The Connecticut College men´s basketball team enters the 2009-2010 season with great optimism. Although the Camels face the difficult challenge of replacing co-captains Billy Karis '09 (Potsdam, N.Y./Worcester Academy) and Ulises Veras ´09 (Lawrence, Mass./Proctor Academy) both of whom had their best seasons as seniors, the team will follow three year captain Shavar Bernier ´10 (Dover, N.H/Bridgton Academy) plus several experienced returnees in the 2010 campaign. In addition to participating in Manhattanville´s Castle Classic to start the season and travelling to New York City on two occasions for non-league games, the slate of powerful NESCAC opponents sits between Connecticut College and their goal of returning to the NCAA Tournament in 2010.
The Camels played well in 2009. Despite having to replace First Team-All NESCAC performer Charles Stone ´08 (Hackensack, N.J./Hotchkiss School), they finished 13-12, earned their third NESCAC Tournament appearance in four seasons and boosted their win total over the past two seasons to 30. Karis, a biology major, winner of the college´s Brown-Brooks Award in honor of the college´s top male student athlete and two time member of the NESCAC All-Academic Team, was as an outstanding three point shooter and respected team leader. Veras, a rugged defender, who shot 43% from three-point range was a fierce competitor and great teammate.
Those losses aside, the Camels return several experienced and talented players to the court. Bernier, a 6'1" shooting guard and team captain since his sophomore year, leads the way. Bernier is the team´s best defender, passer and perimeter scorer. He is also the group´s undisputed standard bearer for work ethic, leadership and dedication. Coming off another impressive season as a junior (14.4 ppg, 49% from three), Bernier will again be asked to be all things for this year´s team.
Also returning is Demetrius Porter ´12 (Virginia Beach, Va./Salisbury School), the 2009 NESCAC Rookie of the Year. Porter, an explosive finisher and shot blocker is also a crafty scorer (13.9 ppg, 70% from the foul line) who is capable of posting up for baskets as well as navigating the perimeter with his pull up game.
Dean Lampe ´11 (Hamilton, Mass/Brooks School), a 6´2" junior wing will also be a force on both sides of the ball in 2010. Lampe came on strong in NESCAC play as a sophomore averaging 9.0 points and just under 5 rebounds in the final twelve games of the season.
Rounding out the list of experienced returnees in the backcourt are Brian Mahoney (Quincy, Mass/Boston College High School), Eddie McGuinness (Pearl River, N.Y./Pearl River HS) and Conor Sheehy (Syosset, N.Y./Chaminade HS), all three of whom will be counted on for steady play with the ball and consistent execution on defense. Chris Kehoe, a versatile 6´4" sophomore from Summit, N.J. who missed the entire second half of last season due to illness, should prove to be a valuable contributor in 2010. Mike Lehane (Putnam, Conn/Marianapolis Prep.), a 6´7" junior and Rob Daley (Taft School/Westwood, Mass.), a 6´5" sophomore will be called on for supporting roles in the frontcourt.
The Camels also have four talented newcomers in the freshmen class. Rob Harrigan (Milford, Conn./St. Thomas More School), Dylan Henry (Brooklyn, N.Y./Bishop Ford HS), Boris Jeremic (Rijeka, Croatia/Masters School) and Stephen Jones (San Marino, Calif./Wilbraham & Monson Academy) are the basketball class of 2013. Bobby Belloti (Winchester, Mass./Winchester HS), a sophomore guard has also joined the team for the upcoming campaign.
November 17, 2009