Players to watch
The Bison have back five of their top six scorers from last season, including junior F Mike Phillips (12.9 points per game), junior G Anton Dickerson (11.4) and junior F Dadrian Collins (11.1). Phillips also led Howard in rebounding (7.2 per game). Sophomore Alphonso Leary was second (5.7).
Three story lines
Youth movement: The Bison have eight players who are either freshmen or sophomores. G Clinton Cuffee is the only senior back from a team that went 6-24 last season, Coach Kevin Nickelberry’s first at Howard. Senior G Glen Andrews (T.C. Williams High) is a transfer from Tulsa.
Local flavor: Three of Howard’s top recruits played high school basketball in Prince George’s County, including G-F Prince Okoroh (Eleanor Roosevelt), who was named MVP in the preliminary game of the Capital Classic. G Brandon Ford (Gwynn Park) and F Brandon Bailey (Largo) are the others.
Stout schedule: The Bison are playing some of the nation’s most recognizable programs. Among the teams Howard will visit include Kansas and Indiana, and they’ll also play Georgetown at Verizon Center on Dec. 10. Of Howard’s 15 nononference games, only four are at Burr Gymnasium.
The Bison are inexperienced, but Nickelberry is building a promising foundation. Although victories may not add up immediately, Howard appears to have the players to be competitive in the MEAC down the road.
— Gene Wang