Saints Excited To Open Men's Hoop Season
CANTON - With eight returners and seven newcomers, the St. Lawrence University men's basketball team and head coach Chris Downs, who enters his 23rd season with the Saints, are set to open the 2019-20 season tomorrow evening at home against SUNY Potsdam.
"We're definitely excited to get the year rolling," said Downs. "The guys worked hard in the off season and have brought a new level of energy into our preseason practices. With seven newcomers and five out of our eight returners being sophomores, we're a young squad, but full of youthful enthusiasm."
Last season's Liberty League Rookie of the Year and a three-time Liberty League Rookie of the Week selection, Luke Hicks led all league rookies during his first season and ranked third on the Saints' squad with 10.4 points per game. The Saints' most decorated returner and a versatile player, Hicks recorded 14 double-figure games this season, including a career-high 24 points in the Saints' win over Clarkson on February 5. He also contributed a team-high 94 assists on the season, which ranks fourth among league leaders with 3.8 assists per game.
Senior Steve Low returns as the lone senior on the Saints squad, while Chris Jeffrey and Brandon Arnold make up the Saints junior class. Arnold recorded 138 points last season and started 18 or 26 games for the Scarlet and Brown.
Hicks, Jordan Huntley, Adeleke Karera, Will Harrison and Ogdensburg's Cale Sargent make up the Saints' sophomore class. Sargent added his name to the record book twice last season, ranking second in highest 3-point percentage (51.6%) and fifth in highest free throw percentage (85.7%) in a season.
The Saints' Class of 2023 is made up of Kyle Hoffman, Miles Davis, Andrew Geschickter, Zach Friedland, Liam McDonald, Jack Scotnicki and Trent Adamson.
"We know we're going to have our ups and downs this season," Downs added. "But we're ready for the challenge and are looking forward to what the season will bring."
The Scarlet and Brown wrapped up the 2018-19 season 16-10 and finished 13-5 in Liberty League play. The Saints finished the regular season second in the conference standings and received a bye to the semifinals of the Liberty League Tournament, but fell to Hobart, 68-49. It's no doubt that the Saints will also feel the loss of Riley Naclerio on the court this season, but Naclerio joined the Saints' staff in August and will help guide the Saints from the sideline.
The Saints will open this season's campaign with a non-conference matchup at home against SUNY Potsdam, tomorrow November 12 at 6 p.m. The Saints will face three other non-conferecne opponents before traveling to Rensselaer and Union for their first Liberty League weekend of the season on December 6-7. The Saints return on January 6 for one more non-conference game, before jumping back into league play.
2019-20 LIBERTY LEAGUE MEN'S BASKETBALL PRESEASON POLL
(First-place votes are in parentheses)
Ithaca, 76 (5),
Skidmore, 70 (2)
Hobart, 66 (3)
St. Lawrence, 50