The Wheaton College men's basketball team opens up its 2012-13 season on Friday, November 16 as the Lyons will participate in the Hampton Inn Classic against UMass Dartmouth, who will serve as hosts of the event, at 7:30 p.m.
Wheaton will look to build upon its New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Tournament quarterfinal round appearance last season. The Lyons fell to Babson, 62-58, in the contest but return junior guard Will Bayliss (Manchester, N.H./Tilton School) and senior guard Scott Faucher (Lebanon, N.H./Kimball Union Academy) among others from that squad.
Both captains will bring plenty of leadership and experience to the guard position for a team that currently sports three freshmen and six sophomores. Bayliss averaged 7.4 points per game, 3.0 assists, 1.0 steals and 27.3 minutes last winter for the Lyons. Faucher has played in every game for the Lyons the past two seasons giving head coachBrian Walmsley (213-185, 16th season) a dependable and reliable guard to count on throughout the season. Bayliss and Faucher also tied for the team lead in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.0).
"One thing we won't have to worry about is handling the ball and having a leader on the court," said Walmsley. "I feel really good with Will and Scott handling the ball for us this year."
Sophomore guard Eddie Capstick (Worcester, Mass./Marianapolis Prep) posted 5.1 points per game and 2.9 rebounds per game a year ago while classmate Jaycob Morales (Lawrence, Mass./Central Catholic) contributed 3.7 points per game, 2.2 rebounds per game and 1.1 steals per game.
Freshmen Eric Davis (Middleton, Mass./Milton Academy), Malcolm Thomas (Plainfield, N.J./Rutgers Prep) and Billy Battaglia(Simsbury, Conn./Taft School) will look to make an impact in their first year at the College. All three freshmen will provide depth and plenty of scoring options.
Senior Brian Johnson (Roxbury, Mass./Brimmer and May School)and junior Mike Hall (Lynnfield, Mass./Saint John's Prep) will look to contribute from the post position after missing last season with injuries.
In 2011-12, the Lyons finished third overall in the NEWMAC in free throw shooting percentage (70.7) and offensive rebounds per game (11.0). Wheaton also ranked fourth in steals per game (7.6) and fourth overall in three pointers made (157).
WHAT TO WATCH FOR: The Lyons will host the Beavers in a rematch of the NEWMAC Tournament quarterfinals on Wednesday, February 13 in Emerson Gymnasium at 7:00 p.m. Wheaton plays three consecutive home games in the month of January as the Lyons welcome Framingham State on the 21st at 2:00 p.m., Coast Guard on January 23 at 6:00 p.m. and Clark University on January 26 at 3:00 p.m.