial Athletic Association in total defense at 317 yards per game. The 57-year-old Cosh has coached at 15 different schools, serving as the defensive coordinator at Michigan State, Illinois and Maryland,
among others.

The only former Blue Hen assistants being retained are Dennis Dottin-Carter (defensive line), who served as Delaware’s interim coach for the last five games, and Eddie Allen (special teams/running backs). Also coming back are Jerry Oravitz (associate athletic director for football administration), and David Baylor (personal development).

Apparently not coming back, though, are former UD players and long-time assistants Bryan Bossard and Brian Ginn. Bossard, a Dover High grad, has been at Delaware for a total of 16 seasons as a player and coach while Ginn has been a Blue Hen assistant since 2000.

Rocco is still looking for an offensive coordinator.

He couldn’t bring along his Richmond OC since John Garrett, since he was recently hired as the head coach at Lafayette.


• First-year Delaware men’s basketball coach Martin Ingelsby didn’t seem to be thrilled with the Hens’ performance in a 90-54 rout at Northeastern on Thursday night.

“Northeastern was toying with us at the offensive end,” he said. “At some point you have to have some pride.”

But things don’t get any easier for Delawar. Today at 7 p.m. the Hens host CAA leader UNC-Wilmington (3-0 CAA, 14-2 overall).

• James Madison will try to become the fifth current CAA team to win the FCS football national championship when it faces Youngstown State today at noon. JMU also won the title in 2004 after its big comeback win over Delaware in the quarterinals.

• Wesley College will hosts host St. Mary’s in a basketball doubleheader today (woomen’s game at 1 p.m., men’s game at 3 p.m.). The Wolverine men have lost three of their last four games following a three-game winning streak.

• Vice President Joe Biden hosted Delaware’s national champion field hockey squad at his Washington, D.C. residence earlier this week.

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