The men’s basketball coaches of the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference voted the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford men’s basketball team to finish seventh in the 2017-18 preseason coaches’ poll, officials announced Monday.
“I think that’s a fair place to pick us, given all that we lost from last year,” Head Coach Sean Brown Sr. said. “However, what the polls don’t show is all we’ve brought in. I’m excited to display the talent we have on this team and show that this group can really compete this year.”
La Roche and Penn State-Behrend tied for second in the conference last season and were selected to take the top-two spots in 2017-18, with the Redhawks expected to win the conference.
AMCC coaches selected last season’s champion Medaille to take third place and Hilbert’s Jalen Smith as the Preseason Player of the Year. Pitt-Bradford will face Smith and the Hilbert Hawks in their home opener on Nov. 29.
Pitt-Bradford, which finished last season in sixth place at 10-8 in AMCC play, lost All-Conference honorees Evan Greening and Fateem Brockington to graduation.
Greening, an All-Conference First Team, D3Hoops.com All-Region, HERO Sports Second-Team All-American and Allstate NABC Good Works Team selection led the AMCC in both scoring with 20.2 points per game and rebounding with 14.3 boards per game.
A three-time All-AMCC selection, Brockington was second on the team with 12.5 points per game and averaged 3.6 assists per game.
Leading the way for the Panthers this season is a trio of seniors, Christian Kelly-Perkins, Tim Atkinson and Sahlil Harris. Kelly-Perkins is the team’s top returning scorer at 9.6 points per game, and Atkinson will assist with the scoring for the Panthers. Harris will anchor the up-tempo style of Brown Sr.’s offense running the point while giving opponents trouble on defense as he finished third in the conference last season with 2.1 steals per game in 2016-17.
The Panthers’ roster features six returners and 12 newcomers, seven of which are experienced transfers.
Pitt-Bradford will open up its 2017-18 season with two games in the Scranton Tournament, one game per day on Friday, Nov. 17 and Saturday, Nov. 18. The Panthers will welcome Hilbert on Wednesday, Nov. 29, for their home opener at 6 p.m., the first game of a doubleheader with the women’s team.