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Carey confident S-TU will vie for WVC crown

by John G. Miller

SPORTS EDITOR

(September 16, 1998) After slipping a notch to No. 2 status in the West Virginia Conference behind Fairmont State, Salem-Teikyo University basketball coach Mike Carey believes he's recruited the players necessary to put the Tigers back on top.

"We knew we needed perimeter players and we've got four excellent ones," Carey said. "On paper, we're as talented and athletic as we've ever been."

Carey's pinning his hopes on:

Amilcar Butler, a 6-foot-2 1/2 combination guard from Aquinas Junior College. He averaged 22.8 points, 6.6 assists and 5.6 rebounds per game as Aquinas advanced to the national junior college tournament. He was second-team All-American.

Frank McQueen, a 6-foot-4 swing player from Lassen Community College. He averaged 31 points, 6.3 rebounds and 4.6 assists while his team finished 29-5 two years ago. McQueen was at Salem last year, but did not play.

Mike Thompson, a 6-3 combination guard from Southwestern College. He averaged 19 points, 8 rebounds and 4.5 assists as Southwestern posted a 32-4 record.

Demond McCullough, a 6-4 point guard from Southern Union State Community College. He averaged 9.1 points, 5.4 assists and 4.3 rebounds as his team advanced to the national JUCO Sweet 16.

Carey said he hopes these four players will blend with returning inside players Donald Harrison, Demetrius VanSyckle and Leroy Blyden.

"We've got three quality inside players and I believe some excellent perimeter players," Carey said. "This will be the biggest team we've had in some time. We'll have five guys out there 6-2 or bigger.

"The key will be whether we can get the chemistry together."

The veteran coach won't find that out until Oct. 15 when practice begins.

TIGER NOTES: The school's athletic boosters association is holding a "Meet the Coaches" membership drive dinner on Thursday, Sept. 24 at Damon's. Social hour is 6:30 p.m. with dinner at 7 p.m. Cost is $10. Contact the athletic department at 782-5286.

Salem's nationally-ranked swimming program lost its head coach recently. Mark Murray, who led the men's team to a No. 4 ranking last year, is leaving to be an assistant at Maryland.

The Tigers have the West Virginia Conference's only water polo team. "It's been quite successful," Carey said. "They've been holding their own against schools like Navy and Princeton."