Myers driving force for York College

Carroll County Times (TNS)

Dalton Myers has a daily routine.

York College's Dalton Myers earned first-team All CAC honors on Monday after leading the Spartans in scoring as a junior.

Wake up, go to class, do schoolwork, go to practice, more schoolwork. If possible, he might even fit in a nap or two.

Myers, a Westminster High School graduate, currently averages 16.3 points per game as a junior for the York College men's basketball team. That's tops on the team and second highest in the Capital Athletic Conference. He also averages 5.5 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game.

When the 6-foot, 7-inch, 235-pounder is not on the court, he's balancing a challenging pre-medical studies slate that some might look at and run in the opposite direction.

It's safe to say he's found his niche as a Spartan.

"Basketball helps honestly," Myers said. "During the season, sometimes I procrastinate but there's always extra work to do and labs on top of that. I have a good math and science-based brain and it doesn't stress me too much like it might other people."

Myers was named the CAC Player of the Week this past week, making him a three-time selection for the honor this season.

"There are 10 really talented teams with a lot of good players in our conference and his nominations are very deserving," Coach Matt Hunter said. "He's one of the leading scorers in the conference and one of the best shooting from the field. In weeks where we've had great success as a team, he's played well and is usually a big piece of our success."

A shoulder injury cut Myers' strong freshman campaign short and he started in 16 of 18 games, averaging 9.1 points and 4.5 rebounds per game. As a sophomore, he was the only player to start all 25 games and averaged 13.5 points, 4.8 rebounds and 1.7 assists.

There's something about the way Myers plays that makes him such a driving force for the Spartans.

Maybe it's the way he's able to score over either shoulder. It could be his field-goal percentage (59.0, second best in the CAC) or his consistency with free throws (76.9 percent, ninth best).

Each of these factors dials in, and Hunter calls him a "nightmare."

"He makes great plays in tight spaces and plays a lot of difficult defenses night in and night out," Hunter said. "Making the right plays is very important to our team and he's developed physically and mentally on the floor. He's a big guy who can shoot and score and is a very difficult matchup to face."

Hunter said Myers as a natural leader with a certain degree of that leadership intertwining with his personality and ability to interact with his teammates. The Spartans have one senior this year, guard Chris Conway, and it was no surprise for Myers to acquire a similar leadership role.

"I learned a lot from Chris and he's unbelievable," Myers said. "Having him here so far has taught me a lot and has helped me become a leader too. I'll have to take his spot next year and having these experiences in seeing what he does in situations, including my past experiences at Westminster have all helped me in that process."

Positive interactions with his teammates have also given Myers the chance to let loose and bring the Spartans together with his witty attitude and it gives his teammates the chance to put him in their cross hairs.

"Lately I've been trying to get more serious on the court, but I do have a goofy attitude and it helps with getting to know everyone," he said. "It's easier to play through adversity that way but my role as a goofy guy bring everyone together and it works well that way."

Myers said he enjoys a meal from Subway before he plays, but that's not the only ritual he's established in three seasons. Before he hits the court, he laces up his shoes over the same pair of socks every time.

On a whim, he chose not to wear the socks prior to the Spartans' 59-53 loss to Frostburg State on Jan. 20. He registered just two points, his lowest in a game this season.

"I didn't wear them because one of my teammates told me not to and I thought it would be OK to not wear them one time," he said. "I was wrong and definitely didn't have a good game. I'll stick to the same socks now because of that."

The Spartans (9-10, 5-7 CAC) are not a conference power yet, but they have shown significant improvement over Myers' first two years, which each ended with 5-20 records.

"Winning really drives me," Myers said. "Our first two seasons weren't that good and we were so young, but having a love-to-win attitude is a must. I love this team and we have a great opportunity to get to playoffs this year too."

As long as he wears that same pair of socks.