Tag Archive | "Aki Thomas"

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UMBC looks for 3-1 start Wednesday against Loyola

Posted on 19 November 2013 by WNST Staff

UMBC continues its non-conference slate vs. local foes when the Retrievers host Loyola at the RAC Arena on Nov. 20. Tip-off time is set for 7:30 p.m. The game can be seen on www.umbcretrievers.tv and MASN-TV in the mid-Atlantic region.

RETRIEVER UPDATE: The Retrievers wiped out a school-record 23-point deficit and rallied to defeat visiting Mount St. Mary’s, 90-84, in overtime at the RAC Arena on Sunday. UMBC (2-2) played in overtime for the third consecutive contest, also a school first. America East Rookie of the Week Rodney Elliott scored a team season-best 26 points, including 24 after hallfime, leading five players in double figures.

GREYHOUND UPDATE: Loyola is off to a 3-0 start, winning all three contests by seven points or less. The Greyhounds opened the season with a 79-74 victory at America East rival Binghamton, edged Cornell, 93-89, in overtime and won its home opener, 59-52, over Fairfield on Nov. 16. Senior guard Dylan Cormier is averaging a colossal 28.3 points per game, hitting 28 free throws in the first three outings. He is also the Hounds’ leading rebounder at 7.3 per game, including 15 off the offensive glass. Loyola has converted 68 free throws compared to 33 by its foes.

WHO’S UP NEXT: The Retrievers continue its tour through the local scene, as the Retrievers play the first of a home-and-home series at Navy on Saturday, Nov. 23 (7:00 p.m.).

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UMBC plays home opener Monday against Eastern (PA)

Posted on 10 November 2013 by WNST Staff

The UMBC men’s basketball team opens the 2013-14 schedule as they host Eastern (Pa.) University on Monday, Nov. 11 at the RAC Arena. It is the second consecutive year that good friends Aki Thomas and former Retriever assistant Nate Stewart will be on opposite sidelines to open UMBC’s home schedule. UMBC defeated the Eagles, 70-52, on Nov. 12, 2012, as senior post Brett Roseboro and sophomore wing Malik Garner each contributed 10 points .The game is the nightcap of a hoops doubleheader versus Eastern and will tip at 7:30 p.m.

In the season opener on Nov. 8, the Retrievers battled Pac-12 Arizona State competitively for 30 minutes, but could not overcome late game shooting woes and fell, 96-61, at Wells Fargo Arena. Freshman guard Rodney Elliott (Baltimore, Md./John Carroll) got the start for an injured Quentin Jones at the point guard slot and co-led a balanced UMBC offense with 12 points. Sophomore Malik Garner also scored a career-high 12. Roseboro led UMBC with nine rebounds.

This will be the first contest of the season for Eastern. The Eagles were 6-19 a season ago (not counting the loss to UMBC). Guard Anthony Parenti averaged a team-best 10.5 points per game for Eastern a year ago. Eastern averaged 61.5 points per game and permitted 69.8 a season ago.

UMBC meets American in Washington, D.C. on Thursday, Nov. 14 and returns home to welcome Mount St. Mary’s on Sunday, Nov. 17.

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UMBC begins season Friday night at Arizona State

Posted on 07 November 2013 by WNST Staff

The UMBC men’s basketball team makes its first-ever journey to Arizona State and opens the 2013-14 campaign in Tempe, Ariz. on Nov. 8. Tip-off time is set for 6:00 p.m. (MST). Paul Mittermeier has all the play-by-play action on Q1370/www.q1370.com starting with the pre-game show at 7:55 p.m. (EST). The game will be televised by the PAC-12 Networks with Jason Knapp and Ernie Kent on the call.  

RETRIEVER UPDATE: UMBC (8-23 a year ago) returns six letterwinners and three starters from a team that closed the gap dramatically against America East competition in Aki Thomas’ first year as head coach. UMBC upset third-seeded Hartford in the league championship quarterfinals. Six of seven newcomers are Maryland natives and a majority of expected to contribute in 2013-14. SR F Chase Plummer (11.8, 6.4) is the team’s leading returning scorer and rebounder, who surpassed the 1,000-point mark in three seasons.

SUN DEVIL UPDATE: The Sun Devils, under eighth-year head coach Herb Sendek, notched their fourth 20-win season (22-13) in his seven years in 2012-13. The Sun Devils have a roster that includes the 2012-13 Pac-12 co-Freshman of the Year (Jahii Carson, 18.5 ppg, 5.1 apg) and the top-single season shot blocker in Pac-12 annals (Jordan Bachynski, 120 rejections). No Pac-12 player made more three-pointers than Jon Gilling last year, as he pumped in 84, fourth-most by a Sun Devil in school history. The junior averaged 9.7 points per game last year in his sophomore season.

WHO’S UP NEXT: UMBC opens the home schedule on Monday, Nov. 11 when they host Eastern (Pa.) University at the RAC Arena. That contest is the back-end of a hoops doubleheader and will tip-off at 7:30 p.m.

THE BENCH BOSS: Aki Thomas enters his second year as head coach of the UMBC men’s basketball program, earning the title on the eve of the 2013 America East Tournament. Thomas served as acting head coach since Oct. 10, 2012 after five previous seasons as a Retrievers’ assistant coach.

Despite the loss of three post players due to injury, Coach Thomas led UMBC to more victories (8) since the 2008-09 campaign. The cohesive Retrievers knocked off third-seeded Hartford in the quarterfinals of the league championships, and led Vermont for much of the first 32 minutes of play before bowing in the semis. Thomas and his staff bolstered the hopes for the future by bringing in a strong, locally-based recruiting class for the 2013-14 campaign.

Thomas, age 34, was the 11th-youngest NCAA Division I head coach in the nation in 2012-13. He was a standout for Howard in 2000-01, when he averaged almost 12 points and eight rebounds per game en route to being named to the All-MEAC second team. Before Howard, Thomas played for three seasons at the University of Colorado. The Manhattan, N.Y. native was a two-time league rebounding champion in the Venezuelan LPB League (2003-04) and earned the same title during a stint in the Colombian Federation Cup League (2004).

At 34 years of age, Aki Thomas is currently the 11th-youngest Division I head coach in the country. At 33 years and nearly six months of age, Thomas was only five months younger when he coached his first official game (at Penn on Nov. 9) than UMBC’s first Division I coach, Jeff Bzedelik (now the head coach at Wake Forest) was when he coached his first game for the Retrievers at Northwestern in November of 1986.

AND THE REST: The 2013-14 coaching staff has an average age of just over 28 years. A pair of Coach Thomas’ staff members- fifth-year assistant coach John Zito (‘06) and third-year assist Jay Greene (‘09) are UMBC alums and played together on the 2005-06 Retriever squad.

A LOOK (WAY) BACK: The trip to Tempe to open the 2013-14 season is UMBC’s longest since competing at San Diego State/Long Beach State in the 2005-06 campaign.

The meeting with the Sun Devils will be just the second time that the Retrievers have faced a Pac-12 opponent. UMBC played a Jason Kidd-led Cal squad in Berkeley early in the 1993-94 campaign.

This will be the second time the UMBC basketball program has competed in Arizona. In their third year of NCAA Division I competition (1988-89), the Retrievers opened the campaign with a 61-47 victory at Northern Arizona.

47 YEARS: The Retrievers are competing in their 47th season of intercollegiate basketball, the 28th at the NCAA Division-I level (1986-87) and the 11th as members of the America East Conference. UMBC has won 494 and dropped 747 (.398) and are 301-478 (.386) since 1986-87. The Retrievers enter their 11th season in the America East Conference, after stints as an independent (1986-90), the East Coast Conference (1990-92), the Big South Conference (1992-98) and the Northeast Conference (1998-2003).

The America East Conference and SEFCU, the largest credit union in New York’s Capital Region, announced a presenting sponsorship agreement for the 2013 and 2014 America East Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championships, which will be held at UAlbany’s SEFCU Arena March 7-9, 2014. This is the second time SEFCU has been the presenting sponsor for an America East Championship. The 2009 men’s basketball championship, which was also held at Albany, was presented by SEFCU.

HEART OF CHAMPIONS: UMBC has an 9-9 all-time America East Tournament record. The Retrievers went five consecutive years with at least one victory in post-season play before a quarterfinal defeat at the hands of Vermont in 2009-10. The Retrievers snapped a four-game losing streak with a quarterfinal victory over Hartford in 2012-13.

BATTLE-TESTED: Over the last six seasons, UMBC is 34-22 (.607) in games decided by five points or less. The Retrievers were 4-8 in games decided by eight points or less in 2012-13. UMBC led seven of those 11 contests with ten minutes remaining on the clock.

EXTRA, EXTRA, READ ALL ABOUT IT!: UMBC is 7-4 in extra time vs. America East opponents and 0-7 vs. non-conference opponents in since joining America East in 2003-04. The Retrievers have now lost eight consecutive extra session affairs (the most recent to American on Dec. 6) to non-conference foes since a win over Quinnipiac in the 2001-02 season. The overtime loss at UNH on Feb. 13 drops UMBC to 0-3 in OT this season.

LOCATION, LOCATION: Towson is the first program that UMBC has acheived 20 victories against, followed by Loyola (19) and Mount St. Mary’s (18). The Retrievers will play all three of those local squads this season. In addition, the Retrievers will face Coppin State, GW, American, UMES and play a home-and-home series versus Navy.

BUY!: With eight victories in 2012-13, UMBC collected its most wins since amassing 15 in the 2008-09 season.


* In 2012-13, UMBC allowed 71.5 points per contest, 5.6 points lower than the previous season.

* UMBC excelled from behind the arc, offensively and defensively in league play. The Retrievers finished third in the conference in 3-point field goal percentage (34.7) and made treys (7.2) per game and second in 3-point defense (28.9%).

* UMBC’s second-half field goal percentage of 78.9% was the second-best ever for a half (in quarterfinals vs. Hartford) in America East Championship history. The Retrievers also hold the best mark, hitting 18 of 21 (85.7%) vs. Stony Brook on in a 2005-06 first round game.

* UMBC was 21-of-39 (53.8%, 10.5 made per game) from behind the arc in the two America East games.

* UMBC’s opponents made only five fewer free throws (515) than the Retrievers attempted (520) last season. The Retrievers’ season 63.1% free throw percentage was just .5% better than a school-record low of 62.6% in 2003-04.


Seniors Ryan Cook and Brian Neller both competed their senior campaigns in fine fashion. Cook finished the 2012-13 season with 478 points, the ninth-most in school history. Neller, who set the UMBC single-season record for treys, completed his four-year run with 261 three-point field goals, second-most in school history.

Cook has signed a professional contract with OKK Sloboda Tuzla in the Bosnian Liga I in Bosnia and Herzegovina. He excelled at the June 2013 First Team All iBall Pro Combine, which was scouted by a group of former and current NBA and overseas players. He averaged 16.0 points per game during the combine, which ranked second amongst the 43 players that were invited. OKK Sloboda Tuzla was the runner-up in both the regular season and the championships of Liga I in 2012-13.

Senior Chase Plummer became the 17th player in school history to reach the 1,000 point plateau with 1,017 after three seasons. He is just the eighth Retriever to score 1,000 points in three or fewer seasons and is the leading active scorer in the America East Confernce.

Plummer corralled 199 rebounds, the sixth-best figure for a UMBC Division I junior and he has accumulated 524 career caroms, now 17th in school history.

Plummer also recorded 54 steals, the sixth-most in a single season in school history and his 150 career thefts are also sixth in UMBC’s basketball history. He placed second in the conference with 1.7 steals per outing.

Junior Joey Getz hit 31-of-54 field goal attempts (57.4%) in the months of February and March and led the team with a 50.4 field goal percentage for the campaign.

Senior Quentin Jones ranked tenth in America East in assists (2.7) per game during league play. The former walk-on earned a scholarship for his senior season and he has also earned the title of co-captain.

Senior Brett Roseboro suffered an on-court injury during an altercation in practice on Jan. 25 and did not dress for the final 12 games of the season. He was ranked in the top ten in America East in rebounding, field goal percentage and blocked shots until falling below the 75% mark in games played for 2012-13.


The Retriever coaching staff brought in seven newcomers to complement the six returners for the 2013-14 squad. All six of the incoming freshmen have Maryland connections. The seven players who list a Maryland town as their hometown on the roster are the most for a Retriever men’s basketball team since having an all-time high of eight on the 1992-93 squad.


UMBC Head Men’s Basketball Coach Aki Thomas has tabbed senior guard Quentin Jones and sophomore forward Malik Garner as Retriever co-captains for the 2013-14 season.

“Q is very mature beyond his years and is consistent on and off of the court,” said Thomas. ” He is a true leader by example and a good teammate.  As a coach, it is a luxury to have a player with these qualities at the point guard position.”

“Malik’s attention to detail, commitment, and character are his best attributes.  He works extremely hard in the classroom and on the court, making him a perfect fit for this role on our team,” said Thomas.

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UMBC tabbed to finish sixth in preseason America East hoops poll

Posted on 16 October 2013 by WNST Staff

Vermont Tabbed America East Men’s Basketball Preseason Favorite by Coaches


CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Returning all five starters from a team that won 21 games a year ago, University of Vermont is America East’s preseason favorite in men’s basketball for the 2013-14 season as the league’s preseason poll was unveiled Wednesday afternoon. The poll results were determined via a vote by the conference’s nine head coaches, who were not permitted to vote for their own team.

Vermont garnered six of a possible eight first-place votes and 64 points to be tabbed the preseason favorite for the second-straight season. Stony Brook University, last year’s regular-season champion, followed in second place, receiving the other three first-place tallies and 58 points. Reigning league champion University at Albany was third with 49 points, followed closely by University of Hartford in fourth with 44 points. University of New Hampshire was fifth with 31 points, followed by UMBC in sixth with 28 points. Binghamton University (24 points), University of Maine (20 points) and UMass Lowell (8) rounded out the nine-team poll.

The 2013-14 season begins on November 8 with full-scale America East play starting on January 4. Conference positioning will prove key for the America East Championship, which the top two seeds have won in 29 of the last 31 years. The tournament, which is combined men and women for the fifth-straight year, will head to SEFCU Arena for quarterfinal and semifinal round action March 8-9 while the title game will be hosted by the highest remaining seed on March 15. The winner will earn an automatic berth into the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship, in which America East teams have won seven games all-time.

Vermont (21-12 in 2012-13), one of five America East teams to appear in the postseason (CBI) last year, returns nine contributors and all five starters from a program that reached the America East title game for the eighth time in 11 seasons in 2012-13. The Catamounts were led by their defense a year ago, holding foes to just 59.2 points per game, which ranked 28th nationally. Senior forward Brian Voelkel was a major reason for that as the preseason all-conference selection earned first-team All-America East and All-Defensive honors after ranking second in rebounds (8.6 rpg) and assists (4.9 apg). Offensively, the Catamounts will rely on senior Clancy Rugg (11.7 ppg in 12-13), a second-team all-leaguer last year, and senior Luke Apfeld (10.7 ppg). UVM opens play vs. St. Joseph’s on Nov. 9.

Stony Brook (25-8) captured its third America East regular-season crown in four years last season and seeks its first-ever league title and NCAA berth this season. The Seawolves bring back eight letterwinners, including four starters, from a squad that beat UMass in the first round of the NIT last year. Leading the way are preseason all-conference selections Jameel Warney, the reigning America East Rookie of the Year, and senior Dave Coley, a third-team All-Conference choice last year. Stony Brook will look to continue its dominance on the defensive end of the floor this season after ranking sixth nationally in field goal percentage defense (.378) and 13th in scoring defense (57.5 papg) last year. The Seawolves begin play at home against Marist on Nov. 8

Albany (24-11) finished fifth in the America East standings last year but ran off three-straight wins in March to become the lowest-seeded team to ever win the league title, its third since 2006. The Great Danes return eight letterwinners and three starters from that team, including junior Sam Rowley, who averaged 9.0 points and 6.5 boards per game and upped those averages to 11.1 and 7.6, respectively, in conference play. Also back is sophomore Peter Hooley, an America East All-Rookie choice last year. The longest tenured head coach in the league, Will Brown, begins his 13th season at Albany, which opens its season at Siena onNov. 8.

Hartford (17-14) is coming off one of its best seasons in its history, finishing one win shy of its Division high-water mark. Junior Mark Nwakamma, a first-team All-America East selection and preseason all-leaguer this year, will lead a team that lost just one contributor from a year ago and returns all five starters. Along with Nwakamma (14.7 ppg), junior Yolonzo Moore (9.2 ppg, 2.6 apg), will be key for the Hawks, who open with Quinnipiac in the Connecticut 6 Classic on Nov. 9.

New Hampshire (9-20) is looking to improve on an eighth-place finish from 2012-13. Six newcomers will join nine returnees, led by senior Patrick Konan, who ranked in league’s top 15 in both scoring (12th – 11.8 ppg) and rebounding (15th – 5.4 rpg) last year. Senior Chris Pelcher (9.1 ppg, 6.3 rpg) teams with Konan to help form one of the better front courts in the conference. Bill Herrion’s squad starts its season at home against Suffolk on Nov. 9.

UMBC (8-23) begins its first full season under Aki Thomas, who served the majority of the 2012-13 season as the acting head coach. Senior Chase Plummer, the league’s active-leading scoring with 1,013 points, leads seven returning letterwinners and three starters after averaging 11.8 points and 6.4 rebounds a year ago, good for 11th and seventh in America East, respectively. The Retrievers kick off their 2013-14 season at Arizona State on Nov. 8.

Binghamton (3-27) is poised to improve this season under second-year head coach Tommy Dempsey. Preseason all-conference choice Jordan Reed will lead the Bearcats after pacing the league in rebounding (9.5 rpg) and ranking second in scoring (16.6 ppg) last year. Among the eight returning letterwinners is junior Robert Mansell, the team’s leading scorer from 2011-12, who missed all of last season with a knee injury. Binghamton opens with Loyola on Nov. 8

Maine (11-19) lost a pair of All-America East performers off last year’s team but returns five letterwinners to go with seven newcomers this season. Junior Xavier Pollard  (9.7 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 4.3 apg) is the top returnee for Ted Woodward’s Black Bears, who start their season at their new facility, the Cross Insurance Center, vs. Fisher on Nov. 10.

UMass Lowell (15-13 Division II) is entering its first season as a Division I program under first-year head coach and former Northeastern and Boston College assistant Pat Duquette. Nine letterwinners return for the River Hawks, who usher in a new era at Michigan on Nov. 8.

2013-14 Preseason Poll
Rank    Team (1st-place votes)        Points
1.          Vermont (6)                                      64
2.          Stony Brook (3)                                 58
3.          Albany                                              49
4.          Hartford                                           44
5.          New Hampshire                                  31
6.          UMBC                                               28
7.          Binghamton                                       24
8.          Maine                                               20
9.          UMass Lowell                                8

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Former UMBC F Cook to play professionally overseas

Posted on 14 October 2013 by WNST Staff

Former UMBC Retriever basketball standout Ryan Cook has signed a professional contract with OKK Sloboda Tuzla in the Bosnian Liga I in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

“The UMBC men’s basketball family and I are very proud of Ryan,” head coach Aki Thomas said.  “This has been a life-long dream of his to play professional basketball, and we wish him the best of luck as he begins this phase of his basketball career.”

Cook finished the 2012-13 season with 478 points, the ninth-most in school history. He was selected to the America East Conference Second Team and to the 2013 America East All-Tournament team after averaging 22.0 points per game in two postseason contests. Cook’s 14.3 points per game career scoring average (two seasons) is 11th best in school history. The Laurel, Md. native hit 84.7% from the charity stripe in two seasons, the second-most proficient shooter in school history.

Cook excelled at the June 2013 First Team All iBall Pro Combine, which was scouted by a group of former and current NBA and overseas players. He averaged 16.0 points per game during the combine, which ranked second amongst the 43 players that were invited.

OKK Sloboda Tuzla was the runner-up in both the regular season and the championships of Liga I in 2012-13.

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Jones, Garner named UMBC hoops captains

Posted on 07 October 2013 by WNST Staff

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                  (Oct. 7, 2013)

UMBC Head Men’s Basketball Coach Aki Thomas has tabbed senior Quentin Jones (Ellicott City, Md./Mount St. Joseph) and sophomore Malik Garner (Philadelphia, Pa./Chestnut Hill Academy) as Retriever co-captains for the 2013-14 season.

Jones will be earning his third letter after transferring to UMBC from Wallace (Ala.) State. The 6’0”, 185-lb. guard walked onto the program in the fall of 2011 and competed in 24 games, earning 11 starts, in his first season. In 2012-13, Jones suffered an ankle injury while competing versus Eastern (Pa.) University on Nov. 12 and did not dress for the next eight contests.

Jones earned his first start of the season on Jan. 9 and started the final 16 games of the campaign. The point guard committed zero turnovers or just one miscue in seven of the final 11 games of the regular season. He ranked tenth in America East Conference games in assists per outing (2.7).

Through 43 career contests for the Retrievers, Jones averages 3.4 points and 1.9 assists per outing. He earned a scholarship for his senior season at UMBC.

“Q is very mature beyond his years and is consistent on and off of the court,” said Thomas. “ He is a true leader by example and a good teammate.  As a coach, it is a luxury to have a player with these qualities at the point guard position.”

Garner competed in all 31 contests and was honored as the team’s Unsung Hero after his freshman campaign in 2012-13. He averaged 2.9 points and 2.8 rebounds in 18.3 minutes played per contest. The versatile 6’6”, 220-lb. competed at both the wing and post positions during his initial season.

Garner excelled in the America East Tournament, amassing 52 minutes of playing time and hauling down a team-best seven rebounds in the 69-62 quarterfinal upset of Hartford.

“Malik’s attention to detail, commitment, and character are his best attributes.  He works extremely hard in the classroom and on the court, making him a perfect fit for this role on our team,” said Thomas.

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UMBC announces 2013-14 basketball schedule

Posted on 05 September 2013 by WNST Staff

BALTIMORE – UMBC and the America East Conference released their non-conference and league men’s basketball schedules respectively, with the Retrievers slated to host 13 contests during the 2013-14 campaign.

Head Coach Aki Thomas’ squad will open the campaign on Friday, Nov. 8 when they travel across the country to take on the Arizona State Sun Devils in Tempe. The Retrievers return to Baltimore for the home opener on Monday, Nov. 11, when UMBC welcomes Eastern (Pa.) University to the RAC Arena for the second consecutive year.

UMBC will then begin a stretch of six consecutive games versus local rivals. After a Nov. 14 date at American, UMBC returns home for back-to-back contests. On Sunday, Nov. 17, the Retrievers host Mount St. Mary’s and three days later, Loyola (Md.) invades the RAC Arena for a mid-week affair.

The Retrievers will renew a rivalry with Navy and play in the Mids in Annapolis in the first game of a home-and-home series onSaturday, Nov. 23. The two teams have not faced off since the 2005-06 campaign. UMBC concludes the month with a game at Towson on Nov. 26 and opens December with a home date versus UMES, coached by former Retriever assistant coach Frankie Allen, on Monday, Dec. 2.

UMBC then commences a four-game road trip, starting with a Dec. 4 date at Duquesne and concluding with a Dec. 21 contest at George Washington. The Retrievers conclude the non-conference schedule on Monday, Dec. 30 as Navy visits the RAC Arena for the first time since the 2004-05 season.

“We are playing what I feel to be a very competitive non-conference schedule,” said Thomas. “It will prepare us for a very strong America East. I really enjoy playing against local rivals like Towson, Loyola, Mount St. Mary’s, Coppin State and Navy. Those are really fun and competitive games for players and fans.”

The Retrievers tip off the 2014 America East slate at league newcomer UMass Lowell on Sunday, Jan. 5 and play their league home opener against Maine on Saturday, Jan. 11. The black and gold have a pair of three-game homestands in league play, highlighted by back-to-back games versus league heavyweights Vermont (Sat., Jan. 18) and Stony Brook (Mon., Jan. 20).

UMBC completes the regular season at Hartford on Sunday, March 2, and will travel to Albany, N.Y. to open the 2014 America East Tournament at SEFCU Arena on Saturday, March 8.

Notes: UMBC’s trip to Arizona State is its furthest, distance-wise, since the 2005-06 Retrievers traveled to California to face San Diego State and Long Beach State… Arizona State and new America East member UMass Lowell are the lone first-time opponents for UMBC in 2013-14… The Retrievers have only faced one other PAC-12 team in its history, as they faced a Jason Kidd-led California squad in the 1993-94 season… The Retrievers take on two former members of their 2007-08 America East championship coaching staff, with games versus Eastern (Nate Stewart) and UMES (Frankie Allen)… The game is UMBC’s first against UMES since 2005-06… Mount St. Mary’s makes their first trip to the RAC since the 2002-03 campaign, UMBC’s final year in the Northeast Conference… UMBC will face Towson (Retrievers’ most frequently-played opponent) for the 57th time in the Retrievers’ 45th year of competition vs. all varsity squads… Four home dates for the squad are nightcaps of double-headers with the women’s squad (Nov. 11 vs. Eastern, Nov. 20 vs. Loyola (Md.), Jan. 11 vs. Maine, Jan. 25 vs. Hartford)… All television dates will be announced at a later date.

2013-14 UMBC Men’s Basketball Schedule

Fri. 8 at Arizona State, TBA; Mon. 11 Eastern (Pa.) 7:30 p.m.; Thu. 14 at American, TBA; Sun. 17 Mount St. Mary’s, 2:00 p.m.; Wed. 20 Loyola (Md.) 7:30 p.m.; Sat. 23 at Navy, TBA; Tues., 26 at Towson, 7:30 p.m.

Mon. 2 UMES 7:00 p.m.; Wed. 4 at Duquesne 7:00 p.m.; Sat. 7 at Lehigh TBA; Wed. 11 at Coppin State TBA; Sat. 21 at George Washington TBA; Mon. 30 Navy 7:00 p.m.

Sun. 5 at UMass Lowell, TBA; Wed. 8 at Albany, TBA; Sat. 11 Maine 3:30 p.m.; Wed. 15 at New Hampshire TBA; Sat. 18 Vermont 2:00 p.m.; Mon. 20 Stony Brook TBA; Sat. 25 Hartford 3:30 p.m.; Wed. 29 at Binghamton TBA

Sat. 1 at Maine, TBA; Wed. 5 New Hampshire 7:00 p.m.; Sat. 8 UMass Lowell, 2:00 p.m.; Wed. 12 Albany TBA; Sat. 15 at Vermont TBA; Wed. 19 at Stony Brook TBA; Sat. 22 Binghamton 7:00 p.m.

Sun. 2 at Hartford TBA; Sat. 9-Sun. 10 America East Conference Tournament*; Sat. 16 America East Championship Game !
*at SEFCU Arena, Albany, N.Y.
! at higher seed

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Four more headed to UMBC including Elliott’s son

Posted on 26 April 2013 by WNST Staff

BALTIMORE- UMBC head men’s basketball coach Aki Thomas is pleased to announce that four additional prospective student-athletes have signed National Letters-of-Intent with the Retrievers’ program for the fall of 2013.

Coach Thomas and his staff have added guards Rodney Elliott, Jr. and Bryan Harris and posts Devarick Houston and David Kadiri to the roster. They will join fall 2012 signees Will Darley and Charles Taylor, Jr. and walk-on Ben Grace to give the Retrievers seven new faces for the 2013-14 season.

“It is a very large group,” Thomas said. “We tried to fill every position and were successful in doing that. I think they should mesh well with the guys we have returning.”

Rodney Elliott, Jr. is a 6’2”, 175-lb. point guard who competed on the varsity squad for four years at John Carroll High School and resides in Bel Air, Md. He led the No. 7 Patriots with 16.6 points per game and  also averaged 4.2 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 1.3 steals in his senior season.

Ellliott, Jr. closed out his high school career with 1,116 points, 287 assists and 171 steals and earned First Team All-Metro honors from The Baltimore Sun.  His father, Rodney Elliott, Sr., earned four letters at the University of Maryland and competed for Gary Williams’ Terrapins from 1994-98.

Harris, who stands at 6’2” and weighs in at 180 lbs., starred for Southern (Anne Arundel) High School  and graduated in 2011. The Oxon Hill, Md. native earned First Team All-MIAA honors in his junior and senior campaigns. He was a two-time team captain and Most Valuable Player and averaged a career-best 20 points per game and six assists per game in his senior campaign.

Harris attended and competed at Massanutten Military Academy in 2011-12 and averaged 24.0 points per game. He earned a scholarship at Wofford University in the fall of 2012, but left after the fall semester due to health concerns and to be closer to home.

Junior college transfer Devarick Houston comes to UMBC after two campaigns at Chattahoochee Technical College in Marietta, Ga. A native of Jonesboro, Ga., the 6’7”, 190-lb. power forward averaged 12.8 points per game and 8.4 rebounds per contest this past season. He also blocked 2.9 shots per outing and was ranked ninth in the nation in that category.  His squad ended the 2012-13 campaign at No. 14 in the nation with a record of 26-4.

Houston prepped at Mays High School and averaged 14.1 points, 5.2 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 2.2 steals a game as a senior. Houston was a key player for a top-notch Mays program and helped the Raiders reach the Class AAAA championship game in 2010.

Kadiri attended Coolidge High School in Washington, D.C. in his senior prep campaign. The 6’8”, 190-lb. Beltsville, Md. native’s squad finished 25-6 and won both the D.C. Interscholastic Athletic Association and D.C. State Athletic Association titles in 2013.

Kadiri averaged 13.7 points per game this winter and garnered 19 or more rebounds in three occasions. He earned DCIAA First Team honors and was tabbed to the Third Team All-Metro squad by The Washington Post.

Kadiri will become the first future Retriever to compete in the prestigious Capital Classic All-Star game. The 40th annual game is set for this Sunday, April 28 at T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria, Va.

Darley competed a post-graduate season at Fishburne (Va.) Military Academy, while Taylor did the same at Mount Zion in Baltimore.

The sharp-shooting Grace is also a Baltimore native and the 5’10” guard competed at The Gilman School.

“I feel it is very important to have players from this area attend UMBC,” Thomas said. “Local recruiting is something that I wanted to hone in on as soon as I took over.  There are a lot of really good basketball players in the area.”

We recruited some guys that go non-stop, love the game of basketball and are students of the game of basketball. We are happy with the outcome- we got all of our first choices. I am looking forward to working with them and getting them acclimated and moving forward.”


Name                            Pos.     Ht.      Wt.   Yr.   Hometown/HS/Previous School

Will Darley                    G         6-8      200    Fr.   Timonium,Md./Dulaney/Fishburne Acad.

Rodney Elliott, Jr.         G          6-2      175     Fr.    Bel Air, Md./John Carroll

Ben Grace*                   G         5-10    175     Fr.    Baltimore, Md./The Gilman School

Bryan Harris                  G         6-2     180     Fr.    Oxon Hill, Md./Southern/Massanutten Acad.

Devarick Houston          F          6-7      190     Jr.      Jonesboro, Ga./Mays/Chatttahoochee Tech

David Kadiri                  F/C       6-8      190     Fr.     Beltsville, Md./Coolidge

Charles Taylor, Jr.         G          6-4      185     Fr.     Haymarket, Va./Springbrook/Mount Zion

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Aki Thomas named full time UMBC head coach

Posted on 04 March 2013 by WNST Staff

BALTIMORE- Aki Thomas, acting head men’s basketball coach at UMBC, has been appointed as the head coach of the program, Dr. Charles Brown, director of athletics, announced today.  Thomas has served as acting head coach since Oct. 10, 2012, following five previous seasons as a Retrievers’ assistant coach.

“I have been impressed with Coach Thomas’ basketball acumen, as well as his positive approach with our student-athletes,” Dr. Brown said. “He has all the tools to be an outstanding head coach.”

Coach Thomas and his staff have led UMBC to more victories (7) and conference wins (5) than in any season  since the 2008-09 campaign, despite the loss of three post players due to injury, including 6’10” starter Brett Roseboro. UMBC’s scoring margin in America East play has improved from -13.6 in 2011-12 to -8.0 currently.

The Retrievers are allowing nearly six less points per game (71.3) than they did in the previous season, despite the loss of the primary
interior presence of their defense.

“I want to thank UMBC for allowing me the privilege to continue leading its basketball program,” Thomas said. “President Hrabowski,
Dr. Brown, Dr. Nancy Young, vice president for student affairs, and all my colleagues have given me – and more importantly the team –
tremendous support this year.”

“I have a tremendous staff in John Zito, Jay Greene, and Brian Johnson, and any coach would be proud to work with them. Our team will continue to improve every day and to represent the UMBC community well.”

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Support UMBC hoops with us this Saturday afternoon…for just $3.00!!

Posted on 06 February 2013 by Drew Forrester

It’s “WNST Day” this Saturday, February 9th, where we will gather to support UMBC basketball and continue to celebrate a great Ravens Super Bowl triumph.

At 1pm on Saturday, Phil Stern’s Lady Retrievers take on Vermont and then, at 3:30, it’s the Men’s team battling Vermont in a key America East contest.

Best of all?

Just print this blog and take it to the RAC box office and you’ll get in for just $3.00 (for BOTH games!).  Yes, that’s all you need to do.  Print the blog and get a $7.00 ticket discount just for being a friend of WNST and UMBC Athletics.

We – the folks from WNST – will be there in full force to cheer UMBC on to victory and support the Retrievers.  UMBC has been a longtime supporter of WNST and vice versa — so what better way to say “Thank You” than to head out to the RAC this Saturday and see some exciting college basketball!

Print this out — and take it to the RAC box office this Saturday for either the women’s game or the men’s game — or both! — and enjoy UMBC basketball at a discount price.

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