The recent surge of bitterly cold weather indicates that the winter season is unofficially upon us, even if the calender doesn’t agree. Or, perhaps, maybe it’s just a chilly reminder that West Chester University men’s basketball is in full, slam-dunking effect.True in both cases, as snowflakes have been spotted dropping from the West Chester skies, while the Golden Rams warm up the floor of Hollinger Fieldhouse with a new year of hoops.
The men’s team has gotten off to a fast start, winning its first four games of the new season. Coach Dick Delaney hopes to lead the Golden Rams to its 16th consecutive winning season. The Golden Rams were ranked No. 1 in the PSAC East preseason poll and are the favorites to capture the division title. Last season, the Golden Rams made it all the way to the PSAC Quarterfinals and finished with an impressive 18-10 overall record.
The 2004-2005 Golden Rams were successful mainly because each player found a way to contribute each game.
This year, it’s more of the same. The spread-the-ball-around technique has worked well in the early stages of 2005-2006, but with many individual performances worth noting.
Donnell Butler is averaging 15.3 points per game, which is best on the team. Butler has made an impact early this season, despite not playing for the Golden Rams since the 2000-2001 season. Butler was named MVP of the WCU Alumni Association tournament on Nov. 20, and scored a career-high 27 points on Nov. 16 versus Wilmington College.
Forward Aaron Williams, who last season made a good living off his aggressive defense and low-post game, leads the team in rebounds for the second straight season. Williams, along with Lenwood Greenwood, are the Golden Rams fearsome big man duo that combined for 64 blocked shots a year ago. Greenwood averaged 5.4 rebounds per game last season, and contributed nearly eight points per game as a freshman.
Williams’ stellar 2004-2005 season resulted in him being named as a Second Team PSAC East member. Prior to the start of this season, Williams was again rewarded for his talents when he was selected as a PSAC East Preseason All-Conference pick.
Mark Gerhart returns to the team to anchor the guard position. Last season,Gerhart averaged one three point basket a game, and tallied 42 assists. This year, he leads the team in the assists department (14) and is averaging eight points a game.
The Golden Rams start a six-game road trip on Wednesday when they travel to Shepherd, WV for a non-conference