By Nick Porter
BUENA VISTA, Va. – The 2016-17 men's basketball season at Southern Virginia University, which began in November in Idaho, ended in February with a win over St. Mary's (Md.) to finish a 5-20 season with a trio of conference wins at home.
"Overall I felt that we experienced some growing pains with ten freshmen and just one senior," commented fifth-year head coach Tony Caputo. "I think we came a long way with our ability to compete, but we lost a lot of close games this season."
Of the Knights' six losses at home, four of them were by single digits, including a one-point loss to Frostburg State in January.
Despite the home heartbreaks, four of the five wins this season happened in front of the home crowd as the Knights topped Apprentice, Mary Washington, Penn St.-Harrisburg and St. Mary's.
Offensively the Knights were led by guard Rashay Douglas who averaged 12.9 points per game, including a 26-point career high at Wesley. Other scoring leaders include junior forward Aarun Rumbaugh (9.1 ppg, 5.3 rpg), Michael Price (7.5 ppg, 3.8 rpg), Tyler McCreadie (7.3 ppg, 3.9 rpg), and rebound leader Cale Thornton (7.3 ppg, 5.6 rpg).
Douglas, who Coach Caputo describes as a "dynamic force on the offensive end," earned Capital Athletic Conference Player of the Week honors five times during the season.
Also in the starting five this season were Chris Richardson (5.2 ppg) and Alec Johnson (4.0 ppg, 3.5 rpg). Damen Thacker averaged 20 minutes per game before suffering a season-ending injury early in the season.
The Knights lose four-year veteran Justin Langford. "We will miss Justin," Caputo said. "He was a steadying influence on everyone and completed every assignment he was given."
With a good group of players returning for the 2017-18 season, the Knights look to once again qualify for the CAC postseason and get their first program postseason win in the NCAA era.