Maryland Eastern Shore Hawks
2021-22 record: 11-16, 6-8 in the MEAC
Head coach: Jason Crafton
Tenure: Fourth season
Career coaching record: 63-150
Home court: Hytche Arena
Starters: G Zion Styles, G Kevon Voyles, G Da’Shawn Phillip, G Ahmadou Fofana , F Nathaniel Pollard Jr.
Bench: G Donchevell Nugent, G Glen Anderson, G Chace Davis, F Kohen Thompson, F Victory Noboya
Overview: After canceling their 2020-21 season due to COVID, the Hawks struggled in their first season back, losing 68-56 in the first round of the MEAC tournament last year to North Carolina Central and ending their season with a 24-point blowout loss to Coastal Carolina in the Basketball Classic.
Maryland Eastern Shore is yet to see the floor of an NCAA tournament game, and they have only ever gone to the NIT tournament once, in 1974. They often spend their postseasons in smaller, non-NCAA tournaments like the Basketball Classic and the NAIA tournament.
That being said, the team is on the upswing. Fourth-year head coach Jason Crafton has been a big reason why, leading the team to its first postseason appearance since 2014 last year and directing what was an impressive Hawks defense that ranked fifth nationally in steals per game and eighth in opponent turnovers per game.
The squad from Princess Anne, Md., also has a lot of returning talent and graduate student veterans who will be looking to take the team deeper into the postseason. Four of the team’s starters from last year will be returning this year, and the fifth starter, guard Ahmadou Fofana, is a graduate transfer who will add some offensive firepower to a team that is already secure on defense. He averaged 9.4 points and 3.2 assists per game with Canisius last season. While this team won’t be making any NCAA tournament runs, they definitely showed improvement last year and will be looking to build on it this season.
Team ceiling: In an absolute best-case scenario, this is a team that will be facing a mid-tournament exit in the MEAC. They lost in the first round last year, and, unless they show some serious turnaround, they probably will not make it all that much further this time around. Maybe they could put together a few wins in a non-NCAA tournament, but nothing more.
Team floor: If the team regresses from last year, this is going to be a rough season for the Hawks. Worst-case scenario, they only get a few wins and fail to qualify for the MEAC tournament, in which case they probably will not get the chance to play postseason basketball anywhere else. It could be a difficult season for the Maryland Eastern Shore squad.
Get The Chronicle straight to your inbox
Signup for our weekly newsletter. Cancel at any time.