Team preview: Maryland-Eastern Shore

Blue Ribbon Illustrated previews the 2004-05 college basketball season, exclusively on Insider.

Updated: October 21, 2004, 12:05 PM ET
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COACH AND PROGRAM

Another coaching era has begun at Maryland-Eastern Shore, and it will be interesting to see if this era is any better than the previous ones.

Lawrence Lessett, Jr. is new coach at Maryland-Eastern Shore and will try to reverse the Hawks' losing ways. This program hasn't had a winning season in more than a decade and hasn't made any kind of impact whatsoever in the MEAC.

There has been an occasional upset here or there, but for the most part, UMES has been insignificant in MEAC play.

Lessett is determined to change that right away. He replaces Thomas Trotter, who really never had a chance at UMES because he was hired so late in June of 2001. Lessett was hired in April by athletics director Nelson Townsend and had a chance to recruit right away.

That was a good thing. The Hawks have but five players back from last year's dismal 8-21 season and lost 11 players. Four graduated and five others decided to transfer. Two more simply didn't come back.

Lessett brings an interesting background to the Maryland shore. He has most recently worked as a global scout for Magic Johnson International Basketball. Previously, he served as head coach of the Magic City Snowbears of the International Basketball Association in Minot, N.D.

Lessett was also a head coach at Hiawassee (Tenn.) Junior College and served as an assistant at Mercer University. He's also been at such places as De Anza College, Georgia Southwestern College, Georgia College, Santa Barbara City College, Western New Mexico University, Loyola Marymount University, and Cal State University Northridge.

You could say the man is well-travelled.

''This has been an incredible journey for me and this is the perfect place for my coaching career,'' said Lessett the day he took the job. "I'm very excited about the challenges that lie ahead.''


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