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The Ring-tum Phi

The student newspaper of Washington and Lee University

The Ring-tum Phi

The student newspaper of Washington and Lee University

The Ring-tum Phi

Men’s and women’s basketball season previews

The Generals’ men’s and women’s basketball teams both look to continue momentum from last year into this season
The Generals men’s basketball team tips off in an exhibition matchup against Davidson on Nov. 6. Photo courtesy of Generals Athletics

W&L men’s and women’s basketball teams are poised for big years.

The women’s team was voted preseason number one in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference receiving the maximum amount of votes possible.

On the men’s side, the team faced off against Division I Davidson University on Nov. 6 in an exhibition and led 38-37 at halftime. The team is already off to a hot start with wins against Messiah (83-55) and Muskingom (71-68) in the Gettysburg Tournament.

The women’s team tipped off its season with  a narrow 56-55 win against Marymount.

Here’s everything you need to know coming into the season for both teams this year:

Men’s Basketball

The men are coming off a successful 18-8 season that was capped off in a quadruple overtime exit from the ODAC tournament against Roanoke College. This year, the team is ranked fifth in the conference according to the preseason poll placing two points behind fourth-place Virginia Wesleyan University. But Head Coach Chris McHugh is optimistic.

“We’re going to be an awfully good basketball team if we continue to grow and continue to defend,” he said. “Playing against a team like Davidson is a great way to test yourself… we showed that we can be a very good team.”

Defense was a problem last year with the team conceding an average of 77.7 points per game. McHugh hopes to improve that this year.

“We’ll score like a team that is capable of being very competitive on a national level,” he said. “If we defend at that same clip, we’re going to be a tough out any night.”

Scoring is a strength the Generals hope to keep this year behind the likes of seniors Robert DiSibio and Jack d’Entremont. Last year DiSibio averaged 22.8 points per game — one of the highest averages in Division III — and d’Entremont averaged 11.6 points per game behind him and led the team with 7.3 rebounds per game.

This year, McHugh said he is looking for Drew Harrell, ’24, to develop into one of the best two-way players in the conference after averaging the sixth most minutes last year. McHugh also is welcoming a first-year class of five. Notably, Parker Neuenhaus already leads the group with 13 points in his first game.

But for McHugh, it all goes back to defense first.

“If everyone can just give a little more to that intangible piece,” McHugh said. “It’s going to add up to great things.”

The men’s next home matchup in Tuesday, Nov. 21 against Southern Virginia University.

Women’s Basketball

The women’s team enters this season with a target on their back. Last year, the team won the ODAC tournament beating every team they faced in postseason conference play by an average of 19.3 points. That earned the Generals an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament where they fell in the first round 58-55. This year, the team hopes to build off last year’s success on the backs of several returning players.

“We are excited to start this new season and establish our identity as the 2023-24 W&L Women’s Basketball team,” said Head Coach Christine Clancy in the season preview. “We have lofty goals and standards for this season, but are committed to taking it one day at a time.”

The team is seeing national recognition receiving top 25 votes in two different polls. Mary Schleusner, ’26, was selected by as a preseason All-American. Last year, she was selected as the National Rookie of the Year by the same site and was an All-American honorable mention selection by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association.

Last year, the team set a program record with 22 wins and a 16-2 conference record. They also led the country in blocks with an average of 8.3 per game. The Generals welcome back four starters from last year’s team including Schleusner, Hanna Malik, ’24, Grace O’Connor, ’24, Elka Prechel, ’26.

Last season, Malik was a first-team all-ODAC selection averaging 12.7 points per game. O’Connor was a third-team all-ODAC selection averaging 6 rebounds per game and 3.6 assists. And Prechel set the program record for single-season three-pointers with 79.

“Right now, we are focused on competing hard every day, pushing each other to get better,” Clancy told “And having a lot of fun!”

The women will host the W&L inivitational at Holekamp Gymnasium Nov. 18-19.

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