There’s no sugarcoating the 2011-12 season for the Binghamton Bearcats: it was bad.
The Bearcats won just two games last season, the first of which being a 57-53 stunner over eventual NCAA tournament participant Vermont on February 21.
That led to the firing of Mark Macon, and the surprising decision (to some) of Tommy Dempsey to leave Rider to take over the school a short distance from his native Scranton was a boost for a program that’s trended downward since they went dancing in 2009.
But the spring changes also included the loss of three of their top five scorers, and for a team that averaged just 56.8 points per game last season that’s a serious blow.
With that in mind Dempsey and his staff needed to add scorers, and 6-4 wing Karon Waller enters the program with that kind of reputation.
Originally a 2011 Manhattan signee, Waller attended Mont Clare Academy after failing to be cleared academically and was apparently ready to go the junior college route this year before getting cleared by the NCAA.
In his senior year of high school at Collingswood (NJ) High, Waller averaged 25.8 points per game.
And with Binghamton’s leading returning scorer (Rob Mansell – 14.0 ppg) coming off of a torn ACL, Waller likely won’t lack for scoring opportunities in 2012-13.
“He flat out puts the ball in the basket,” said Dempsey of Waller. “He averaged more than 25 points per game in high school. One thing that’s important to our building process is to get some guys that can score. We struggled to score last year, and all the guys that did score – with the exception of Rob (Mansell), who is questionable right now – are gone.”
Waller joins an incoming class that has three junior college transfers and a freshman wing in Jordan Reed who averaged nearly 24 points per game in high school.
This coming season will likely be a rough one for the Bearcats, but their newcomers will have every opportunity to make sure that isn’t the case.
Photo credit: Binghamton University Athletic Department