Positional Breakdown: Hammond, Stephenson Lead Young Marietta Team

By
Blaise Weber

Dateline
Updated Fri, Nov 15, 2013 9:08 am

The Pioneers are entering a season where they are considered a contender for the Ohio Athletic Conference championship. The Pioneers are coming off a successful campaign in the 2012-13 season. They finished 20-8, won the conference tournament, and made a trip to the Division III NCAA Tournament. Head coach John VanderWal is returning key players, but also added some talent with the incoming freshmen.

Guards

No. 3 Andy Dollman – Hailing from Vienna, W.Va., Dollman is a 6-foot-1 shooting guard. A junior who did not receive significant playing time last year, Dollman could find minutes on the wing this year.

No. 5 RaNeal Ewing – Ewing is another wing player, coming from Dublin Scioto High School. He is a transfer from Otterbein University looking to make an impact for the Pioneers. The Pioneers got a first hand look at what Ewing can do last year when he scored 19 points on the Pioneers. In high school he was named All-Ohio Capital Conference and honorable mention All-District. He will look to bring speed and athleticism to the Pioneers’ backcourt.

No. 10 Keith Richardson – Richardson is a freshman ball-handler from Northmont High School in Clayton, Ohio. He helped lead his team to a 14-8 record overall and 5-3 in league play. The 5-foot-8 point guard is the smallest at the position for the Pios.

No. 12 Tyler Irish – Irish is another freshman coming all the way from St. Johns, Fla., to put on the Pioneer uniform. Throughout his high school career he averaged 15.7 points per game. Tyler is a 5-foot-10 shooting guard and, though small for the position, looks to bring the scoring ability he showcased in high school to the floor for Marietta.

No. 14 Travis Tucci – Tucci is a sophomore from Malvern, Ohio. He is one of the taller guards standing at 6-foot-3 for the Pioneers. He will play on the wing, and look to add to the minutes he played freshman year.

No. 15 Tyler Hammond – Hammond marked himself the leader of this Marietta team this year as a senior and starting point guard. Hammond played in all 28 games last year and started 27 of them. He averaged over 11 points per game coupled with three assists per game. He was an honorable mention selection for the All-OAC team. With J.J. Martin gone, the backcourt now belongs to Hammond

No. 22 Brennan McKean – A 5-11 shooter from Jeromesville, Ohio, McKean is both a leader and scoring threat for the Pioneers. McKean played in all 28 games last year as a sophomore and started in nine of them. As a freshman McKean received a fair. McKean has potential from deep, shooting 37.6 percent from behind the arc last year.

No. 23 A.J. Ireland – Ireland is a 6-foot-2 sophomore from Carroll, Ohio. He averaged 2.4 points per game last year in limited time for the Pioneers and had a season high of seven points against Capital University. Ireland will look to make contributions from the wing.

Forwards

No. 25 A.J. Davis – All the way from Naples, Fla., is junior A.J. Davis. Davis is a 6-foot-4 post player. He got playing time in eight games as a sophomore averaging 2.1 points per game. He had a career high against Frostburg State when he scored six. Davis will likely provide some depth in the frontcourt for Marietta.

No. 32 A.J. Edwards – Edwards is a freshman from Aurora, Ohio. He stands a t 6 feet 5 inches and 200 pounds. Edwards potentially could be a huge post presence. He provides a versatile skill set with the ability to score inside and out and also bring down rebounds. In one game against Copley in his senior season at Twinsburg, Edwards scored 21 points, reeled in 19 rebounds and added six blocked shots.

No. 33 Andy Stegman – Stegman is a 6-foot-5, 210-pound junior. He played in 12 games for the Pioneers as a sophomore. He averaged 1.4 points per game and snatched 1.4 rebounds per game. Stegman made eight appearances as a freshman as well. Though he has not seen much time to this point, Stegman has had two years to learn Marietta’s system and will be a key piece to a relatively thin frontcourt.

No. 34 Eddy Grenert – A 6-foot-4 post player, Grenert hails from Wooster, Ohio. He played in eight games as a freshman, and averaged just one point per game. Grenert is another Pioneer in search of more playing time.

No. 42 Jack Thorne – Thorne is a freshman from Chagrin Falls, Ohio. He stands at a towering 6 feet 6 inches and weighs 194 pounds, making him one of the bigger players on Marietta’s roster and the second tallest. At the very least, Thorne provides another big body to anchor the Pioneers in the middle.  

No. 44 Garrett Stephenson – Stephenson is the big man in the middle for the Pioneers. He stands at 6-foot-7 and weighs 210 pounds, making him Marietta’s bulwark in the starting lineup. Stephenson played in all 28 games last year and averaged 7.6 points and 3.9 rebounds per game as a sophomore. Stephenson will be a key player on a talented Pioneer team.

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