Second-year head coach Matt Goldsmith and the Lions were prepared to send a message to their New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) foes.
They are not underdogs anymore.
They are not the Cinderella team who defeated the No.1 seeded New Jersey City University during last season’s NJAC tournament.
Ranked third in this season’s NJAC preseason poll, the Lions are loaded with talent, speed and power from both sides of the court.
Sophomore forward Jordan Glover will build upon his rebound production and drain numerous three pointers as he did during the Lions tournament victories against Ramapo College and New Jersey City University.
Glover’s forward-in-crime will be junior forward Elias Bermudez. Bermudez will continue his role of the Lions workhorse. He started at his forward position in every game last season and accumulated 50 total offensive boards.
Senior forward Bobby Brackett will return after being absent from injury last year. Brackett is currently sixth in all-time career rebounding with 627 rebounds. He looks to follow up his phenomenal freshman season where he collected 327 rebounds, the most rebounds in Lions history.
In the back end of the court, senior guard Eric Klacik will uphold the Lions defense and maintain double figure offensive averages. Klacik is also a great long distance shooter with 55 three-point field goals under his belt.
Junior guard Eric Murdock Jr. comes into this season with high expectations. Murdock Jr. was recently announced as a preseason All-American by D3News. He adds much offensive production for the Lions by averaging 19.1 points per game and snatching 53 steals last season. Both Klacik and Murdock Jr. are a mighty defensive unit.
Senior forward Corey Stanford is another great addition to the team. Stanford previously played for the Catholic University of America. He adds much need playoff experience for the Lions as he competed in the NCAA national tournament twice with the Cardinals. Additionaly, freshman guard Ryan Jensen is striving for an productive playmaker.
Altogether, Goldsmith and the Lions have the opportunity to win the College’s first men’s basketball NJAC title since 1998. Nonetheless, the team has a long journey. The journey lasts regular season games 25 games. Eighteen out of those 25 games will be against conference opponents.
The Lions begin their season at Packer Hall against the John Jay College Bloodhounds on Tuesday, Nov. 15, 7 p.m. Afterwards, the Lions head off to Middletown, Pa., for a tournament at Penn State Harrisburg. The majority the of Lion’s conference matches will occur by late December to early February.