Ned Belliveau ’14
Selected as the #25 team in the country and picked to finish second in the preseason ODAC poll, the Hampden-Sydney basketball team is reloaded and looking to capture the team’s first ODAC title since 2007. Coach Dee Vick is entering his fifth season at the helm for the Tigers and his squads have seen improvement every season, including last year’s career best 19-8 mark.
If the Tigers are to improve in the 2012-13 season, they will have to rely on high-flying senior forward Harrison George, who was named first team All-ODAC and also led the team in scoring (16.7 per game), assists (2.6), and steals (1.9) last season. George looks to cap off a remarkable college career with a stellar senior campaign, along with fellow senior guard Randall Ward. Ward will retain his key spot in the offense after finishing with 6.5 points per game and an excellent .378 three point shooting percentage. Ward’s production will likely increase, and he also will get more opportunities to shoot three pointers due to the graduation of fellow guard Ben Jessee.
The frontcourt will be led by junior center Khobi Williamson, who had a breakout sophomore campaign where he averaged 10.8 points per game and also added a team high 6.3 rebounds per game, including a 15 rebound performance against North Carolina Wesleyan. Joining Williamson will be sophomore power forward Cam Anderson, who had a fabulous freshman campaign, scoring 7.2 points per game, grabbing 4.3 rebounds a game and registering 20 assists all while averaging just 16 minutes per contest. Anderson’s role will also increase this season due to the graduation of forward Ru White, who was a key contributor during his time with the Tigers.
The Tigers tipped off their 2012 season on Monday, November 5 with an exhibition game against Division II St. Augustine College. The Falcons jumped out to a 33-27 point halftime lead behind the 13 first half points from Jon Kindred. The Tigers were led in the opening frame by guard Leon Hargrove, who tallied five points.
Defense was the name of the game for the Tigers in the second half, holding the Falcons to just 35% shooting after allowing the Falcons to shoot 50% in the opening period. The Tigers dominated on offensive end, tallying 43 points in the frame to the Falcons 29. Harrison George scored ten points in the period and also added four rebounds to finish the game with fourteen points and seven rebounds. Khobi Williamson added thirteen points and five rebounds, and guard Greg Lewis sank four three pointers to finish with twelve points. Another standout performance was turned out by transfer student Sam Dale, who finished with twelve points and three steals in 18 minutes of court time. The Tigers were able to pull away at the end and made the necessary free throws to seal the 70-62 victory.
The Tigers’ next contest will be Saturday, November 17 as they travel to Maryland to take on the Shoremen of Washington College. The Tigers will then travel to Rocky Mount, NC to take part in the South Region Challenge where they will take on Mary Washington and North Carolina Wesleyan. The Tigers open up conference play with a home contest over Thanksgiving Break against Emory and Henry. The Tigers’ first game in front of the Kirby Krazies will be November 30th as they take on Methodist.