Men's Basketball Opens Season Picked Fourth in NE10 Northeast

Skyhawks tip-off season Saturday against UDC at STAC Tip-Off Classic in New York

NE10 Men's Basketball Preseason Coaches' Poll

Moreton returns as the Skyhawks leading scorer from a year ago, earning All-NE10 honors. (PHOTO BY Greg Wall)

EASTON, Mass. (November 8, 2018) – The Stonehill College men's basketball team has cause for optimism when it opens its 2018-19 season this weekend at the Saint Thomas Aquinas College Tip-Off Classic in Sparkill, New York, before opening its Northeast-10 Conference schedule against rival Bentley University at Merkert Gymnasium next Wednesday.

Stonehill has been picked fourth in the NE10 preseason coaches' poll for the Northeast Division, receiving 78 points. Saint Anselm College is picked to win the Division with 111 points and 13 of the 15 first place votes, with Merrimack College (95 points) second with the remaining two first place votes. Bentley (86) is picked third, followed by the Skyhawks, Southern New Hampshire University (56) in fourth, Assumption College (40) fifth, Franklin Pierce (39) sixth and Saint Michael's College (27) in seventh. Southern Connecticut State University leads the Southwest Division preseason rankings with 93 points and nine first place votes.

Stonehill head coach Chris Kraus, '06 returns ten letterwinners, including four starters from the 2017-18 squad which posted a 17-12 record overall, including 12-9 in the NE10, winning eight of its last 12 games to reach the NE10 Quarterfinals before falling to eventual NCAA Division II Elite Eight participant Le Moyne College. The Skyhawks led the NE10 in three-point shooting at 41.6-percent as a team, featuring seven players who shot 40-percent from beyond the arc or better. Kraus has named a trio of talented juniors who have seen significant time over their first two seasons as captains in classmates Dan Largey, Will Moreton and Brandon Twitty.

Berroa is a returning senior starter for the Skyhawks, bringing a defensive presence inside. (PHOTO BY Bob Blanchard)

The trio of captains have started a combined 117 games through their first two collegiate seasons, led by Moreton who has started all 56 games of his career to date. The second team All-NE10 selection is coming off a phenomenal sophomore season in which he averaged a team-high 18.1 points on 46.2-percent shooting, including 41.8% from three-point range, while connecting on 77.8% of his free-throws with 7.4 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.2 steals in 32.8 minutes per game a year ago. He enters his junior year with 767 career points and 348 rebounds.

Twitty was an honorable mention All-NE10 selection after a sophomore season in which he added 14.6 points on 45.3% shooting, including 42.7% from long-range, with 2.2 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.7 steals in 30.9 minutes per game. Largey, who earned NE10 All-Rookie status after a freshman season in which he led the NE10 in three-point shooting, finished with 11.4 points on 44-percent shooting from deep, converting 90.2% of his free-throws, with 4.1 rebounds in 25.6-minutes per game.

Senior Joel Berroa rounds out Stonehill's returning starters, having chipped in 6.9 points and 4.1 rebounds in 22.5 minutes per game, shooting 46.5% from the floor and converting 78.4% of his free-throws. Classmates Michael Boen and Henry Zezze round out the Skyhawks senior class and will also provide valuable leadership and see time in the rotation.

Largey returns as one of the top three-point shooters in the country. (PHOTO BY Greg Wall)

Sophomores Owen Chose and Owen de Graaf look to build off their experience as freshmen into this season. Chose contributed 8.5 points on 43.6% shooting from three-point distance in 18.7 minutes per game, while de Graaf chipped in 2.2 points and 1.8 rebounds in nine minutes per game. Classmates Alex Bradley, Chris Willis and Johnny Stretesky will also provide depth and leadership for the squad.

Stonehill's roster features five freshman who will look to add their fingerprints to the team in their first collegiate seasons. Headlining the group are Josh Mack as a guard and Andrew Sims at forward, who figure to be a part of the rotation from the start. Rounding out the group are Connor Walsh, Adam Freese and Shamir Johnson.

Stonehill opens its 2018-19 season on Saturday and Sunday, when it competes at the Saint Thomas Aquinas Tip-Off Classic. The Skyhawks face University of District of Columbia on Saturday at 7:30 p.m., and then host STAC on Sunday at 4 p.m. Stonehill opens its NE10 schedule next Wednesday, November 14, when it hosts rival Bentley at 7:30 p.m.

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