The Shoreline Men’s Basketball team begins the 2015-16 season looking to get back to the NWAC Tournament. Last year was Head Coach Donald Brady’s first year at the helm of the Dolphins program. The 2014-15 team went 11-16 (a six win improvement over the prior year) and finished one game out of the NWAC tournament, losing in heartbreaking fashion on a last second shot to North Region rival Everett. Although few faces remain from the 2014-15 team the building blocks have been set for a program turn around.
The 2015-16 season has already begun with the Pierce Thanksgiving Day Tournament. The Phins came away with a 4th place finish and a 2-1 record over the weekend. Shoreline defeated two perennial playoff teams in Clackamas and Pierce and lost to Green River 62-65 in the tourney. Shoreline Head Coach Donald Brady had this to say about his teams early season performance, “We were happy with our effort and the way we improved over 3 games. Obviously it is very early in the season, but if we can continue to trust the process we have in place then this could be a successful season.”
The Phins return two players from last year’s team. Sophomore Captain Skyler Kelley started 7 games last year as a freshmen and finished 3rd in the NWAC in 3 Point Field Goal percentage and 11th in Free Throw Percentage. Kelley averaged 11 points per game last year and looks to improve his overall numbers in his Sophomore season. The other returner is Kwame Kang who had his season cut short last year due to a knee injury. Through 5 games Kang was shooting 40% from 3 and has already contributed big minutes and shots through the Phins first 3 games this season.
To add to the returners Brady and his staff brought in a number of highly touted recruits. Sophomore Jason Smarr is a transfer from NWAC Champion Clark College. Smarr was a star at Edmonds-Woodway High School where he was first team All-WesCo 3a. “Jason brings championship experience to our young team and has a great work ethic,” Brady said in regards to Smarr.
The Freshmen recruiting class is highlighted by Will Luckett from Inglemoor High School. Luckett was named first team All-KingCo as a Senior. Derrik Dean played his prep ball at Bishop Blanchet where he averaged 15 ppg as a Senior and was Honorable Mention All Metro. “Our goal in recruiting was to get bigger and more athletic,” stated Brady, “with these two players we feel that we accomplished our goal.”
The recruiting class also includes two former high school teammates from Nathan Hale in Ben Steinbrueck and Gadisa Margasa. Steinbrueck currently leads the NWAC in assists through the early part of the season. Torrence Baker is a Garfield graduate that won a 4a State Championship in 2014. “Ben, Gadisa and Torrence bring great defensive intensity and scoring punch to our roster. Their experience in the Metro 3a and KingCo 4a conference mean they have experience playing high level basketball,” said Brady. The recruiting class is rounded out by Joe Ghebrehiwot, Devan Jackson, and Sage Drollinger. “Joe provides an inside-outside scoring option and more size while Devan and Sage provide us with wing depth and more athleticism. All three add great depth to the class.”
The Phins have a tough schedule ahead to prepare for the difficult North Region. Their next game is against Highline at 4pm on Saturday, December 5th. The Phins then compete in the Bellevue Winter Classic and the Yakima Crossover before a single game meeting with Green River to close out 2015. In January the Phins host Yakima before embarking on their North Region schedule.