Emmanuel College Men's Basketball Picked #1 in Coaches Preseason Poll
The votes are in and the first ever men’s basketball
coaches’ preseason poll results are available. The number one
slot in the preseason rankings goes to the Emmanuel College Saints
with a total of 84 points. Saints head coach Jamahl Jackson returns
1st Team All-Conference selection Rob Williams-Hinton and 2nd Team
All-Conference pick Mack Spellman, both of whom are back for their
senior seasons. Williams-Hinton led Emmanuel last year,
averaging 18.3 points and 5.7 rebounds per game. Spellman
averaged 15.3 points and a team-high 8.7 boards as a junior.
Emmanuel’s other two returning starters are sophomore point
guard J.P. Ventura and senior forward Andres Bustamante.
Regular season champions, Emerson College, and GNAC tournament champions, Lasell College, were very close in the rankings, earning second and third place in the polls, respectively. Both teams just narrowly beat out Saint Joseph’s College of Maine who earned 4th place in the pre-season rankings with 70 points.
|4||Saint Joseph's (ME)||70|
|7||Johnson & Wales||35|
MEN’S BASKETBALL SEASON PREVIEWS
Albertus Magnus College
The 2008-2009 Albertus Magnus College Men's Basketball Team will feature 6 newcomers to go along with 10 returners from last season. Losing just one starter from last season, Second Year Coach Mitch Oliver return's four starters, with the addition of 6 incoming freshman, giving the Falcons some depth this season.
The Front Court looks to be a position with much needed depth for The Falcons as seniors tri-captain Francisco Cordova, Scorer Bobby Leonzo, and reliable double-double force Adam Hovan to go along with very athletic sophomore Brandon Miller. The Falcons will also feature two talented freshman in First Team All-State 6'6" 200 lb Andrae Beckford and 6'6" 190 lb First Team All-State Raymond Askew. The Back Court will feature 5 returners including senior point guard tri-captain John Donahue senior tri-captain Chris Hovan, sophomore scorer Walden St. Juste, Mike Barber and Jamar Rountree. The Falcons have 4 freshman newcomers in 3 point specialist Matt Maya, strong defender Alex Muniz, High Flying Swingman Ryan Butler, and well-schooled versatile guard Mike Torres.
Albertus opens their season at home against Salve Regina on Saturday at 1:30 PM.
It will be a new look for the Emerson College men’s basketball team in 2008-2009 as the Lions graduated three starters. Will Dawkins a 1,600 point scorer in his career, Ben Chase an All-GNAC selection in 2008, and Joe Boylan, a two-year starter have departed. Jon Showers (Fr., York, Pa.), who started 11 games and averaged 25 minutes, transferred.
Leading the returnees is Jeremy Shannon (Jr., Lowell, Mass.) who was the GNAC Player and Defensive Player of the Year in 2008. Shannon averaged 16.2 points, 5.1 rebounds, 4.1 assists, and 1.6 steals per game. The 2007 GNAC Rookie of the Year, center Bryan Rouse (Jr., East Greenwich, R.I., 17 points/5.7 rebounds) looks forward to a healthy season in 2008-09 having missed significant portions of his freshman and sophomore campaigns with injury and illness. Tom Messinger (So., Florence, Mass.) returns from a shoulder injury his first year that limited him to 12 games. Messinger will play shooting guard. The other starting frontcourt spots are wide open with freshmen Alex Yoh (Wernersville, Pa.), Chris Briody (East Taunton, Mass.), Nathan Firn (Wandesboro, N.C.), and upperclassmen Tim McGhee (Jr., Dover, Del.) and Kabir Moss (So., Chico, Calif.) all in the mix.
Emerson will open their season at Wheaton College on Thursday, November 20th.
The 2008-2009 season marks the eighth year for the men’s basketball program at Emmanuel College. Last season, Emmanuel advanced as far as the GNAC semifinals and the ECAC quarterfinals. Head Coach Jamahl Jackson returns in 08-09 for his fifth season at the helm. After losing just one senior to graduation last year (Levi Smith), Jackson has brought in a highly talented recruiting class to complement his veteran squad of 10 returning players, including 4 starters.
Jackson returns 1st Team All-Conference selection Rob Williams-Hinton and 2nd Team All-Conference pick Mack Spellman, both of whom are back for their senior seasons. Williams-Hinton led Emmanuel last year, averaging 18.3 points and 5.7 rebounds per game. Spellman averaged 15.3 points and a team-high 8.7 boards as a junior. Emmanuel’s other two returning starters are sophomore point guard J.P. Ventura and senior forward Andres Bustamante Guards Torrey Joyner and Mike Jackson are both back for their sophomore and junior seasons, respectively. Forwards Tyrone Buchanan and Chris Puzacke are both expected to see big minutes inside for the Saints. Rookie’s Isaiah Duke, Eric Spanbauer, and Andre Fuller are all expected to play important roles on the Saints squad.
The Saints open up the season on Saturday, November 15th, in a non-conference game at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Johnson & Wales University
The Johnson & Wales men’s basketball team graduated five of the top six scorers from a team that went 15-12 and reached the ECAC Division III Championship. Junior Darren Faust is the leading returning scorer with 13.3 points per game while junior Rich DiLascio will crack the starting lineup after providing a spark off the bench last year for the Wildcats. “We’re going to rely on our speed, athleticism and defense,” said head coach Jamie Benton. “There will be a lot of new faces, but we’ll be competitive as always.”
Johnson & Wales will open their season on Saturday at Roger
The Lasell College Men’s basketball team will set out to defend their Great Northeast Athletic Conference title and look to earn another birth in the NCAA Tournament in the 2008-2009 season. Last year, the Lasers posted a 20 win season, culminating with an exciting 86-72 win over Emerson College, on their way to their first NCAA bid since 2004. They finished 14-4 in the conference and won 16 of their last 17 games before falling to Brandeis in the NCAA tournament.
This year, the Lasers will be led by first team All-Conference forward and GNAC Tournament MVP, Jose Guitian and fellow senior forward Brad Caravoulious. Combined, they averaged 31 points per game last year, with Guitian leading the team by pulling down nearly 12 boards a game. Three point sharp shooters Kevin Fallon and Junior Sainval will also return, along with post players Jude Biton and Sean Joynes. Also returning to the Lasers lineup is one of their best defenders Corey Godfrey in his second year at Lasell. Jarell Baxter and Joey Vento will round out the returning players from last year. The Lasers will also look to new comers Kevin Richard, Charles Horton, and Javon Williams.
The men’s basketball team will look for retribution when they open the year up at home, on November 18th, against the Judges of Brandeis University.
Mount Ida College
The Mount Ida College men’s basketball team head into their second full year as members of the GNAC under head coach Rico Cabral. The Mustangs will rely on senior leadership, improved athleticism, and bench depth in the 2008-2009 season.
The Mustangs return several key contributors from last year's campaign including five seniors and two juniors. 6-8 senior Otis Thompson will man the middle once again for his team and will be joined by fellow senior, 6-3 forward Matt Bennett, upfront for a solid rebounding tandem under the boards. Mount Ida will look to three upperclassmen to man the wings in senior's Michael Dunham and Gino Dipietro , and junior Bruce Cary. Junior Darren Martinez returns to the point guard slot after a solid debut last year that saw much improvement as the season went on. Expect contributions from returning players such as senior Steve Dorsey and sophomore's Teddy Louis and Brian Hapgood. Junior transfer Dave Santos should make an immediate impact to the backcourt along with a triple threat of freshman in Isiah Benjamin, Joseph Cabral, and Johrone Bunch. The Mustangs have added depth upfront as well in the form of two talented freshmen, Travis Hillery and Jeffrey McNair. Other freshmen include James Wenz and Dominic Tenn.
The Mustangs travel to New England College for a tip-off tournament where they will face Lyndon State on Saturday, November 15th for their season opener.
The Norwich University men’s basketball team is coming off a 12-13 season in 2008, and the Cadets are looking to bounce back. Prior to last year, Norwich had reeled off a record five straight winning seasons (from 2002-07). With a host of talented veterans coming back, and a number of exciting newcomers entering the program, the outlook for the 2008-09 season is extremely bright.
Senior forward/center Mike Filipek, the team’s third-leading scorer (10.0 ppg.) and rebounder (5.0 rpg.) last year is back as well, and should help anchor the Cadets front court once again this season. Senior guard Tim Fico, who led the team in assists last season (3.0 apg.), is back and figures to play a major role this year. Fico, who knocked down 28 three-pointers last season, is also the Cadets’ top returning three-point specialist. He hit on better than 43 percent of his threes as a junior. Sophomore Jaren Jeffcoat, who made steady progress throughout his freshman campaign, is primed for a “breakout” sophomore season.
Norwich will host St. Michael’s on Saturday, November 15th for their season opener.
The Raiders have graduated nine valuable seniors in the last two years and have brought in nine new players this year. So after back-to-back successful seasons including a GNAC Championship and a trip to the NCAA Tournament in 2007, Rivier will rely on many newcomers to help them continue their success.
Senior guard Lance Bisson has been the starting point guard his whole career in Raiderland and will be relied on this year to lead this team. Senior forward Felipe Lima has had a solid three years in and out of the starting lineup and as a sixth man. Senior Kevin Harrington was the Raiders’ best defender and can really shoot the ball. Junior Forward Luke Brownell and Sophomore Center DJ Poitras will look to fill the void left by the graduation of Jeff Carpenter. Sophomores Matt Nims and Nick Bean both have improved a lot this off-season. The incoming class includes Mark Williams, Joe Granato, Shawn Stoodley, John Murdock, Will Snider, Tommy Joyce, Devin Lally-McGrill, Zach Durkee, and Garon Whitney.
The Raiders will open their season by hosting a tip-off tournament on Friday, November 21st and Saturday, November 22nd.
Saint Joseph’s College of Maine
The Monks return eight players with significant playing experience, including their entire 2007-08 starting lineup and welcome two highly-touted first year student-athletes to the team.
Top returners include senior forward Elbie Murphy, senior point guard Scot Vachon and junior forward Raymond Eatmon. Murphy, a 2008 Second Team All-Conference selection, returns after leading the team with 16.0 points per game and looks to add to his career total of 1,175 points. Vachon, the Monks’ court general, dished out a team-high 5.0 assists per game, the second-highest total in the GNAC, in ‘08 and chipped in with 6.2 points per contest. Eatmon, a Third-Team All-GNAC player, hauled in a team-high 8.4 boards per game last season, 5th best in the league, and appears hungry to improve on that average. The junior forward also converted 57.3% of his shots from the floor last year to lead the Monks and post the third-best percentage in the GNAC.
The Monks open their season on Tuesday, November 18th at Maine Maritime.
The Suffolk University Men’s Basketball team looks to rebound in the 2008-2009 season after a disappointing 2007-2008 campaign, which saw them finish with a 4-21 overall record. With last season’s leading scorer Alan Jaziri deciding not to return, the Rams will look to senior captain Brian Small for leadership after he averaging 13.8 ppg and 7.8 rpg in 07-08. At 6-4, Small brings a much-needed presence in a young starting lineup, which features two sophomores and one freshman. One of these sophomores, Allan Ray, provides a sharp-shooting touch from three-point land and should help the Rams give opposing defenses headaches from the outside. Suffolk has also improved in the size department, adding freshman F/C Matt Connelly who will give Suffolk a long-desired and legitimate shot-blocker.
Suffolk will travel to Nichols College for their season opener on Tuesday, November 18th.