Promising year ahead for men’s basketball

Nov 08, 2012 No Comments by

(Photo/Brandon Davis/Dominican Athletics) Dominican University of California’s men’s basketball head coach, Booker T. Harris.

SAN RAFAEL, CA—The Conlan Center has begun to echo with the squeaks of basketball shoes on hardwood. This can only mean one thing, Dominican basketball is back.

For head coach Booker T. Harris, his second season at the helm presents new challenges. After a surprise season which saw the men’s team go 11-18 and 10-8 in conference, there has been a lot of roster turn over.

Last year’s highly anticipated new transfer, Ryan McIntosh, was struck with misfortune when he broke his wrist in preseason play. He never played in a conference game for the Penguins. He now plays basketball for Northwest University in Washington.

“Everybody forms a bond with their teammates during the year,” coach Harris said about the team dealing with McIntosh leaving, “but guys realize this is an opportunity for them to step up and make their mark on the team.”

The team also lost senior leaders and key contributors Xander McNally, Mark Lewis, and Xavier Muldrow. All three were back court players which leaves a hole on the roster that needs to be filled.

While the team has made strides to replace Xavier and Mark on the court, they will be much harder to replace in the huddle and the locker room. “Xavier and Mark, they were leaders, very vocal,” said coach Harris.

McNally will be missed dearly on the court, especially on the defensive end. McNally, named to the 2011-2012 All-PacWest team, led the nation in steals and set a school record with 104 steals in 26 games. The next closest to him in steals was Ivan Patterson of California Baptist, with 47.

Coach Harris could not emphasize enough what a defensive presence the team lost in McNally. “He made up a lot for us with his defense. The way he could control a game, for someone who didn’t look to score much was phenomenal.”

Size Matters

Despite the roster changes, there is still more than enough talent on the team to make a run in conference. Especially considering the immense talents of the returning big men Jacob Noisat, Jammall Clark, and Connor Haysbert.

(Photos/Brandon Davis/Dominican Athletics) Dominican’s premier big men, Jacob Noisat (left) and Jammall Clark (right).

Noisat, who transferred to Dominican last year from Chabot College wasted no time leaving his mark, making the 2011-2012 All-PacWest team with McNally. Noisat averaged 11.2 points per game and 5.7 rebounds per game.

Jammall Clark flew under the radar with a great season in 2011-2012 as well. Clark was Noisat’s top running partner, and although he was overshadowed by Noisat’s dominant season, there is no denying the talent of Clark. Last year, Clark led the team in blocks, was second on the team in points and rebounds, and was third on the team in steals.

“They (Noisat and Clark) have made improvements to their bodies, their strength, to be able to finish plays that they weren’t able to finish last year,” proclaimed Harris.

Standout Transfers

It was a very successful recruiting year for Dominican while trying to fill the holes on the team left by players like Lewis, McNally, and McIntosh. But as the coach put it, “we’ve improved the perimeter play on this team.”

(Photos/Brandon Davis/Dominican Athletics) Standout transfers, Devin Golston (left) and Dominique Taplin (right).

One stand out perimeter recruit is Dominique Taplin, another high profile transfer, much like McIntosh and Noisat. Taplin comes to Dominican from NCAA Division I UC Riverside.

Taplin played in only five games at Riverside and now he returns to the Bay Area where he attended Oakland High School. As a senior at Oakland High, Dominique made the All-Oakland Athletic League first team while averaging 15.2 ppg and 4.3 rpg.

Coach Harris seems to plan on having Taplin pick up some of the defensive slack left behind by McNally. As he stated, “(Taplin) is an athlete who can cause havoc defensively, clamp in to guys, and pressure the ball.

Another major grab for Coach Harris came in the form of 6-foot 6-inch forward Devin Golston. Golston is a transfer from Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, California. At Saddleback Golston averaged 6.9 ppg and 3.3 rpg, while being second on the team in both field goal and free throw percentage.

“He’s strong and athletic,” coach Harris described, “he can finish over players, and he is a lot more skilled than people think. He has perimeter skills, he gives us a new dimension, a couple of different looks offensively.”

Fab Four Freshmen

When looking at the incoming freshmen class for the basketball team one thing jumps off of the page: the sheer size of the recruits. This was no coincidence, as coach Harris stated, “we definitely made a concentrated effort to find bigger guards who we feel can also score.”

(Photos/Brandon Davis/Dominican Athletics) Four freshmen from left to right: Christopher Schwartz-Edmisten, Matt Hayes, Jonny Bates, and K.J. Logue.

There are four freshmen on the team in total, two guards, two forwards. The guards are 6-foot 3-inch Christopher Schwartz-Edmisten out of Sacramento, California and 6-foot 2-inch Matt Hayes out of Yuba City, California. The new forwards are 6-foot 3-inch Jonny Bates from Mission Viejo, California and 6-foot 5-inch Kevin John (K.J.) Logue out of Sacramento, California.

While the freshman class represents hope and potential, the team will rely heavily on its seniors to lead them to victory. The Penguins have a multitude of seniors this season. They are: Ricky Wofford, Derek Ober, Jarred Pengel, Jacob Noisat, and Jammall Clark.

Season Opener Nov. 10

The first game that counts toward the record for the Penguins will be played on Saturday Nov. 10, at home against Cal State Stanislaus. The team is looking to build on its 10-8 conference record last season and finish near the top of the newly reformed PacWest Conference. To watch this game live, go to dominicanathletics.com/live. To listen to the game live got to radio.dominican.edu.

Men's Basketball, Sports

About the author

Brian Sanchez is a senior Communications and Media Studies major at Dominican University of California with an emphasis on Sports Broadcasting. When he isn't broadcasting sports for Dominican University on radio.dominican.edu he is writing about them. He is thrilled to have the opportunity to join The Habit in time to be a part of the launch of the web edition of the student newspaper. He hopes to cover all things Dominican to the best of his abilities and use that to land a job covering sports for a career after he graduates. It doesn't matter what sport or where, but his ultimate goal is to end up back in the bay area covering the teams he grew up watching.
No Responses to “Promising year ahead for men’s basketball”

Leave a Reply