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MEN'S BASKETBALL RECAP
Unfortunetly, many collegiate basketball seasons are solely judged on "three days in March." Although the NEC semi-final loss to eventual champion Monmouth will sting for awhile, the record books will show that the 2000-2001 men's basketball season was successful. UMBC won 18 basketball games, the second-most in their 14-year Division I history. The Retrievers captured the locally-televised "Battle of Baltimore" Tournament in its refurbished arena en route to a best-ever 5-0 start. They tranformed themselves from a halfcourt , possesion-conscious team to one which pushed the pace both on offense and defense. And, despite, a wretched stretch in early January, the team recovered to win 11 of 13 games, and challenge the league leaders for NEC regular-season supremacy. For three Retriever seniors, Brad Martin, Kennedy Okfor, and Terence Ward, they can look back and be quite proud of their accomplishments. After a pair of 5-22 seasons, this threesome was in great measure responsible for a four-year record of 62-52, the best four-year mark in 14 years of Division I competition. They helped UMBC to an NEC regular season crown in 1998-99 and made large imprints of the record books when the the final buzzer sounded in Trenton on March 4. Martin, a 6'5" undersized power forward, led the NEC in field goal percentage as a junior and was near the top of the leaderboard for a majority of the 2000-2001 season. He finished his career, making 57% of his shots, and totalled 756 points, 25th on UMBC's all-time list. Okafor, also undersized when considering the damage he did on the glass, became UMBC's all-time leading rebounder, finishing his career with 985. He led UMBC all four years in rebounding and led the NEC this season, earning Second Team All League honors. He also accumulated 1,319 points, seventh-best all time and produced in double figures in points and rebounds 42 times in his career. Ward donned the black and gold 114 times, the most of any UMBC player. The dimutive guard became UMBC's all-time leader in three-point goals, finishing with 296, including a single season record 81 this past season. He amassed 1,692 points, fourth on the all-time scoring list and was an All League player in all three of his Northeast Conference seasons. It will be difficult to replace that trio, and next year's NEC slate will get tougher, as teams in the upper half of the league such as Monmouth, Wagner, and LIU return the majority of their teams. NEC Rookie of the Year, forward Peter Mulligan (15.5 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 70 assists) and All Rookie Team classmate , 6'9" center/forward Will McClurkin (10.4 ppg, 6.4 rpg) were extremely productive as freshmen and will have to quickly develop as leaders for UMBC to keep pace next season. Junior college transfer, off-guard Malik Wallace (Alleghany CC) and incoming 6'9" freshman Andrew Feeley (Scotch Plains, NJ) signed with UMBC in the fall and are expected to fill the scoring and rebounding voids created by the loss of three seniors. It all begins with the Battle of Baltimore next year at Loyola.