Local college notebook: New DSU hoop coaches to make MEAC debuts on Saturday

David Caputo

Both Delaware State University basketball coaches will be making their conference debuts today.

The Hornet men’s and women’s squads head to Norfolk State today to kick off the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference slate. The women’s game starts at 4 p.m. with the men’s game scheduled for 6:30 p.m.

For the women, this is one of the more intriguing MEAC seasons in recent history.

It’s the first year since Hampton left the MEAC for the Big South Conference. Hampton had won six of the last eight MEAC championships.

Hampton’s absence means there is no clear-cut favorite. The possibility of competing for a conference title right away is something that drew first-year coach David Caputo to the vacant DSU job over the summer.

Eric Skeeters

“Hampton is gone so the MEAC is going to be wide-open,” Caputo said at his first press conference.

The Hornets were picked 10th out of 12 teams in the preseason poll.

They finished the non-conference portion of their schedule at 2-9 and on a five-game losing streak. DSU has been idle since a loss at Virginia Commonwealth on Dec. 31.

Norfolk State is 5-8 overall.

The Hornet men carry a record of 3-9 into today’s contest with only one of those wins coming against a Division I opponent.

The DSU men only won two MEAC games a year ago to finish in last in the conference and were picked to come in last again in the preseason poll under new coach Eric Skeeters.

DelState has not played since a 116-57 loss at Ball State on Dec. 29.

Both the Hornet men and women teams host Coppin State on Monday.

Close is enough for Hens

Despite being out-scored by a combined 41 points in its last three games, the Delaware men’s basketball team is 2-1 in that stretch.

After posting back-to-back two-point wins over Northeastern and William & Mary, the Blue Hens are starting to show they can win the close ones. Delaware is 6-1 this year in games decided by five points or less.

“We have a group that, I think, is learning how to win and really believes,” said coach Martin Ingelsby. “We’ve been in game situations before, multiple times.”

Delaware is 2-1 in the CAA, 10-6 overall going into today’s 7 p.m. home game against Elon (1-2, 5-11). While the Hens own a pair of victories over sub-Division I programs this season, Jan. 3 is the earliest that Delaware has ever won its 10th game.

After the Hens were thumped by Hofstra, 91-46, last Friday, Ingelsby said he and his staff talked to his players about perseverance — both in a game and in a season.

“I do think when you have (seniors) Eric Carter and Darian Bryant, who have been in our program for a while, they’re great voices,” said Ingelsby. “Our chemistry has been really strong. We spent a lot of time talking about what we needed to improve on. We had a really good practice up in Boston on Saturday to get us feeling better about Friday night.”

Notes

• Wesley College’s Brian Cameron was named to the D3hoops.com National Team of the Week for the second straight week. The junior guard leads the Atlantic East Conference and is ninth in Division III in scoring at 24.9 points per game.

The Wolverines (1-0 AEC, 7-7 overall) play a 3 p.m. game today at Marywood.

• Dover High grad Jordan Allen is second in the MAAC with 40 three-pointers for Rider University. The sophomore is 40-of-97 from beyond the arc and leads the Broncos at 13.4 points per game.

• Caesar Rodney High grad Aaron Green, a senior on the Widener swim team, was named the MAC Swimmer of the Week three times early in the season.

• Woodbridge product Dajon Emory had a sack in the Arizona Bowl for Arkansas State against Nevada last week.

Alvin West and Corey Gordon, both St. Thomas’s More grads, are freshmen on the Wilmington University men’s basketball team. They have combined for nine appearances so far.

• Wesley track & field coach Stephen Kimes and members of his team assisted the St. John’s School in helping the homeless in Dover over the holidays. The group filled backpacks with items for homeless and donated them to the Dover Interfaith Mission Housing and the Dover Library.

Reach sports editor Andy Walter at walter@newszap.com

Reach staff writer Tim Mastro at tmastro@newszap.com

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