We continue our look at the upcoming America East basketball season with a look at the University of Maryland-Baltimore County Retrievers. Head Coach Jim Ferry added to the roster by using the transfer portal and prep school recruiting to put his roster together. Coming off a second straight season with an overall record of 18-14, the Retrievers are looking to improve on a fourth-place finish during last year’s regular season. Here now is a look at the new faces that will be a part of this year’s UMBC basketball team.
6-4 guard Bryce Johnson comes over from Chicago State where he played in 54 games in his two years with the program. 29 of those appearances were starts, and he averaged 8.8 points, and 3.5 rebounds in his two years with the Cougars. He was a 42.4 % shooter from the field and a 36.1% from three-point land. A season ago, Johnson knocked down 57 shots from deep while playing in all 31 games for Chicago State. He reached the 20-point mark in three games.
Marlon Short is a 6-5 guard who played for Stanislaus State. The junior averaged 15.3 points per game and 5.2 boards as well. He led his team in scoring by shooting 46.8% from the floor. He also showed an ability to play defense as he stole the ball 31 times and shot 76.3% from the free-throw line. He reached the 20-point level five times last year. He will have two years left at UMBC.
Some size has been added in the name of Max Lorca-Lloyd. The 6-9 forward was with the Pennsylvania Quakers last season. In three seasons with the Quakers, Lorca-Lloyd made ten starts and appeared in 43 games overall. In 2022-23 he played in 28 games which was a career high. He averaged 14 minutes a game and he led the team with 34 blocked shots, good for fourth in the Ivy League. He also grabbed 3.6 rebounds a night. He will have two years left at UMBC.
Khydarius Smith is a 6-8 forward/center who spent last year with South Carolina Upstate. The fifth-year senior made 28 starts and played in 109 games total. A year ago, Smith made 15 starts and played 18.6 minutes a game. He averaged 7.8 points, 3.6 rebounds, and reached double figures in scoring on 13 different occasions.
Marcus Banks is considered a rising player in college basketball. This will be his third team in the sport having spent a season with Western Carolina, and last year with Odessa Texas College. Bank’s started all 30 games averaging 7.7 points and 2.6 boards in 19.6 minutes of playing time.
From the Prep School level comes Anthony “Ace” Valentine a 6-3 guard from Baltimore, MD. Mount St. Joseph. He played four years at the school and his teams went a combined 80-14 over his last three years. He helped his team win both the regular season and tournament titles. He averaged 13.2 points, 5.5 assists, and four boards a year ago.
6-8 forward Marcel Gardiner is from Potomac, MD. St Andrews Episcopal. The team went 80-28 while he was there, including a 37-12 region record. Last season during a 24-7 season, Gardner averaged 15.1 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 2.3 blocked shots.
Alpha Chibambe is a 6-5 swingman from the Democratic Republic of Congo/Phoenix Prep. A season ago the team was 27-13 and he averaged 14.3 points, 8.4 boards, and 3.2 assists. He shot the ball at a 56% clip and was good at the free throw line at 81%.
Franck Emmou, a 6-5 guard out of Mansfield, Texas/Marrisfield Summit, helped the team make the state playoffs for the first time in program history. He averaged 14.1 points, 5.3 rebounds, three assists, and 1.1 steals.
The coach likes the versatility this group brings to the program. The size, ball handling, shooting, and athleticism are all things that UMBC needed to address. Ferry believes they have been addressed.
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