Men’s basketball (29-3, 9-0 NESCAC) ended its season on March 18 in the NCAA Div. III semifinal game, losing 73-71 to Wooster in Salem, Va. The Ephs had a successful season, racking up great team accomplishments in the NESCAC and accumulating a number of individual honors.
The men had a strong first half against Wooster, jumping to an 11-2 lead just 3:26 into play. The Ephs headed into the half with a sizeable lead at 42-28 and extended their lead to 17 in the beginning of the second half with a score of 63-46. However, the Ephs could not hold back the Scots: Wooster’s next possessions led to 17 unanswered points. The men battled back, but they never managed to overcome Wooster. As the game tightened, it became clear that the semifinal would come down to a single possession. Ultimately, Williams could not tackle Wooster: The men fell 73-71.
The Ephs’ offensive effort was noteworthy, with four men scoring in double figures. Nate Robertson ’13 scored 21 points, tri-captain James Wang ’12 netted 14, tri-captain Troy Whittington ’11 came in with 12 and James Klemm ’13 collected 11 points. Robertson was named to the 2011 NCAA Div. III All-Tournament Team for his efforts.
Whittington and Wang both earned All-America honors from D3Hoops this season, with Whittington garnering First Team honors and Wang claiming Third Team honors. Whittington capped off a successful senior season with his fourth consecutive ECAC-New England Player of the Year award. The senior was also named to the region’s First Team. Wang was a Second Team selection.
Head Coach Mike Maker has also been recognized for his success: He was one of 17 finalists for the Glenn Robinson Div. III National Coach of the Year award. Maker has been extremely successful in his first three years as head coach, compiling a 76-14 record overall and an 8-2 record in NCAA play.
The men will graduate only two players this season, Whittington and tri-captain Harlan Dodson ’11, both of whom were important contributors to the Ephs’ success.
“Troy Whittington’s development as a young man has been the most impressive thing I’ve seen in my 24 years in collegiate coaching,” Maker said. “Harlan’s the same way. Harlan’s a three-year starter, Troy is a first team All-American, yet they’ve impacted the campus every bit as much … I think both of them are leaving a legacy that they can be very proud of.”
Wang, Klemm and Robertson will lead next year’s team as returning starters, with several underclassmen also expected to contribute.
“I think our backcourt will be one of the best backcourts in all of Div. III next year. We’re looking forward to the challenges, but we’re still celebrating the wonderful season that we’ve had,” Maker said. “They expect a lot from themselves, and just like any other elite program in the country, there are certain things you need to do in order to be successful. That means to get better.”