Questions of chemistry and fit could be an issue for college basketball teams accepting transfers onto their rosters. That’s not the case for William & Mary, where a returning member of the tribe and one of the main newcomers know each other’s game inside and out.
Brothers Caleb and Gabe Dorsey grew up playing together and helping each other create their games.
“In high school,” Caleb begins, remembering his teammates at The Hill School in Westminster, Md., “I was driving, kicking (Gabe) in the corner for a 3(-pointer). Our games complement each other very well. Good.”
The Dorseys’ complementary style is renewed in 2023-24 thanks to the transfer portal, through which older brother Caleb joins the William & Mary roster. The move from Penn State, where Caleb played the previous three seasons, reunites him with his younger brother Gabe, an established star of the Tribe.
Gabe Dorsey averaged 10.9 points per game before a season-ending injury cut his 2022-23 season short in recent weeks. He knocked down 76 of 171 3-point attempts, good for 44.4 percent; against Div. Among his opponents, Gabe’s average of 45.3 percent ranked him 19th among all qualified players in the country.
➡️ 4th nationally in 3FG%
➡️ 11 points per game last season
➡️ 3.04 3 points per game
– William & Mary Tribe Men’s Basketball (@WMTribeMBB) October 19, 2023
Caleb’s natural ability to cut the paint off the dribble and then feed the rock to his brother should only enhance Gabe’s already exceptional long-range shooting. And that was one of the motivations for Caleb’s transfer to William & Mary.
“Coming here gave me the opportunity to play my game,” said Caleb, who described his role at Penn State as more of an inside bruiser than the face-up dynamic player he appears to be for the Tribe. “Being with my brother has been great, and it kind of gives me a fresh start in my college basketball career. It’s been exciting so far.”
– FOX College Hoops (@CBBonFOX) February 17, 2022
Exciting is indeed the recurring theme in the description of the Dorsey family reunion in Williamsburg. When considering Caleb’s fit with the tribe, coach Dane Fischer consulted with Gabe and gleaned as much.
“Gabe and I talked this spring about the state of our roster and whether it made sense and how he felt about wanting to play with Caleb again,” Fischer said at the team’s media day. the CAA. “And they were both obviously very excited about it.”
“I just wanted to make sure first and foremost that it was going to be the right fit…on the field, off the field,” Gabe added. “I did a lot of recruiting myself to try to bring him in just because not only are we obviously tight off the field, but like coach said, our matchups are very compatible.”
Basketball teams are “families” in their own right, so determining whether Caleb would be the right fit for William and Mary involved assessing his relationships with the rest of the tribe.
It didn’t take long for Caleb to feel at home with his surrogate family.
“As soon as I landed on campus for my first visit and saw how close the team was, the deal was done,” he said.
Caleb and Gabe described reestablishing their on-court chemistry as a fluid process. This season could be a lot like their childhood playing together, only with Fischer as coach instead of Dorsey family patriarch Stephen.
Stephen Dorsey, a forward at Towson from 1987-89, coached the brothers in their youth. The Dorseys will benefit from their father’s public support, but another newcomer to the Coastal Athletic Association this season via the transfer portal has his father on the sidelines.
Xander Rice, a graduate transfer to Monmouth, was among the portal’s most coveted prospects this offseason. He averaged double-digit scoring each of the previous three campaigns at Bucknell, peaking with 14.1 points per game last year.
Coming out of St. Patrick High School in New Jersey, Rice benefited from numerous programs in football-driven “power” conferences – teams like Rutgers that reached the 2022 NCAA Tournament and March Madness Participant of the Year last, Pitt. .
After proving himself to be an elite college guard, Rice attracted even more interest — and, with the NCAA’s embrace of name-image opportunities, financial incentives come with it.
“Yes, there were a lot of other good opportunities at big schools,” Rice said when asked about at least one NIL offer worth $250,000. “They were coming up with a lot of new kinds of shiny stuff. But…(coming to Monmouth) was just the opportunity of a lifetime.”
In other words, family cannot be priced.
“Our dream when he was a kid was for him to basically play at North Carolina or a major program, and then he earned that opportunity,” Coach Rice said. “(Alex) came home and he said, ‘Dad, this could be cool for eight, nine months. What we could do here (at Monmouth) together could be cool for a lifetime.’
Special season coming soon.
12 years after taking his first steps on campus, Xander Rice will wear his father’s uniform this season 🤝
Happy Father’s Day 💙 pic.twitter.com/CfiMnmEP1I
– Monmouth Basketball (@MonmouthBBall) June 18, 2023
Just as there is no price for family, King Rice described Alex’s sentiment as having a meaning no salary can match: a father and son overseeing a turnaround from last to first; taking Monmouth from the play-in round of the CAA tournament to a berth in the NCAA tournament.
Monmouth struggled in its first campaign with the conference, but a promising young corps of talent earned invaluable minutes in 2022-23.
A roster that returns versatile, energetic winger Jack Collins and big man Klemen Vuga added Nikita Konstantynovskyi, a lanky forward with a ton of upside; and a proven threat and veteran leader in Xander Rice.
Monmouth plans to immediately be more competitive in year two – perhaps even a contender for the CAA dark horse title – with father and son leading the way.
The couple may be more fulfilling now, after Alex had the opportunity to develop elsewhere, as the elder Rice explained.
“I always wanted to coach my son,” King said. “I always wanted to coach Alexander. But when he went through the recruiting process, I thought it was important for our family that he found the best person for him. And I think he did. did.”
King Rice’s approach is inspired by that of his own father, the late Astor Rice. A 2013 New York Times The King Rice profile belatedly details the great North Carolina coach Dean Smith making his recruiting pitch when King was a Tar Heel prospect in the 1980s.
A key point Smith made that mattered most to Astor was that King would be encouraged to make the right educational choices to graduate.
“(Astor) was a strong advocate for education and pushed me to understand that education was the way to go, not sports,” King said. “For me, allowing my son to go to a prestigious university like Bucknell on a basketball scholarship was nothing short of incredible.”
Now a graduate student, Xander Rice continues his studies in Monmouth’s master’s program in communications. He will continue to develop as a student and basketball player, the latter with his lifelong teacher and coach.