The UMBC men's basketball team opens the 2018-19 season when they face the Marquette Golden Eagles on Tuesday, Nov. 6. The contest will be Marquette's debut in the Fiserv Forum, Milwaukee's new downtown arena. Opening tip-off is slated for 9:00 p.m. (EST) and the game will be broadcast by Fox Sports 1 with Brian Anderson and Stephen Bardo on the call.
Retriever Review: The 2017-18 UMBC men's basketball team became the first No. 16 seed in the history of the NCAA Men's Basketball Championship to defeat a No. 1 seed when the Retrievers knocked off Virginia, 74-54, March 16, 2018 in Charlotte, N.C. (South Region). Six days earlier, in the America East title game, the second-seeded Retrievers snapped a 23-game losing streak at top-seeded Vermont and defeated the Catamounts, 65-62 on a trey by graduate student guard Jairus Lyles with 0.6 left on the clock.
UMBC's season came to an end with a 50-43 setback to eventual "Elite Eight" squad Kansas State.
The Retrievers set a school record with 25 victories. The previous mark of 24 was set in the 2007-08 season, when UMBC made its first NCAA DI Tournament appearance.
A Look Ahead: Nine letterwinners and three starters will return for UMBC this season and they will be joined by six newcomers/eligible red-shirts. In addition to losing leading scorer, guard Jairus Lyles (20.2 ppg), guards K.J. Maura (11.3 ppg, 5.0 apg) and Jourdan Grant (7.5 ppg) also exhausted their eligibility.
UMBC graduate student forward Joe Sherburne was named to the 2017-18 Academic All-America® Division I Men's Basketball First Team. He became the first UMBC and first America East Conference men's basketball player to earn the nation's top academic honor at the NCAA Division I level. Sherburne earned his undergraduate degree in May with a 4.0 grade-point average in the major of financial economics. He is pursuing a Master's degree in data science.
Sherburne, UMBC's leading returning scorer at 10.7 ppg in 2017-18, became the 21st Retriever and tenth third-year player in program history to reach the 1,000-point plateau. The sharpshooter currently stands 19th on the all-time list with 1,091 career points.
The native of Whitefish Bay returns home to compete for the first time in his collegiate career.
Two other frontcourt starters – junior Arkel Lamar (10.3 ppg. 5.9 rpg) and sophomore Daniel Akin (3.5 ppg, 3.4 rpg) return to the UMBC lineup in 2018-19. Lamar converted a team-high 42.6 percent from 3-point range, while Akin earned America East All-Rookie Team honors.
Notable: The team will play its 2018-19 home opener in the Event Center, the first time since the fall of 1971 that the home schedule did not start at the RAC Arena/UMBC Fieldhouse (same facility).
Red-shirt junior Sam Schwietz will be joined by his brother Jack Schwietz and form just the third brother duo to earn letters in school history. Jeff and Kenny Reynolds suited up together in the 1988-89 season, while Howie and Jack Kane, both '79 grads, were the first and only other set of brothers to letter for the Retrievers.
After going through camp and pre-season with the NBA's Utah Jazz, Lyles is now on the roster of their G-league affiliate, the Salt Lake City Stars.
America East's nine head men's basketball coaches tabbed defending tournament champion UMBC for third place in its 2018-19 preseason poll. Vermont, last year's regular-season champion, received six-first place votes and topped the poll with 62 points while Hartford matched its best ever predicted finish coming in second after earning the other three first-place tallies and 59 points. UMBC earned 44 points, edging Albany and Stony Brook, who tied for fourth with 40 apiece.
A Glance at the Eagles: Marquette (21-14, 9-9) made a run to the NIT Quarterfinals, but fell, 85-80, to eventual champion Penn State.
Junior guard Markus Howard was selected to the Preseason All-BIG EAST First Team, while classmate and forward Sam Hauser earned second team honors and the Marquette University men's basketball team was pegged second in the league's annual preseason coaches' poll.
Marquette welcomes back four starters and two transfers who are expected to play significant roles. Howard was an All-BIG EAST Second Team selection after averaging 20.4 points and shooting 40.4 percent from 3-point range. Hauser was third in the nation in 3–point shooting, making 48.7 percent. The junior forward averaged 14.1 points and 5.7 rebounds.
The Series: Marquette has won all four meetings between the two schools, all played in Milwaukee.
The smallest margin of victory occurred in the first meeting in 1988-89, an 88-75 setback for UMBC. That season marked UMBC's first-ever winning campaign at the NCAA Divisoin I level (17-11, third season overall).
UMBC had losing records in the three other seasons in which the teams met.
Up Next: UMBC opens the home slate on Saturday, Nov. 10, when they host Shenandoah (Va.). Tip-off time at the UMBC Event Center is slated for 1:00 p.m. and the game will be broadcast on ESPN3.