Sacred Heart (0-0) at Holy Cross (0-0)
Tuesday, Nov. 6 - 7:05 PM
Hart Center at the Luth Athletic Complex - Worcester, Mass.
Setting the Scene... SHU men's basketball opens the 2018-19 regular season Tuesday, Nov. 6, by traveling to Worcester Mass to take on at Holy Cross at 7:05 p.m. at the Hart Center at the Luth Athletic Complex.
Last Time Out... Despite having four players score in double-figures, the Sacred Heart University men's basketball team fell to LIU Brooklyn, 88-77, to close the 2017-18 season. Charles Tucker Jr., Chris Robinson, Sean Hoehn and Joseph Lopez all scored in double-figures, with Lopez's 17 points leading the way.
All-Time Vs. Holy Cross... The Crusaders lead the all-time series against the Pioneers 9-5. Holy Cross has won three straight meetings against SHU, and six of the last seven.
Last Meeting... After trailing by 11 at halftime, SHU opened the second half on a 13-3 run to cut the deficit to one 39-38 with 16:10 to go in the game. Holy Cross responded with a 17-6 run of their own over the next 6:42, as a Jacob Grandison three put the Crusaders ahead 56-44. Trailing 67-57 with just over two minutes to play, the Pioneers made one last charge. Hoehn scored seven straight points, with his free throws with 0:50 left putting SHU within three 67-64. The Pioneers got a stop on defense, but turned the ball over on their next trip down the floor. Fouling to keep time on the clock, SHU fouled Patrick Benzan with 0:04 left. Benzan made both ends of a one-and-one to make the score 69-64.
Scouting Holy Cross... The Crusaders are coming off a 2017-2018 season in which they went 12-19 overall and placed sixth in the Patriot League with an 8-10 mark in conference games. Senior forward Jehyve Floyd looks to lead the team this winter, after being named third team All-Patriot League and earning Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year honors in 2017-2018. Floyd averaged a team-best 12.2 points, 5.6 rebounds and 2.2 blocked shots per contest last season, while making 68.8 percent of his field goal attempts.
Familiar Faces... SHU returns seven letter-winners from last season's team, including team captain and leading scorer Sean Hoehn. The Pioneers also return Kinnon LaRose, E.J. Anosike, Anthony Boateng, Alex Watson, Zach Radz and Jare'l Spellman.
The Young and the Restless... The Pioneers also added seven new players to the roster, all being freshmen.
New Face...Kinda... Despite being on the 2017-18 roster, Jare'l Spellman did not see time as he had sit out as a redshirt due to transferring from Florida Southern. In his two years at Florida Southern, he was third in all of Division II in blocks and left as the program's all-time leader in blocks. In 2017, Spellman was named the Sunshine State Conference Defensive player of the Year after leading the league with 104 blocks.
Oh Captains, Our Captain... Second-year captain Sean Hoehn returns as SHU's leading scorer from last season after averaging 13.1 points per game. Hoehn, knocked down at least three or more three-pointers in seven games and led SHU with 4.2 assists per game.
Swiper, No Swiping... Sean Hoehn recorded a career-high seven steals in SHU's 87-80 win over UMass Lowell (11/29).
Shooters, Shoot... Kinnon LaRose led SHU in three-pointing percentage (34.1%) and 1.9 made three-pointers a game. He scored a career-high 24 points on a career-high six made three-pointers in a 66-65 win over FDU (12/31).
Big on the Boards... E.J. Anosike had three double-digit rebound performances and registered two double-doubles as a freshman last season. Anosike registered a double-double on a career-high 14 points and 16 rebounds in an 87-60 win over Mitchell College (11/22). He scored eight points and grabbed a career-high 17 rebounds in a 69-68 win over Maine (11/19). Anosike registered a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds in a 92-52 win over St. Francis Brooklyn (1/13)
Cleaning Up On The Glass... The Pioneers were one of the top teams in the NEC in rebounding. SHU averaged 39.9 rebounds per game as a team, which led the NEC. The Pioneers also held opponents to 32.5 rebounds per game, which ranked second in the NEC. However, SHU's +7.5 rebounding margin was tops in the NEC last season. The Pioneers also led the NEC in defensive rebounds per game (27.90) and defensive rebounding percentage (77.4%).
Freshmen Orientation... Head coach Anthony Latina will look for experience to be the best teacher, as he expects freshmen guards Aaron Clarke, Koreem Ozier and Cameron Parker to aide Sean Hoehn in the backcourt this season.
The Jersey Product... Aaron Clarke was a well-decorated guard that Latina was able to add from Pope John high school. Clarke graduated as Pope John's all-time leading scorer with 1,565 points. Clarke was named the N.J. Herald Player of the Year in 2017, Sportszone Player of the Year in 2017 and Sportszone Co-Player of the Year in 2018.
Scoring is a Habit... Freshman guard Koreem Ozier was touted as a gifted scorer during his recruitment. Ozier was the first player to average 30 points per game in his county as a senior. The Racine product led the state of Wisconsin in scoring for two years straight and set the all-time scoring record at Case high school with 1,405 points.
Busy Beaver... Freshman guard Cameron Parker filled the stat-sheet offensively in high school. The Beaverton, Oregon product averaged 25.5 points and 6.1 assists per game as a senior at Jesuit high school and graduated scoring 1,451 career points. In his post-grad year at Tilton, Parker set the program-record for most assists in a game and most assists in a single-season.
Preseason Prognostication... SHU men's basketball team was picked to finish ninth in the Northeast Conference. Saint Francis U is this season's preseason favorite, garnering eight first-place votes. Fairleigh Dickinson was second choice and received a first place vote, followed by reigning NEC champions LIU Brooklyn in third with the final first-place vote. Wagner and Robert Morris rounded out the top-five, with Central Connecticut State and St. Francis Brooklyn in sixth and seventh. Bryant, the Pioneers and Mount St. Mary's rounded out the remaining NEC teams.
NEC Preseason Poll:
1. Saint Francis U (8 first-place votes)
2. Fairleigh Dickinson (1 first-place vote)
3. LIU Brooklyn (1 first-place vote)
5. Robert Morris
6. Central Connecticut
7. St. Francis Brooklyn
9. Sacred Heart
10. Mount St. Mary's
NEC Men's Basketball Preseason All-NEC Team
G – Jamaal King, Saint Francis U
G – Keith Braxton, Saint Francis U
G/F – Tyler Kohl, Central Conn.
G/F – Raiquan Clark, LIU Brooklyn
F – Mike Holloway, FDU