Junior Ryan Logan is the Skyhawks top returning scorer for the second straight year. (PHOTO BY Lewis Glass/SportsPix)
EASTON, Mass. (November 12, 2015) – The Stonehill College men's basketball team, among teams receiving votes in the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Division II preseason poll, opens its 2015-16 season by hosting its Stonehill Tip-Off Classic at Merkert Gymnasium on Friday and Saturday, November 13 and 14.
Stonehill hosts fellow Northeast-10 Conference member Assumption College as well as Georgian Court University and Post University from the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) for a two day classic on Paula Sullivan Court in Merkert Gym. Assumption, under the direction of first year head coach Michael Harding, a former Stonehill assistant coach, will open the weekend against Georgian Court on Friday at 5 p.m., followed by Stonehill and Post at 7 p.m. Saturday's schedule includes Post against Assumption at 4 p.m., with Stonehill and Georgian Court closing out the tournament at 6 p.m.
Admission to this weekend's games is $10 for adults and $5 for students/senior citizens. Adult weekend passes will also be available for $17, with Stonehill students admitted free of charge with their HillCard. All four games will also be available via webcast (pay-per-view) with Charlie Bergeron and Brian Buckley calling the action via stonehillskyhawks.tv. Links to the webcasts and live stats are also available via stonehillskyhawks.com.
Stonehill, led by head coach Chris Kraus '06, in his this third season at the helm, has been picked among the favorites in the Northeast-10 preseason coaches' poll. The Skyhawks, while picked third in the NE-10's Northeast Division, received four first place votes, along with Merrimack College, picked second. Bentley University is the preseason favorite in a division in which the top four teams were separated by just six points in the poll with 86 points and three first place votes. Merrimack received 83 points, Stonehill 81 and then defending regional champions Southern New Hampshire University has been picked fourth with 80 points (three first place votes), with Saint Anselm College (63 points) fifth and collecting the remaining first place vote.
Carter Smith is among six seniors for the Skyhawks as an NE-10 honorable mention pick. (PHOTO BY Paul Fitzgerald)
Stonehill, ranked sixth in the D2SIDA East Region preseason poll, receiving one first place vote, returns four starters and 11 letterwinners, including six seniors from a 2014-15 squad which posted a 19-10 record overall, including 14-7 in the NE-10, and returned to postseason play for the first time in three years, including the program's 13th NCAA Tournament bid. The Skyhawks, which fell to eventual regional champion SNHU in the opening round of the NCAA East Regional, lost just one player from last year's squad to graduation in honorable mention All-NE-10 pick Jack Cole.
Junior forward Ryan Logan (Fredericktown, Ohio/Fredericktown), a third team All-Northeast-10 selection last season, leads the list of Stonehill returnees after averaging a team-high 13.7 points on 43.6-percent shooting, with 6.7 rebounds, 2.5 assists and a steal per game. Senior guard Carter Smith (Columbus, Ohio/Upper Arlington), an honorable mention All-NE-10 pick, added 13.4 points on 45.6-percent shooting, including 41.9% (70-for-167) from three-point range, while converting an NE-10 record 92.3% (60-65) of his free-throws, with 3.2 assists and 3.0 rebounds per outing.
Senior forward Pierce Cumpstone (Bainbridge Township, Ohio/Kenston) provides a spark off the bench for Stonehill with 9.8 points, 4.8 rebounds and 1.3 blocked shots in 22.7 minutes per game. Classmates Adam Bramanti (Middleton, Massachusetts/Masconomet Regional), Josh Heyliger (Queens, New York/The Hill School), Stuart McEwen (Sydney, Australia/Saint Thomas More (Conn.)) and Daniel Brix (Monroe Township, New Jersey/Saint Joseph) as well as junior Jimmy Walsh (Manasquan, New Jersey/Manasquan) will be important upper class pieces as for the Skyhawks again this season.
Stonehill opens its NE-10 schedule at Assumption on Wednesday, November 18, at 7:30 p.m., before hosting Saint Anselm next Saturday, November 21, at 3:30 p.m.