UMBC Basketball Preview 2018-19


Nick Lorensen, Staff

“The superlatives, you can’t come up with enough,” said Bill Raftery on that fateful Friday night in mid-March, a night that would change UMBC forever.  

The Retrievers come into the 2018-19 season with a bigger fanbase then ever after beating #1 overall seed Virginia, pulling off the biggest upset in NCAA tournament history last year. Although they lose G League star Jairus Lyles, the fast KJ Maura, and the all-time leader in games played for UMBC Jourdan Grant, the Retrievers will try to repeat history. 

When asked about how UMBC has changed since these departures, senior center Nolan Gerrity told me, “We don’t really have that “go to” guy like we did in Jairus but we’re still a fast team that loves to shoot the ball.”  

The Retrievers bring in solid freshman and transfers this year. Projected to take theleaving students’ place will be Providence transfer Ricky Council, Puerto Rican National Squadmember Jose Placer, and junior college transfer KJ Jackson. The biggest returnees for UMBC are grad student forward Joe Sherburne, junior forward Arkel Lamar, and sophomore forward Dan Akin, who will miss the first month or two with an ankle injury.  

The Retrievers were picked 3rd preseason in the America East Coaches Poll, the same as last year.  

“We lost some key pieces, so I understand people’s skepticism. We’ve always done well as an underdog anyways,” Gerrity said. 

After UMBC’s disheartening 67-42 opening night loss against the Marquette Golden Eagles, the Dawgs’ dominated back to back home games against Division 3 Shenandoah and Division 1’s Manhattan Jaspers. In these 3 games KJ Jackson has begun to take a leadership role averaging 12.3 Points and 5 assists per game. 

Come on down to the UMBC Event Center and cheer on the Retrievers! Go Dawgs!!