New expectations: Centenary Men’s Basketball 2015-16
Centenary picked as repeat champions
New expectations: Centenary Men’s Basketball 2015-16
Friday, November 13, 2015
Centenary (0-1)
at
Texas Dallas (1-0)
11/14/2015 | Richardson, Texas (UTD Activity Center) | Attendance: 1137
1st2ndFinal
Centenary363268
Texas Dallas414586
Stats at a GlanceCENTMBOUTD
FG Percentage.414 (29-70) .439 (29-66)
3P FG Percentage.412 (7-17) .269 (7-26)
FT Percentage.600 (3-5) .808 (21-26)
Offensive Rebounds1118
Defensive Rebounds2132
Total Rebounds3250
Turnovers1515
Steals77
Bench Points617
Statistical LeadersCENTMBOUTD
PointsTravion Kirkendoll - 20
Caleb Banks - 18
ReboundsTravion Kirkendoll - 7
Reagan Keogh - 17
AssistsTreylan Matthews - 4
Caleb Banks - 5
StealsBrandon Campbell - 3
Reagan Keogh - 2
Caleb Banks - 2
Dapo Ogunfeitmi - 2
BlocksKendall Demouchet - 2
Reagan Keogh - 5

SHREVEPORT, La. – After surpassing the expectations of the conference head coaches the past two seasons, the gauntlet has been thrown and the bar has been raised.

Centenary will take their turn as the favorite in men’s basketball.

Released Friday (November 13) by the conference, Centenary College was selected to successfully defend its Regular Season SCAC Title from 2014-15.

The Gents received 48 points and 6-of-8 first place votes. Last season’s SCAC Tournament winner, Texas Lutheran, was tabbed to finish second with 43 points and the remaining first-place votes.

“It gives us a good idea of expectations for the season,” remarked Head Coach Adam Walsh, who will begin his sixth year with Centenary. “In case our guys did not already know, we’re expected to have a solid season this year and it puts a bulls-eye on our back. It’s something for our guys to remember every day, and it’s something to challenge our guys. I hope we can use it in a good way. You would rather be picked last and finish first rather than the other way around, but I hope the daily challenge is there for our guys to live up to the standards that others see in our program.”

The Maroon and White return 76.3 percent of its scoring from the 2014-15 season. The list of returners includes junior forward James Sapp (Shongaloo, La./ULM) and sophomore guard Travion Kirkendoll (Campti, La./Lakeview HS), who received SCAC Player and Newcomer of the Year recognition last season. With those accolades, Centenary is the first school in the history of men’s basketball in teams’ respective conference to win both awards three consecutive seasons.

 In 2014-15, Sapp became only the second sophomore in SCAC history, and the first in 23 years, to be named Player of the Year.

Sapp, who was one of only 24 players named Preseason All-America by DIII News, also received Honorable Mention All-American laurels from the organization last season. Other accolades include All-South Region honors from D3hoops.com, National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) All-District honors, and was also the only non-Division I men’s basketball player named to the All-Louisiana Team.

Sapp led the conference with 16.3 points per game for 2014-15.

Kirkendoll, despite playing on a squad where four different players averaged double-digit scoring, finished fourth in the SCAC with 12.9 points per game. Kirkendoll took Freshman All-America honors from DIII News.

The Gents also return junior forward Kendall Demouchet (Lafayette, La./Northside Senior HS), who led the conference in steals and been in the top two in blocks his first two seasons with the Gents. Last season, Demouchet finished sixth in scoring in the conference with 12.8 points per game in 2014-15.

Another player to watch for the Gents this season is junior guard Brandon Campbell (Mansfield, La./Mansfield HS), who finished second on the team last year (and is the leading Gent returner) with 1.9 assists per game. He also contributed 7.9 points and 1.9 rebounds per game.

Receiving Third Team honors in 2013-14 and Second Team last season, Demouchet is the only junior this season to appear on the First, Second or Third Team All-Conference the past two seasons.

The Gents add four players for this season in guard Treylan Matthews (Houstin, Texas/Summer Creek HS), Shreveport-native and guard Dominique Kennedy (Shreveport, La./Loyola College Prep), and forwards Mitchell Tarantolo (Austin, Texas/L.C. Anderson HS) and Grant Miller (Dallas, Texas/Dallas Academy).

“We are excited about welcoming our new incoming class of Gentlemen,” said head coach Adam Walsh. “We have a well-rounded group position wise and are excited about what each young man brings to the table. We lost a strong group of seniors last year, but we feel like we have replaced them well. This is a great class off the court as well, both academically and character wise, which is important to the overall growth of our program. It’s never fair to directly compare incoming freshmen to exiting seniors, but we look for either an increase in size, skill, or toughness when comparing them to those you replace in relation more so to the exiting seniors as underclassmen. I believe that we have matched or exceeded in replacing our recent departures, but that is what we hope for year to year.”

This is their third-consecutive year Centenary improved its position from the previous season’s preseason poll. The Gents finished second in the conference after being selected to take sixth by the coaches in the preseason in 2013-14. The Maroon and White captured the conference crown after being slated to finish third last season.

The Gents begin the 2015-2016 campaign Saturday, November 14, at UT-Dallas. Tip-off is scheduled for 1 p.m., with live video and stats available.

“We are very excited because we get to play somebody else,” said Walsh. “We are tired of looking at each other and at the coaches, so we are excited to go out and play another team. This week will be a rough beginning to the season, as we have five games in eight days. UT-Dallas is always good as they execute very well. My concern, early in the season, is not what others team do but in what we do and how we play. I hope we are ready as our guys are working very hard right now. Our expectations are that we are able to compete and win. It will be a testament to our guys work ethic and how crisp we are.

“I hope it’s a challenge for our guys to come out and win this first game,” added Walsh.

 

 

SCAC Men’s Predicted order of finish (indicates first place votes):

Preseason Poll

1

Centenary (6)

48

 

2

Texas Lutheran (2)

43

 

3

Colorado College

31

 

4

Trinity

30

 

5

Southwestern

27

 

6

Schreiner

22

 

7

Dallas

14

 

8

Austin College

9