Exceedingly good: defying expectations, Colby’s basketball teams won and won

Colby Bicentennial Seal 1964-2013

1997

 

Men’s basketball coach Dick Whitmore exhorts his players. The 1997 team dispelled doubts and was ranked in the top 10 nationally.

Although most men’s basketball teams would consider 20 wins a historic season, at Colby it has practically become the standard. Last season’s dip to 16-11 and the loss of All-American David Stephens ’96 to graduation might have signaled that Colby fans should lower their sights a bit. No need. Led by a corps of unseasoned by talented upperclassmen, the mules returned to prominence, compiling a 10-5 record and a top-10 national standing.

John Hebert, a senior from Van Buren, Maine, was the only returning player with any significant experience, and he needed someone to help take charge. Enter Andrew Black, a 6-foot, 8-inch senior center from Lincoln, mass., who was named First-Team All-Star in NESCAC and Player of the Year by the Maine Coaches and Writers Association. With Black scoring inside–he averaged 18.4 points and 10.4 rebounds per game–and Hebert hitting three-pointers from outside, the Mules surprised several early season opponents and kept right on winning.

“Andy Black enjoyed a fantastic senior year in which he led by example, met the challenge of every man he faced and excelled under pressure,” said head coach Dick Whitmore, who was named Coach of the Year for the fifth time by the Maine Coaches and Writers Association.

 

–Colby Alumnus