KEUKA PARK, N.Y. -- The Keuka College Men's Basketball team will open their 2016-17 season tonight, hosting area rival Hobart College at 8pm at the JMW Recreation and Athletics Center.
The Wolves enter this season looking to rebound from a 9-14 campaign last year. Thad Phillips returns to the sidelines for the Green and Gold for his 7th season. He is only the fourth coach in program history and this season will tie Phillips with George Wunder for the second most-tenured coach in Men's Basketball history.
"We have a good mix of experience and freshman talent," said Phillips. "We do not have any seniors on this year's roster, but we do return nine players from last year, six of which averaged over 10 minutes a game, so we do have experience on the floor."
Keuka will be led this season by their junior class. Greg Tyler, Cliff Stevens, and Dylan Doupe all return for their third season in Keuka Park. They were second, third, and fourth on the team in scoring last season behind graduated senior Casey Williams. All three took a large step forward in their offensive production from their freshman year to their sophomore year, and they will be looked upon to continue that trend this season. Joining the trio is junior Andre Gulley who will suit up in his first season for the Green and Gold.
Returning for their second seasons at Keuka College are six sophomores for Coach Phillips. Trevor Powell led all freshmen last season averaging 5.8 points per game for Keuka College. Sam Brown's impact was felt later in the season. The three point shooter closed strong and led the North Eastern Athletic Conference shooting 47.3% from three point territory. Along with Powell, Jelani Fontanez played in every game as a freshman and will be relied upon for his ball handling skills. Dekhari Stewart and Matt Estes will have an increased role this season and Darnell Pritchard will continue to provide size and depth to the front line.
The Green and Gold lost nearly 50% of their scoring from last season and this year's freshman class will be important in making up that gap. Cameron Winston comes to Keuka College from the Pomfret School in Connecticut where he was a 1,000 point scorer for the Griffins. Sean Kelly and Omar Short will give the Wolves size, checking in at 6-5 and 6-6, respectively. Matthew Purcell brings a history over winning to Keuka College following a pair of sectional champions at Christian Brothers Academy in Syracuse and Davon McClain and Thomas O'Driscoll will provide depth to the team.
In the 2016-17 North Eastern Athletic Conference Preseason Coaches' Poll, Keuka College was selected to finish in 8th place overall and 4th place in the six-team North Division. Fellow North Division teams SUNY Poly, Morrisville State, and Wells College all received first place votes in the poll. SUNY Poly was picked to win the NEAC with Gallaudet University in second play.
The Wolves will be on the road for eight straight games following the season-opener against Hobart. Their first four conference games will be on the road, starting on November 30 at Morrisville State. Keuka College will play their first home NEAC game on Wednesday, January 11, hosting Wells College. The Green and Gold will close their season on Saturday, February 18, hosting the College of St. Elizabeth in their annual Parents' and Senior Day.
Keuka College Men's Basketball will tipoff their season tonight, hosting Hobart College at 8pm at the JMW Recreation and Athletics Center at Keuka College.