Northeastern’s Khalid Nwandu, left, and Christian Eyster, right, go after Dover’s Josh McMahon during a game last season. All three return for
Northeastern's Khalid Nwandu, left, and Christian Eyster, right, go after Dover's Josh McMahon during a game last season. All three return for this season. (GAMETIMEPA.COM -- FILE)

GameTimePA.com presents the YAIAA Division II boys' basketball preview capsules:
  

Dover
Eagles


   Coach: Brian Schmoyer (8th season)
   2011-12 record: 19-10, 11-3
Returning starters
   Josh McMahon (6-5, Sr., C, 10.3 points)
Others to watch
   Ryan Beck (5-9, So., G), Jared Mummert (5-11, Sr., G), Zach Workman (6-3, Sr., F), Malec Snyder (6-0, Jr., G), Devin Walter (5-10, Sr., G), Malic Allen (6-3, So., F), Naja Fink (6-4, Fr., C), Zach Renda (5-10, Sr., G), Stephen Jacobson (5-11, Sr., G), Khalil Howard (5-11, Sr., G)
   The skinny: What a year last season was for the Eagles, who claimed the Division II crown, a No. 10 seed in the District 3 Class AAAA tournament and a state tournament berth. The Eagles finished sixth in the district tournament and appeared in the PIAA tournament for the first time in more than two decades. Dover lost to state runner-up Lower Merion in the first round of the PIAA tournament.

Dover has to replace first-team All-YAIAA performer Jerell Figueroa, who hit a league-best 71 3-pointers last season and averaged 17.3 points per game. The Eagles also lost Brandon Smith and Connor Snyder to graduation. Schmoyer, last season's coach of the year for Divisions I and II, will have plenty of players looking to step into those roles.


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The Eagles should be able to rebound with the likes of McMahon, who pulled in 11.2 rebounds a game last season. With a 6-foot-4 freshman in Fink and with both Workman and Allen at 6-3, height shouldn't be an issue for Dover.
-- Ryan Dixon
  

Kennard-Dale
Rams


   Coach: Grant Leonard (1st season)
   2011-12 record: 4-16, 1-13
Returning starters
   Logan Moore (5-9, Sr., PG), Vince Failla (5-11, Sr., G), Brandon Terrell (5-10, Sr., G)
Others to watch
   Ryan Trott (5-10, So., G), Albert Greaver (6-2, Jr., F), Robby Robinson (5-11, Jr., F).
   The skinny: Leonard takes the reins after spending the last six seasons as the head junior high coach. No returning starter stands above 5-foot-11, something that Leonard knows will factor into his offensive system.

"We aren't going to field a team of giants, so we will be looking to push the tempo and spread the floor offensively to play to our team strengths," Leonard said. "We have some guys who play well in space off the dribble and guys who can really shoot to stretch the defense."

On the defensive side, Leonard will look for his team's athleticism to try to shut down opponents.

"Defensively, we should be able to use our speed to play an aggressive man-to-man base with an opportunity to create turnovers and a tempo we like," he said.

A team who won just four times last season, the Rams are looking to change their fortunes this year.

"We have some guys this year who have put in a lot of time in this program," Leonard said, "and I expect this to be a season where they see returns on their investment. We have the potential to surprise people. I expect our kids to improve on last year and send our seniors out with a winning record."
-- Ryan Dixon
  

New Oxford
Colonials


   Coach: Jim Zinn (8th season)
   2011-12 record: 12-10, 6-8
Returning starter
   Marc O'Brien (6-3, Jr., F, 3.0 points, 7.0 rebounds)
Others to watch
   Austin Kibler (5-10, Jr., G), Ross Starner (6-1, Sr., F), Brandon Trimmer (5-10, Sr., G)
   The skinny: The Colonials lost one of the YAIAA's dynamic scorers, as Andre Marshall has graduated after averaging 19.2 points per game in 2011-12.

However, because New Oxford will have a large enough roster, Zinn said the game plan is a simple one.

"Our hope is to play at a high-intensity level and get guys in and out of the game to keep that energy level up," he said.

One reason for the fast pace will be the Colonials' lack of size. No player measures taller than 6-foot-3, so rebounding will be critical.
-- Chuck Curley
  

Northeastern
Bobcats


   Coach: Jon Eyster (18th season)
   2011-12 record: 17-10, 8-6
Returning starters
   Khalid Nwandu (6-2, Sr., PG, 16.7 points), Braheem Riley, (5-11, Sr., G, 5.0 points)
Others to watch
   Derrick Hoffman (6-4, So., F), Christian Eyster (5- 11, Jr., G), Kobi Nwandu (6-0, Fr., G), Donovian Maxfield (5-9, Fr., G), Robert Wade (6-4, Sr., F), Damon Marshall (5-11, Sr., G).
   The skinny: A senior-laden Bobcats squad reached the PIAA Class AAA tournament last season. But, Northeastern will have to overcome the loss of Elijah Cooper, Chris Nwandu and Eric Steadman. Size doesn't figure to be as much of an issue, with Hoffman and Wade, both at 6-foot-4, being able to provide an inside presence for the younger Bobcats.

Northeastern finished second in the division and qualified seventh for districts. The Bobcats advanced to the PIAA tournament with a 78-69 victory against Greencastle-Antrim in the fifth-place game of districts. Their season ended with a first-round loss in the PIAA tournament to Holy Ghost Prep.

All-YAIAA first-team player Khalid Nwandu returns to lead the Bobcats. Nwandu recently signed a letter of intent to play for Mount St. Mary's. Eyster is excited about the team's athleticism, noting that, "We should be in every game we play."
-- Ryan Dixon
  

West York
Bulldogs


   Coach: Bill Ackerman (15th season)
   2011-12 record: 11-10, 7-7
Returning starters
   None
Others to watch
   Kevin Rice (6-0, Jr., G)
   The skinny: With no starters returning, Ackerman is most concerned about his team's lack of meaningful varsity experience. There were eight seniors on the Bulldogs' roster last season for a team that qualified 11th for the District 3 Class AAA tournament. West York's season ended with a loss to York Suburban in the first round of districts.

This season, "A lot depends on how the upperclassmen accept their roles and blend with the underclassmen," Ackerman said.

Rice, who averaged 7.2 points per game and was second on the team with 22 3-pointers, will be looked at to help guide the offense.

The Bulldogs finished third in Division II last season. With teams second through fourth finishing one game back of another, Ackerman expects another tight division race.

"Although Dover and Northeastern should be considered the favorites in Division II, their margin for error is very small, with New Oxford returning many players who got experience last year and West York who has a full stable of youthful talent," Ackerman said.
-- Ryan Dixon

More YAIAA previews

  • Division I breakdown

  • Division III breakdown

  • Division IV breakdown