Men’s Basketball: Looking Ahead

After a successful 2017-18 campaign, men’s basketball is ready to build on their past success. Last season, the team finished 17-10, with a 13-7 record in the NE-10 Conference. The Chargers finished third in the NE-10 Southwest Division. But, the season ended on a sour note as they were defeated by Merrimack in the NE-10 Championship quarterfinals, and did not receive a berth in the NCAA Division II Tournament.

They’re hoping this season ends differently.

The Chargers finished second in the Southwest Division in the NE-10 Conference Preseason Poll, chosen by the league’s 15 coaches. Men’s basketball head coach Ted Hotaling sees this as a good starting point.

“We view it as a positive thing to see the program picked near the top of the table in the preseason,” said Hotaling. “The first thing it tells us is that we have good players.”

New Haven will return nine players from last year’s squad. They will also return two big offensive threats in junior Elijah Bailey and sophomore Derrick Rowland. Bailey was the team’s second leading scorer a year ago, averaging a career high 12.3 points per game. He finished 14 games in double figures, including four games with 20 or more. He also set a season high with 25 points in an upset win over No. 22 Le Moyne.

Rowland was the team’s sixth man last season who averaged 9.6 points per game, the third most on the team. He also shot 44.9 percent from the field and made 44 three-pointers, which ranked him third best on the team. Bailey and Rowland could be be the one-two punch when it comes to putting the ball in the basket in 2018.

The team will face a hefty challenge to start off at an exhibition game against Division I Seton Hall University on Friday. The team will look to discover their strengths and weaknesses before the start of NE-10 action.

“We are very fortunate to be able to compete against Seton Hall of the Big East Conference” said Hotaling. “As in any contest we want signs that we are improving in the areas we work on every day transition defense, coverages, defensive rebounding and executing on the offensive end. It will be a great experience for everyone and one we can learn from as we get ready for the start of the season on Nov. 14.”

The Chargers season will get underway when they travel down to Brookville, New York, to take on non-conference opponent LIU Post on Nov. 14. The Chargers will then travel back to West Haven for their NE-10 home opener against Adelphi on Saturday Nov. 17.