Written by Chris Pendleton
BUENA VISTA, Va.—The 16th season of Southern Virginia University men's basketball begins at Guilford College—the Quakers are entering their 106th season of basketball—on Friday with the Knights seeking a season-opening win for the sixth consecutive year.
The 2012-13 installment of Southern Virginia men's basketball will be led by first-year Head Coach Tony Caputo, who looks to build upon the program's recent success.
"We're coming off four consecutive winning seasons, which is the longest streak in program history," said Caputo. "Our goal this year is to keep that steak alive and return to the postseason for the fifth straight year."
According to Caputo, the greatest strength of his 2012-13 squad is its depth.
"We feel like we have ten guys who can play significant minutes," said Caputo. "Any one of those ten could lead us in scoring on a given night, which is a really special quality of this team."
Atop Southern Virginia's depth chart, is senior All-American Casey Nye (Kayesville, Utah), who led the Knights in scoring last season at 14.8 ppg. Nye enters his senior campaign ranked third on the program's all-time points list with 909 career points, trailing only all-time points leader Bryce Pendleton (1,347; 2007-10) and second-place Tanner Johnson (1,317; 2006-08).
Along side Nye, Southern Virginia returns all three Jacobson brothers—junior Anders Jacobson (Kitty Hawk, N.C.), senior Isaac Jacobson (Kitty Hawk, N.C.) and junior Jonathan Jacobson (Kitty Hawk, N.C.)—from last year's roster. The Jacboson Trio combined for 30 ppg, 13.3 rpg and 6.7 apg in 2011-12 with A. Jacobson and I. Jacobson each garnering Honorable Mention All-American honors.
"We return four of our top five scorers from last year's roster in Casey [Nye] and the Jacobsons," said Caputo. "Those are four very dynamic players that have played a lot of games together at this point. Three of those players won a championship in 2011 and we're lucky to have so much leadership and exeprience on our roster."
"Payton [Brooks] provided a great spark of bench for us last season with his hustle and long-range shooting," Caputo explained. "We were looking forward to a strong season from Andy [Bailey], but he suffered a season-ending injury the first day of practice last fall. We expect Andy to bounce back strong in his final season of collegiate basketball."
Sophomores Wesley Evans (Crystal Lake, Ill.) and Jed Harr (St. George, Utah) are two more familiar faces on the Southern Virginia's roster this season as both players returned to school this fall after completing two-year missions for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Evans was a key contributor on Southern Virginia's 2008-09 team that placed fourth at nationals, while Harr started at center during the 2010-11 season when the Knights finished second at nationals.
"We're thrilled to have Wes [Evans] and Jed [Harr] back from their missions," said Caputo. "They both matured on and off the court and we'll look to them for big contributions throughout the season."
Southern Virginia's ten-man rotation will be rounded out by senior Seth Richins (Mesa, Ariz.), a 6-7 transfer student from NCAA Division II Western State Colorado University, and 6-6 sharp-shooting sophomore John Woodson (Kansas City, Mo.).
"Both Seth [Richins] and John [Woodson] bring a unique combination of size and skill to our team," Caputo said. "Seth plays with a ton of energy around the rim, while John is one of the best pure shooters on our roster."
With so much depth and experience on Southern Virginia's roster this season, Caputo explained his team's success will depend on the willingness of his players to accept and magnify their respective roles.
"We have everything necessary to be successful this season," said Caputo. "We have depth, experience, size and skill at nearly every position on the court. However, our success this year will hinge on the willingness of our players to accept their roles and sacrifice personal stats for the good of the whole."