Returning all five starters and nine letterwinners from a capable 11-13 squad from 2010-11, Wesleyan has good reason to expect an improved result in the NESCAC standings when the 2011-12 campaign concludes. The Cardinals went 9-6 vs. outside competition but just 2-7 in conference play. The Cardinals missed out on a NESCAC playoff spot on the final day of the regular season when Bowdoin survived a furious Cardinal rally that reduced a 12-point deficit with 3:38 remaining to a single point in the closing seconds. Still the Polar Bears won, 72-71, to secure the eight and final spot in the NESCAC tournament.
Leading the Cardinals will be two-time NESCAC honoree and team tri-captain Shasha Brown '13 (#11, main photo). With 905 career points in just two seasons, Brown is well on his way to challenging the all-time Wesleyan scoring mark of 1,692 points. He ranked second in the NESCAC with a 19.2 PPG figure in 2010-11 and earned second-team all-conference laurels. He was the NESCAC Rookie of the Year in 2009-10 when he averaged 17.8 PPG. Three other Cardinals hit for double-digit scoring a year ago with team tri-captain Jason Mendell '12 (#34, photo insert upper left) next in line at 11.5 PPG. Mike Callaghan '13 was good for 10.3 PPG and Derick Beresford '13 averaged 10.3 PPG as well. Callaghan was second in rebounding with 6.3 a contest. Glen Thomas '14 led the squad with his 7.9 RPG figure despite missing the final nine games due to injury. Wesleyan returns 84 percent of its scoring and rebounding from a year ago in its nine lettermen back from 2010-11. Team tri-captain Greg St. Jean '13 (#10, photo insert lower left) will look to get back on the court after missing the entire season last year due to inury. Matt Hogan '13, Matt Callori '13 and Zach Lynch '14 were all contributors last season.
Eight newcomers bring size, speed and depth to the Cardinals' lineup as five of the new players stand 6-6 or taller.
Wesleyan begins the season with the Inn at Middletown Tip-Off Tournament in Middletown Fri. and Sat., Nov. 18 and 19. It represents the third straight season the Cardinals have inaugurated the year with a home tip-off tournament. Wesleyan's first-round opponent will be Bard, a team Wesleyan has defeated twice in the last three seasons. Curry takes on Johnson St. in the other first-round matchup.
(photos courtesy of SteveMcLaughlinPhotography.com)