By Jordan Nicewarner, Panhandle News Network Sports

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va – With basketball season starting up, the 2022-23 PSAC Preseason Polls have been announced.

The Shepherd Woman’s basketball team will look a lot different than the 25-8 that made its way to the NCAA D2 National Basketball Tournament. The, then, Jenna Eckleberry lead Rams were an offensive juggernaut. They lead the conference in offense (69.9 average points per game) and rallied behind junior Abby Beeman’s 19 points per game. Beeman was one part of the Rams Big Three alongside seniors Marley McLaughlin and Sydney Clayton, who were also top-10 scorers in the PSAC.

The 2022-23 season brings a new head coach to Shepherdstown and a host of players. Now leading the Rams is Julie Kaufman who makes her way to Shepherdstown by way of Mount St. Marys University. While at the Mount she helped lead the Mount to back-to-back NEC Championship titles and a pair of NCAA  Tournament appearances in 2020-21 and 2021-22. Kaufman was previously a Ram, as she served as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Shepherd from 2011-13. Another notable loss is Abbey Beeman, who stepped into the transfer portal and is now on the Marshall University Thundering Herd roster.

With a majority of the 2022-23 team playing in a Rams jersey for the first time under a new head coach, that uncertainty is why the Shepherd finds itself ranked last (9th) in the 2022-23 PSAC Preseason polls. Only time will tell if Kaufman can get this new batch of Rams back toward the top of the rankings by season’s end.

The Shepherd Rams Men’s basketball team has nowhere to go but up. Last season saw the Rams go 12-17 and get hit with injuries to key players early in the season that left them seeking to find their identity. Junior guard Daniel McClain-Corley left the season early due to a nagging low-body injury, but in his nine games played, he averaged 18 points per game and was the floor general for head coach Justin Namolik. After DMC’s early departure, there was a scoring void that needed to be filled. Stepping up to that challenge were seniors Kyle Dagget and Cam Stephens, 17p pg and 10 ppg respectively.

With injuries and a tough PSAC schedule, the Rams didn’t have the season they would’ve liked, but with the return of DMC, Jon Preston, and Aiden Hughley, the rams shouldn’t have trouble scoring. The only problem Shepherd might run into will be with their height. In a conference that has height at all positions across the nine teams, the Rams will have to find a way to dominate the paint.

The Shepherd Rams Men’s basketball team comes into the 2022-23 season ranked 5th, according to, and I think that is a fair placement. The Rams, if healthy, can score with the best of PSAC teams and could end up being one of the big surprises come the start of the season.

The Shepherd Rams Woman’s team will start their 2022-23 campaign against the Alderson Broaddus on November 11th in the Jim Crawley Conference Challenge and the Men’s team begins action against West Liberty in the Atlantic Region Crossover Challenge.