The Alfred State men's basketball team will look to build on a the success of the 2017-18 season as they take the court this weekend to start new season. The Pioneers will rely on a core of experienced players and the development of a talented group of newcomers.
Nine players on the roster return from last year's team that finished 16-10 overall and was the #1 seed heading into the ACAA Tournament. Leading the returners is Juwan Toliver (Buffalo/McKinley) who was named the ACAA Player of the Year after averaging 10 points, 5.8 rebounds, 6.3 assists per game. Other key returners include Owen Spencer (Perry), Tahaij Lewis (Rochester/Greece Olympia), Marcus Rhett (Middletown), and Dante Jordan (New York/Law & Public Service).
- Spencer, a sophomore guard, averaged 4.3 points and 2.6 rebounds last year in 24 games (2 starts) to go along with passing out 49 assists.
- Lewis, a senior forward, averaged 7.7 points per game and 4.8 rebounds in 25 games off the bench last year.
- Rhett, a senior forward, averaged 8.6 points and 4.8 rebounds last year in 25 games (19 starts).
- Jordan, a senior forward, averaged 9.0 points and 7.3 rebounds in 26 games (23 starts) last year.
Joining the solid core of returners is a group of seven freshmen. Head Coach Jusianiec expects Kevin Goode (Rochester/Bishop Kearney) and Josh Reding (Rochester/Spencerport) to make an impact right away.
Head Coach Jerrry Jusianiec enters his 20th season (233-288) with high hopes. "I'm very excited to see this year's team compete, they have been working extremely hard in the preseason. With a great group of veterans and a very talented freshman class, our success will be determined on how quickly they gel and how we defend on a daily basis. This year's schedule is our toughest in the NCAA era and will prepare us for the postseason. We will play an up-tempo brand of basketball that is exciting to play and to watch as a spectator."
The blue & gold will play a challenging schedule starting with their opener vs. Baldwin Wallace tomorrow (11/10 at 1 p.m.). The schedule features opponents from the NEAC, the Empire 8, and the SUNYAC. The 25-game regular season slate also includes match-ups with future conference foes from the AMCC. The Pioneers will look to be in the championship mix at the end of the season as they host the ACAA Tournament in late February.