Rams think recount, but don't need one

December 21, 2000

Rams think recount, but don't need one

By BOB PARASILITI / Staff Writer

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. - Denny Alexander looked at his computer screen and thought it was a mistake.


He had just called up the site for Division II basketball and found his Shepherd College team was ranked eighth in the East Region poll.

"I thought it had to be a misprint," Alexander admitted. "I thought it was for the (women's) team."

Pinch yourself and look again, Denny. It is actually the Rams with a 3-1 record getting its first-ever listing in the national Division II poll.

But it's easy to see why Alexander was a little skeptical about what he was seeing. After all, he's the first to admit the Rams have struggled during his seven-year stint at the school.


"You know I had to be shocked," Alexander said. "After four games to be on the list? But I don't care how we got there ... we're there. We've worked so hard to get some positive things going for the program."

It is indeed some rarefied air sitting this high in the poll for Shepherd. Perennial West Virginia Conference favorite Salem International checks in at No. 2 in the region and the Rams are the only other team from the conference to be honored. Missing are the usual WVC suspects - the University of Charleston, West Virginia State and Fairmont State, all known for hovering near the top of the standings.

"A lot of people were asking me if I was going to get cocky," Alexander said. "The players are happy and I'm still happy about this."

But the snowstorm that hit the area took away one of Shepherd's pleasures that comes with being ranked. Tuesday's game with Columbia Union was postponed, robbing the Rams of the opportunity to hear their rating announced to the fans.

With the postponement - tentatively rescheduled for Jan. 23 - Shepherd will have a long layoff between games. The Rams last played on Dec. 9 and won't play again until they host the University of Pittsburgh-Johnstown on Jan. 2.

"I was really upset that we didn't play," Alexander said. "We were ready.

"It puts us at a disadvantage because I wanted to get another game in before we played UPJ. They are tough and we haven't beaten them since I've been here."

The postponement can't take away from the start the Rams have made. Although Shepherd opened the season looking for a point guard and with many new players, it has been able to win three of the first four games. Senior Antar Parkman has led the way by averaging 22.5 points and 11.8 rebounds per game, placing him in the top 20 in the nation in both categories.

"We need to gel as a team," Alexander said. "If we can get some of the players going, we will be able to take some of the pressure off of Antar, who has been carrying us so far. This is a great start, especially considering where we have come from."

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