Patchogue, NY| Under new head coach Michael McSloy, the St. Joseph's College (L.I.) men's basketball team looks to reverse its fortunes in 2019-20 after posting a second-consecutive 5-20 record a year ago.
With a 4-16 Skyline Conference mark in 2018-19, the Golden Eagles finished in last place, failing to qualify for the conference championship for the second year running.
The Returners: There are five seniors on McSloy's roster, including Frank Basile who finished second in the conference in scoring last season (19.7 PPG). The guard also led the Golden Eagles in rebounding (8.7 RPG), steals (0.9 SPG) and free-throw percentage (80.2%).
Point guard Doug Niblock will run the offense again in 2019-20 after leading the team in assists (3.2 APG) last season. Both Brad Weiss and Jonah Caldwell, the former of which led the team with 2.0 blocks-per-game, will marshal the low post. Caldwell averaged 3.1 points-per-game in just 11.8 minutes-per-game a year ago.
The Newcomers: McSloy welcomes five newcomers into the fold, many of which are expected to make immediate impacts. The three freshmen, Mark Roberts Jr., Brian Dellecave and Cristian Pace will vie for starting time and fill out SJC's rotation.
Roberts, a 6-6 forward out of Holy Trinity, will add depth to the frontcourt while Pace will serve as backcourt depth. Dellecave, at 6-3, provides McSloy with additional options up and down the lineup.
Expectations: After consecutive 5-20 seasons, McSloy aims to improve his program on a day-to-day basis. He'll lean on the strengths of the upperclassmen and hope the underclassmen develop well enough to take on bigger roles.
The results of the Skyline Conference Men's Basketball Preseason Coaches Poll, released on November 6, predicted the Golden Eagles to finish in sixth place in the South Division.
2019-20 Skyline Conference Men's Basketball Preseason Coaches Poll
1. Purchase (9 first-place votes), 63 pts.
2. Sarah Lawrence (2), 53
3. Manhattanville (1), 48
4. Mount Saint Mary, 40
5. USMMA, 27
6. Maritime, 15
1. Yeshiva (11), 66
2. Farmingdale State (1), 54
3. Old Westbury, 46
4. St. Joseph's-Brooklyn, 36
5. Mount Saint Vincent, 27
6. St. Joseph's-Long Island, 17
When they begin: The Golden Eagles open their 2019-20 season at York College (N.Y.) on Friday, November 8 at 7:00 pm. They return to the Danzi Center hardwood on Friday, November 15 at 7:00 pm vs. Saint Elizabeth and open Skyline Conference play at home on Sunday, December 8 vs. Yeshiva University (3:00 pm).