Men’s basketball shoots for conference hoops and dreams

The Seton Hill University (SHU) Griffins opened their 2007-2008 men’s basketball season with one new goal in mind: conference glory. This season will mark the first year that the men’s team will be competing against West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WVIAC) opponents in a 20-game schedule.

SHU will face off against powerhouses such as Alderson-Broaddus College and West Virginia State University, as well as other familiar WVIAC teams and non-conference bouts versus Point Park University and Mansfield University.

By Shawn Conway,

Contributor

The Seton Hill University (SHU) Griffins opened their 2007-2008 men’s basketball season with one new goal in mind: conference glory. This season will mark the first year that the men’s team will be competing against West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WVIAC) opponents in a 20-game schedule.

SHU will face off against powerhouses such as Alderson-Broaddus College and West Virginia State University, as well as other familiar WVIAC teams and non-conference bouts versus Point Park University and Mansfield University.

“Every team on our schedule is a competitive team that’s capable of giving us a good game,” said Brian Carroll, assistant coach.

In addition to their regular season schedule, the Griffins will be competing in Gannon University’s Porecco Cup. The cup is a non- conference tournament that pits the Griffin team against Edinboro University, Gannon University, and Bowie State Universities. According to Gannon’s web site, the tournament will be held at Gannon on December 29 and 30, 2007.

This Griffins team has two returning starters: junior Jordan Thomas, point guard, and senior Mateja Dicic, forward. According to WVIAC’s web site, Thomas averaged 13.6 points and 4 rebounds a game last season, while maintaining a FG percentage of .473. Dicic averaged 12.9 points a game while pulling down an average of 7.9 rebounds a game.

Both men stayed healthy and started all 26 games last year, which bodes well for a SHU team angling to make a name for themselves in the WVIAC in their first year of conference play.

“They have the most experience coming back, they’re both captains, and we expect a lot from them,” said Carroll.

Backing up Thomas and Dicic on opening day will be junior Emmanuel Jackson playing shooting guard, sophomore Cody Boone playing center, and senior captain Igor Dutina starting at power forward.

“Boone has been practicing pretty well for us in the first month of the season. He’s improved a tremendous amount from his freshman year,” said Carroll.

Also returning are guards Andy Lonigro, a junior, and Brandon Harvey, a sophomore.

New to the team are freshmen Kellen Holmes from Monessen, Pa., Asa Braxton from Pittsburgh, Pa., and Marc Rozanski from McKeesport, Pa. International recruits have also joined the active roster, bringing in from Serbia Drazen Lakic, a sophomore, and freshmen Alex Tomic and Stefan Vujicic. Transferring from the University of Delaware is 7-foot-3 Matt Hewson, a junior.

“We’ve been working hard offence and defense, passing, shooting. We’re trying to stay consistent. We’re encouraging playing hard, playing smart, playing together – the guys are doing a good job buying into that,” said Carroll.

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