Stonehill Ranked 12th in Division II Bulletin Preseason Poll

Head coach David McLaughlin will lead his 12th-ranked Skyhawks for the tenth year, having won a program-record 178 games. (PHOTO BY Tim Patrick)

Reigning NE-10 and East Regional Champions open Nov. 10 against Chestnut Hill

EASTON, Mass. (October 25, 2012) – The defending Northeast-10 Conference and NCAA Division II East Regional Champion Stonehill College men's basketball team is ranked 12th in the Division II Bulletin preseason poll released by "The Monthly Newsletter of Division II Men's Basketball."

Stonehill joins defending NE-10 regular season champions Franklin Pierce University in the Division II Bulletin preseason top 25 from the Conference as the Ravens have been tabbed the publication's preseason No. 2 team. The Skyhawks and Ravens will clash twice during the 2012-13 regular season beginning with a matchup at Merkert Gymnasium on Tuesday, November 20, at 7:30 p.m. Another Stonehill opponent this season, Philadelphia University, is listed among teams to watch by Division II Bulletin. The Rams will participate in the East Region Classic at Merkert Gym on December 29 and 30, squaring off against the Skyhawks on day one at 3 p.m.

Senior Brian Hamor returns after leading the Skyhawks in scoring last season to collect All-NE-10 honors for the first time. (PHOTO BY Tim Patrick)

Stonehill, under the direction of head coach David McLaughlin, the program's all-time leader in wins with 178, in his tenth season, returns nine letterwinners and three starters from last year's squad that posted a 25-9 record overall, including a 15-7 mark in NE-10 play. The Skyhawks finished third in the NE-10 regular season standings, but caught fire in the postseason by winning ten straight games (including its final three in the regular season) to reach the national semifinals at the NCAA Division II Elite Eight in Highland Heights, Ky.

Senior Brian Hamor (Schenectady, N.Y./Bishop Gibbons), the Most Outstanding Player at the East Regional, leads the list of returnees for Stonehill after earning All-Northeast-10 second team honors last season. He enters his final season just 58 points shy of becoming the program's 36th 1,000 point scorer after averaging a team-best 14.3 points per game last season on 40.5-percent shooting from the field, including 36.5% (57-for-156) from three-point range, to go with 3.5 assists and 3.0 rebounds per game.

Senior point guard Sam Markle (Bethany, Conn./Saint Thomas More) and sophomore Jack Cole (New Providence, N.J./New Providence) round out the list of returning starters for the Skyhawks. Markle has dished out over 300 assists in his career, averaging 3.9 per game last season, while Cole made an immediate impact as a freshman for the Skyhawks, starting 33 of the 34 games and contributing 5.3 points, 5.5 rebounds and a team-high 1.6 blocked shots per contest. Stonehill will also get a major contribution again from senior Adam Fazzini (Drums, Pa./Crestwood) who led the team with 9.0 points off the bench last season in a valuable sixth man role, shooting a team-best 46.2-percent (72-for-156) from three-point range.

Stonehill won its first NE-10 Tournament Championship since 1989 last winter with a 73-61 victory over UMass Lowell and then claimed its second East Regional title with a 75-70 victory over Bloomfield College. The Skyhawks upset 3rd-ranked West Liberty University in a national quarterfinal at the Elite Eight, 91-90, before falling to eventual national champions and 12th-ranked Western Washington University in the semifinals, 71-66.

Stonehill opens its 2012-13 season on Saturday, November 10, when it hosts Chestnut Hill College at Merkert Gym at 7 p.m. The Skyhawks NE-10 opener is slated for Wednesday, November 14, at home against Saint Anselm College at 7:30 p.m. Seven of Stonehill's first ten games this season will be at home leading up to the New Year.

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