SOUTH PRINCE GEORGE, VA – The Richard Bland College of William & Mary men's basketball team will open its 2018-19 season hosting Hagerstown Community College on November 3 at 2 pm in Statesman Hall.
The Statesmen enter the season elevating to Division I status in the NJCAA after a successful stretch as a Division II powerhouse, winning the National Championship in 2015, advancing to the National Championship Tournament Final Four in 2017 and national participation last year.
RBC begins the season with new head coach Preston Beverly, an assistant coach the last three seasons, along with new assistant coaches Vincent Thibodeau and Raheem Martin. The challenge of Division I competition is not lost on Beverly. "The College made a decision to take all of its athletics teams to NJCAA Division !, and the basketball program benefitted from the foundation it had developed over the last several years," Beverly explains.
The Statesmen enter the 2018-19 season with a brand-new roster, welcoming back three players from last year's team that suffered a 96-95 loss to Louisburg in the Region X Tournament, but still qualified for the national tournament. Sophomores Ryan Jones (Smithfield, VA/Smithfield), Marvin Trotman (Virginia Beach, VA/Atlantic Shores Christian) and Wayne Clevert (Richmond, VA/Mills E. Godwin) are the returners.
Jones is the top returning scorer (6.4 ppg) and rebounder (3.1 rpg) for RBC. He started in 19 of 33 games last season, averaging 21 minutes of action. Trotman played in 31 games a year ago, averaging 4.7 ppg in nine minutes of action. Clevert played in 30 games last season averaging 5.1 minutes per contest.
Beverly says he has a versatile team capable of playing in the half court or getting out in transition when opportunities occur. Hagerstown will be an early barometer on what to expect as the Statesmen mature throughout a 28-game schedule, 13 of which are at Statesman Hall.
"I know Hagerstown is a really good team with more experience in Division I than we have right now," Beverly says. "We're looking forward to getting started after a good pre-season."