The University of Dallas men's basketball team begins the 2018-19 season on November 15 at Hendrix College. Head Coach and Dallas men's basketball alumni (BA '01) Jarred Samples will have to sort the puzzle of a young squad that nearly splits half returners (11) and newcomers (10) on a roster of 21.
Dallas graduated Emmanuel Calton from last season's team. His leadership anchored a team that reached the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) tournament for the first time in two seasons.
Last season the Crusaders surpassed preseason predictions after being selected towards the bottom of the SCAC standings by rattling off seven wins in the first eight games that eventually resulted in a 15-11 record. Dallas also posted its highest SCAC win total with an 8-6 mark and tied two teams for 2nd in the standings.
The Crusaders averaged 79.6 points with three players averaging double figures for the season total. Of the trio back is Michael Wambsganss, who averaged 12.7 points and led the team in made three-pointers with 69. His 40.8 three-point percentage ranked 5th in the SCAC.
John Russell and Joshua Nunn also found themselves within the top-5 of the SCAC in a category, as Russell shot 50.9 percent from the field for 5th. Nunn boasted the best free throw percentage with an 88.0-clip.
The Crusaders also were strong on the glass: outrebounding opponents 994-906. Dallas also edged the opposition in blocks 114-92.
SAMPLES EYES MILESTONE
Samples reached 100 wins in his 10th season last year. That season also marked the longest tenure by a UD coach in the program. He enters the new campaign with 110 wins, and is one away from tying the all-time record that is held by his predecessor and own coach when at UD, Brian Stanfield.
Samples also returns two from his staff a year ago with assistant Matt Grahn (8th season) and the program's first graduate assistant, Chris Conaty (2nd season).
YOUTH DOMINATES ROSTER