PRINCESS ANNE, Md. — The Maryland Eastern Shore Hawks had themselves an eventful 2017-18 season.
From the outset of the season, their lineup was riddled with injuries. The losses of Ryan Andino, Isaac Taylor, and Dontae Caldwell to season-ending injuries derailed any chance of a MEAC title for the Hawks. They were forced to put freshmen into prominent roles from the start, and while they fared well, their inexperience didn’t help the Hawks over the course of the season.
The team finished the year with a record of 7-25 overall, and just 3-13 in MEAC play. Head coach Bobby Collins was relieved of his duties shortly after the season ended, and Clifford Reed was named the interim head coach of the program for the 2018-19 season.
Freshmen Cam Bacote and Miryne Thomas both transferred following the season, dealing another blow to the program. However, the Hawks got some good news over the weekend that will boost their overall talent level as they look to rebound from a dismal season.
Graduate transfer Kevin Larkin committed to the Hawks for the upcoming season after playing in the MAAC for two seasons with the Niagara Purple Eagles.
Larkin played at Niagara for two seasons in a reserve role. He averaged 11.1 minutes per game in 2016-17, and 13.1 minutes per game last season. In 2017-18, Larkin averaged 4.1 points and 2.6 rebounds per game while shooting 34.4% from the field.
As a junior, Larkin’s best game of the 2017-18 season came on February 4th against the Monmouth Hawks. In 31 minutes of action, Larkin posted 14 points and nine rebounds, both of which were season highs, and the Purple Eagles picked up a 96-91 win on the road over the Hawks. Larkin also added three assists, and was 5-of-15 from the floor on the day.
His numbers won’t blow you away, but experience wins in college basketball, and Larkin will bring that to the rotation for Eastern Shore. The 6’5” guard from Georgetown, DE also adds size to the back court crew for the Hawks, and will be a key piece to the puzzle for coach Reed this season.
With the addition of Larkin to the mix for 2018-19, the roster for the Hawks is starting to take shape. With Andino, Taylor, and Caldwell all expected to be back from their injuries this season, Maryland Eastern Shore has a strong core group that should help the team contend near the top of the conference.
Sophomores LeAndre Thomas and Colen Gaynor should see an increased role this season, plus the resurgence of Ahmad Frost makes the Hawks an intriguing team in the MEAC in 2018-19. Only time will tell how it all plays out for Maryland Eastern Shore.
– T. Bennett