Bison Show Well in Bahamas
NASSAU, BAHAMAS -- Following a season in which the Howard University men's basketball lost several games due to the lack of consistent point guard play, the coaching staff made recruitment of that position a priority. If what happened in the Bahamas is any indication, then the Bison appear to have solved their problems for the next four years.
Freshmen Calvin Thompson and Chris McHenry combined to give Howard some solid, if not spectacular play, as the Bison went 1-1 in their exhibition games against the two of the Bahamian national teams.
Thompson, a 6-3 freshman from Harvey, La, showed why he was highly regarded, running the offense and getting teammates involved. McHenry, a 5-9 freshman from Milwaukee, WI, was equally impressive as he penetrated and was effective in getting his teammates good looks at the basket.
"This was a very positive experience for the program," said a pleased head coach Gil Jackson. "We got a chance to get some early practices in and then these games gave us a chance to evaluate our people early in the process."
The games were played under 10-minute quarters and a 24-second shot clock. The Bahamian teams were composed of older players, many of whom have played in the United States for colleges or universities.
Senior forward Randy Hampton (6-4) played well in both games as did junior center Paul Kirkpatrick (6-9), junior forward Kandi Mukole (6-5) and sophomore guard Kyle Riley (6-2). But the biggest surprise may have been the play of Anthony Thomas, a 6-5 sophomore from Baltimore, MD, who played very little early last season but who came along late in the season when injuries hit the team.
"This was a win-win situation for us," said Coach Jackson. "We got a chance to get in some good work; it gave us a chance to get in some conditioning; and the kids got a chance to experience life here in the Islands."
The tournament was sponsored by Basketball Travelers and included Howard conference opponents Norfolk State and Winston-Salem State and Virginia Commonwealth.
The Bison begin practice on October 17. They open play on November 14 when they host Oregon State at Burr Gymnasium at 7 pm.