Local college notebook: Wesley men’s hoop team improving but schedule’s challenging

Wesley coach Dean Burrows

Dean Burrows would love to take a minute and enjoy the fact that his Wesley College men’s basketball team is 9-9.

It’s the first time the Wolverines have had a non-losing record all season.

Indeed, for a program that has gone through three straight losing campaigns, it’s only the second time Wesley has been at .500 this late in the season since 2014.

The problem is, the Wolverines (5-6 CAC) have to host always-tough Christopher Newport (8-3 CAC, 14-4) today at 3 p.m. Then, on Wednesday, Wesley goes to first-place York (9-2, 16-2), which is the No. 7-ranked NCAA Division III team in the country.

“I mean it sounds real good,” Burrows, Wesley’s third-year head coach said about being .500. “But you turn around and you’ve got CNU coming in to town.”

On the bright side, the Wolverines have won two games in a row for only the third time this season. In a two-way tie for sixth, Wesley is also on the bubble of earning a spot in the six-team Capital Athletic Conference Tournament.

The Wolverines have seven regular-season games remaining. Burrows likes the way Wesley is starting to play.

He actually points to an 83-69 loss at Christopher Newport on Dec. 10 as a turning point. The Wolverines have gone 8-4 since that setback.

“Really since then we’ve been playing a lot better,” said Burrows. “It was kind of a wakeup call for all of us. We’re a different team since then. We’re excited about the opportunity that’s ahead of us.

“These guys, they’ve been very unselfish. They’ve all flourished in their roles. … They all like each other on and off the floor.”

Burrows still see an opportunity for Wesley to make a late-season run. Before the season, he thought the Wolverines would be competitive with most of the teams in the CAC.

“It’s wide open,” said Burrows. “It really is.”

UD’s Daly doubtful

Blue Hen sophomore guard Ryan Daly (Delaware sports information/Mark Campbell)

Almost since he arrived on campus, Ryan Daly has been the heart of the Delaware men’s basketball team.

So playing without last year’s CAA rookie of the Year wouldn’t be easy.

But the sophomore guard is considered doubtful for the Blue Hens’ home game tonight against Hofstra. Daly sprained an ankle going for a rebound late in Delaware’s 62-54 loss to Charleston on Thursday night.

He’s scored in double figures in 20 straight games.

Even after watching Daly have to be helped off the court, though, his teammates weren’t ready to count him out.

“That’s my best friend,” said junior forward Eric Carter. “He’ll be all right — he’s a warrior. He’ll battle.

“He’s the scrappiest, most annoying kid in the world,” Carter added with a laugh. “So there’s no doubt in my mind he’ll be fine for Saturday. He’s the grittiest dude I’ve ever met.”

Notes

• Former William Penn High football standout Frank Burton has announced he’s transferring from Ball State to Delaware.

He was the state Lineman of the Year in 2014. A 6-foot-1, 257-pound defensive tackle, Burton will have three years of eligibility remaining.

• Kenpom.com, the advanced analysis men’s college basketball site, has Delaware State ranked last in Division I at 351.

• Delaware State’s opponent today, Savannah State, leads all of Division I men’s basketball in three-point attempts and plays at the fastest tempo in Division I.

• Former Delaware State offensive coordinator John Allen accepted a job as Old Dominion’s wide receivers coach on Thursday,

• Juwan Gray (Polytech High) scored 14 points for San Diego in a 66-58 victory over Santa Clara on Thursday night.

• Caesar Rodney High soccer standout Steve Ferrandino signed a letter of intent with the U.S. Coast Guard Academy this week.

Reach sports editor Andy Walter at walter@newszap.com

Reach staff writer Tim Mastro at tmastro@newszap.com

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