Art Perry enters his third season as American University's coach, and it could be a key season for his future. The Eagles are 16-40 in his first two seasons, but for the first time he begins a season with a roster filled with his recruits. Senior swingman Jarion Childs is the only holdover from the Chris Knoche era.

"I feel really good about that," Perry said. "The chemistry with this team is good. The guys like each other a lot. I think we've got the pieces coming together for the puzzle. We've got the size, we've got depth and we've got scoring. I've said that while we've got the right ingredients, we've got to make it come together on the floor."

There are a lot of new ingredients to mix. The Eagles enter the season with two junior college transfers, five freshmen and two new assistant coaches, Rich Zvosec and Bill Donlon.

Childs, who has started 55 games at point guard, has been moved to small forward in an effort to improve the team's perimeter shooting. The Eagles shot 39.7 percent and 29 percent from three-point range last season.

Junior college transfer Ronald Hearns, the son of former boxing great Thomas Hearns, will start at shooting guard. Perry said the point guard position will be manned by freshman Hasheem Alexander or another junior college transfer, Dejaun Goodwin.

Inside, junior center Saliou-Binet Telly and sophomore power forward Patrick Doctor return. Doctor, a Gwynn Park High graduate, was the team's second-leading scorer last season and was its leading scorer this summer during a four-game, 12-day exhibition tour of Italy.

Doctor "will be solid, and probably increase his numbers," Perry said. "But for us to be successful it's got to be a team effort. We need three or four guys to play well and score well."

Data

Last season: 7-21, 2-14 Colonial Athletic Association.

Coach: Art Perry (third season, 16-40; fourth season overall, 23-59).

Top returning players: F-C Patrick Doctor, 6-9, Soph. (11 ppg, 6.2 rpg); G-F Jarion Childs, 6-1, Sr. (9.2 ppg, 5.0 apg, league-leading 2.9 spg); C Saliou-Binet Telly, 6-8, Jr. (6.0 ppg, eighth in CAA with 1.1 bpg, 10th in CAA with 6.4 rpg); F Keith Gray, 6-8, Soph. (3.4 ppg, 2.9 rpg).

Key departures: F Matt Brown (started 18 games, 10.6 ppg, 5.8 rpg); F Dave Small (started all 28 games last season, 8.4 ppg, 5.8 rpg); G Ossie Jones (started 11 games, 8.5 ppg, 3.7 rpg, quit team).

New faces: G Ronald Hearns, 6-3, Jr. (transfered from Vermillion, Minn., Community College in Ely, Minn.); G Dejaun Goodwin, 6-1, Jr. (transfered from Vermillion Community College); G Hasheem Alexander, 6-3, Fr. (Thomas Johnson); F Tim Washington, 6-8, Fr. (Carroll); G Demek Adams, 6-0 (Carroll); F Charles Pringle, 6-8, Fr. (Philadelphia).

Schedule

November

20 North Carolina A&T, 2

22 Catholic, 7:30

27 at Delaware, 7:30

29 at Loyola, 7:30

December

4 Wagner, 2

7 at Marist, 7:30

11 Jacksonville, 2

18 at George Mason, 4:30

22 at E. Kentucky, 7:30

29 at Ohio State, 8

January

5 at James Madison, 7:30

8 UNC Wilmington, 2

10 Coastal Carolina, 7:30

12 at George Washington, 7:30

15 East Carolina, 2

19 at Old Dominion, 7:35

22 at Richmond, 4:30

26 William & Mary, 7:30

29 at UNC Wilmington, 7:30

31 at East Carolina, 7

Feburary

5 George Mason, 2

10 Old Dominion, 7:30

12 James Madison, 2

16 Richmond, 7:30

23 at Va. Commonwealth, 7:30

26 at William & Mary, 7

29 Va. Commonwealth, 7:30

March

3-6 CAA tournament in Richmond