Two years removed from canceling its season, Maryland Eastern Shore basketball is off to one of its best starts in program history.

Nothing comes easily at Maryland Eastern Shore.

Not the schedule, not the travel, and certainly not the wins.

It’s a program far removed form the bright lights and creature comforts of power conferences and big metropolises. Hidden away in Princess Anne, Md., the closest attraction is the Ocean City boardwalk — and that’s still a 45 minute drive from the school.

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“It’s definitely a country-like environment on the shore,” head coach Jason Crafton told me. “It takes some time to get used to, but we’ve found a way to make it work.”

He continues, “It’s definitely hard not having an Apple store in town.”

Its remote location also complicates travel. Like many mid-majors, UMES does most of its voyaging via charter bus — except when it plays conference foes North Carolina Central and South Carolina State. In those cases, the team flies into Charlotte, NC… then takes a bus to the final destination (two-plus hours to either campus.)

Of course, the luxury of flight isn’t always afforded in buy games.

“When we played Duke in November,” Crafton said, “we drove to Durham the day before, then drove back after the game, since it was a 5:30 pm tip. Six hour drive there and back.”

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