Men's Basketball Preview

Release Date:
November 7, 2011
The Office of Sports Information
(716) 649-7900 ext. 333

Things are looking up for the Hilbert College Men’s Basketball team after a strong finish last winter. A preseason pick to finish dead-last in the Alleghany Mountain Collegiate Conference (AMCC), the 2010-11 Hawks 12-15 (8-10) put teams on notice by finishing fourth and advancing to the conference tournament semifinals. This year’s team looks to build on that success and keep the momentum moving forward. Highlighted by the return of eight veterans, including three starters, the Hawks should be a tough opponent on any given night.

Senior Chris Parrott and junior Dan McFarland lead the way for tenth year head coach Rob deGrandpre. Last winter, Parrott averaged 12.9 ppg and paced the Hawks in rebounding with 7.0 per game. A do-it-all forward, the 6’5 inside-out threat combined with McFarland to register 85 steals in his sophomore campaign. The 6’1 McFarland earned Second Team All-Conference honors last season and led the Hawks in scoring with 16.6 ppg while grabbing 4.1 rpg. “Chris and Dan are now seasoned veterans and will be counted on to lead us on both ends of the floor,” stated deGrandpre. “They’re both becoming complete players and are fundamentally prepared to make us competitive night in and night out.”

Pulling in conference accolades as well in 2010-11 was sophomore CJ Hodge who garnished AMCC Newcomer of the Year honors. Hodge started every game for the Hawks while playing both guard spots and averaged 8.0 ppg and 4.3 apg. A tenacious defender, Hodge paced the Hawks in steals with a 51 thefts to his credit.   “CJ makes us go,” added deGrandpre. “He’s a tough on the ball defender and has a very good understanding of how to run our offense.” 

A pair of senior guards, 6’0 Mike Maritato and 6’2 Chris Hoak will be looked to for scoring and defense on the perimeter.  Maritato started 7 games last season and like Hoak, can score from the perimeter where both guards shot better than 37% from beyond the arc.

Inside, the Hawks have three experienced sophomores in 6’5 Barry Mason, 6’5 Jordan VanDunk and 6’5 Shaquille Gonsalves. Mason posted 2.6 ppg and 2.1 rpg last year and looks to improve upon those numbers. Van Dunk is returning from a season that was hampered by nagging injuries buts looks to be at full strength now and is primed to contribute immediately.  A spark off the bench last winter, Gonsalves can fill in both inside and on the perimeter. 

Two transfers bring a variety of experience and should provide help immediately.  One-time Hawk Cody Troutman is back after a year off and hopes to build upon a solid 2009-10 outing that saw the 6’0 guard average 9.3 ppg while dishing out 78 assists.  6’3 Isaac Bushey  arrives via Jefferson Community College and provides and aggressive style of play at both ends of the floor from the small forward position.

deGrandpre’s staff also added four freshman starting with 6’10 center  Mike Jones and 6'6 forward Ryan Brewster. Both rookies will be looked to in the middle for interior scoring, rebounding and defense.   They are joined by a pair of guards in 5’10 Trevor Stark and 5’11 Rob Cuomo.  “All of our new players have shown that they are confident and composed to contribute when called upon,” said deGrandpre.  

The season gets underway November 12th as Hilbert plays host to Durham College out of Canada in an exhibition game at the Hafner Recreation Center.  The first regular season game is slated for Tuesday, November 15th at Nazareth College, before the Hawks open at home against Keuka College in the Hilbert College Tip-Off Tournament November 18th and 19th. Before the team breaks to celebrate Thanksgiving, they travel to Oberlin College for a 7pm contest November 22. 

The Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference (AMCC) members will hold their men’s basketball game prior to the women’s games for the 2011-12 season and on November 26th, Hilbert hosts their first double header home contest against Alfred University. November ends with a double-header road contest at Cazenovia College where the women’s team will play the prelim to the men’s game. The last non-conference game on the Hawks schedule is December 17 when they host Marywood University.

Hilbert plays three AMCC games in the fall semester (La Roche, Penn State Behrend and Pitt-Greensburg) before they take a break for the holidays. The Hawks open 2012 with a home contest against cross-town rival Medaille College (January 4) before they hit the road for three league games. Hilbert plays their only other home game over the semester break when they host Mount Aloysius January 14. After classes resume in January, the Hawks finish their league schedule with six home games and travel for three road matches.

Rejoining deGrandpre on the side lines are Mick Fallis, Garrett Hall and Malcolm Edwards.

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.