HC Cagers Start 08-09 With New look: Season preview

Release Date:
November 5, 2008
The Office of Sports Information
(716) 649-7900 ext. 333

HAMBURG, NY – With the loss of four reliable seniors from a year ago, the 2008-09 edition of the Hilbert College men’s basketball team will take on a different look when the season gets under way in mid November. For the first time in four years, Hawks head coach Rob deGrandpre will not have the services of do-it-all guard Dallas Reinard. The three-time Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference (AMCC) selection graduated last spring along with backcourt mate and all-time assist leader Mike Reyes. Candidates to replace the firepower of Reinard, the program’s all-time leading scorer and three-point leader, will be selected from eight returners and an equal number of recruits.

“Guard play is so important, and Dallas and Mike will be sorely missed,” said deGrandpre, now in his seventh year at the helm. “With every graduating class moving on, there is an opportunity for others to step-up and establish a new era of excellence. We will look a little different, but there’s no doubt we will be competitive in striving to reach our goal of winning a conference championship.”

Sophomore guard Andy Marchand (Rochester, NY/C.G. Finney) was the Hawks second leading scorer last season with 11.0 ppg. The 5’10 combo guard connected on 44 three-pointers and averaged 3.0 rpg in his first full collegiate season.

6’1 senior Dan Terrette (Shinglehouse, PA/Oswayo Valley) can contribute from the outside after knocking down 18 treys last winter. He joins a now healthy 6’3 John Koniniec (Depew, NY/Depew) who brings a resume of 52 games played into his senior campaign. 5’7 sophomore Aaron Burbidge (Cazenovia, NY/Cazenovia) saw point guard duty in 24 games in 07-08 and is capable of connecting from downtown. 6’1 Chad Lindner (Hamburg, NY/Frontier) joined the Hawks at semester break a year ago and will push for time in the backcourt.

The Hawks inside game will be anchored by 6’8 senior Malcolm Edwards (Cleveland Heights, OH/Lutheran East) who averaged 8.9 ppg to go with 8.3 rpg last year. The AMCC’s fourth leading rebounder registered 35 blocked shots (3rd) and his .536 field goal percentage was 6th best in the league.

6’6 junior forward Travis Jackson (Rochester, NY/Greece Olympia) is coming off his most productive season after averaging 4.2 ppg and 2.9 boards. 6’6 Ian Frost (Cherry Creek, NY/Pine Valley) saw action in all 25 games a year ago and averaged 2.0 rpg while shooting .778 from the foul line.

Newcomers include a pair of junior college transfers in 6’1 Joe Roberts (Adams, NY/South Jefferson) and 6’5 Kyle Stark (Plattsburgh, NY/Seton Catholic). Roberts averaged 11.0 ppg last winter while nailing 55 three-pointers for Jefferson Community College. Stark finished a two-year career at Clinton Community College where he helped the Cougars to 37 wins.

Guards embarking on their collegiate careers are 6’0 freshmen Jack O’Rourke (Salamanca, NY/Salamanca), 6’5 Chris Parrott (Warsaw, NY/Warsaw), 6’2 Kenneth Sherrie (Wilson, NY/Newfane), and 6’3 Justin Bennett (Springfield Gardens, NY/Humanities-Arts Magnet).

The Hawks’ inside presence will be upgraded with 6’6 freshmen Nick Piccone (North Chili, NY/Aquinas) and 6’7 Dave Shuey (Burt, NY/Newfane).

The Hawks were selected eighth in the AMCC pre-season coaches poll, but the low ranking doesn’t concern deGrandpre. “Hey, three years ago we were picked seventh and came within a basket of playing for the conference championship.”

All ten teams in the conference took major hits due to graduation last spring and the league might be as wide open as it’s ever been. “We’ll be working to put ourselves into a position to make the conference tournament,” stated deGrandpre. “Our new people will be getting an education along the way, with the goal of improving as individuals, and as a group as the season plays out.”

The road to the NCAA Division III Final Four in Salem, VA begins with an exhibition game against Seneca College of Canada on November 15th. The Hawks open the regular season at home November 18th against Wells College out of the North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC).

Hilbert College, located in suburban Hamburg, N.Y., south of Buffalo, is a private four-year college founded in 1957 in the Catholic Franciscan tradition. With nearly 1,100 students, Hilbert is a dynamic Western New York college that offers career-focused majors, including one of the top criminal justice programs in the region, and more than 50 minors and concentrations. The college’s engaging, student-centered campus community offers numerous leadership, internship, and service learning opportunities from which students launch successful careers while making positive changes in their communities. The Hilbert Blueprint promotes a well-rounded student experience over four years – starting with the Foundations Seminar in the freshman year, followed by Sophomore Service, Junior Symposium, and culminating with the Senior Capstone. Hilbert has expanded its academic offerings with the college’s first graduate programs and new Accelerated Degree Programs geared to adult learners.