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Ferry era set to begin at UMBC

Retrievers new men's basketball coach takes over
Jim Ferry UMBC
Posted at 5:21 PM, Nov 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-05 06:59:57-04

CATONSVILLE, Md. — Jim Ferry is the new lead dog for the Retrievers.

"I love being here. I love being in the city. The people in Baltimore have been great. The university has been great," said UMBC's new head men's basketball coach.

Ferry arrives at UMBC after four years at Penn State, three as an assistant before taking over as interim head coach last season. He’s an offensive-minded coach that plans to bring that brand of basketball to Baltimore County.

"We play at a great pace," he said. "We are an exciting team to watch. My teams get up and down the court."

Ferry replaces Ryan Odom, who left for Utah State, and is now in charge of one of the best teams in the America East Conference in recent years. The Retrievers won a regular season conference championship last season, conference tournament in 2018 and, of course, upset Virginia in the NCAA Tournament that year. They became the first No. 16 seed to beat a No. 1 seed in NCAA Tournament history. Ferry wants that and more.

"We really can’t worry about all the expectations or what happened in the past... but ultimately we’re in a position here at UMBC that we want to compete for a conference championship every single year, getting into the NCAA Tournament. Hopefully it won’t be a 16 seed. Hopefully it will be a higher seed so we don’t have to worry about the 16-1."

As for the roster Ferry inherits, UMBC lost its two top scorers from last season. RJ Eytle-Rock and Brandon Horvath both followed Odom to Utah State.

Senior guard Darnell Rogers and Keondre Kennedy both entered the transfer portal during the coaching change but ultimately decided to stay. Incoming transfers include senior guard Ray Salnave, who should be a factor.

"Ray, he is a seasoned veteran," said Ferry. "He has played basketball for a long time. He is a 1,000 point scorer at Monmouth. I think this team, the way we are built, we really have eight guys that could start. So, it’s really going to be about team chemistry and everybody just buying into the team goal."

UMBC is picked to finish fifth in the America East in the conference's preseason poll. The Retrievers open their season on Tuesday at UMass.

Follow Shawn Stepner on Twitter @StepnerWMAR and Facebook