New Conference Awaits HC Men's Basketball Team

Release Date:
November 11, 2004
The Office of Sports Information
(716) 649-7900 ext. 333

            The Hilbert College Men’s Basketball team enters its first season as a member of the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference (AMCC) with high hopes of improving on their 5-21 record of a year ago.  The young Hawks played competitive basketball in 2003-04, dropping 14 games by nine points or less.  New challenges await this winter, including a schedule that features home games against perennial power and 2004 NCAA Tournament participant Penn State Behrend, as well as Penn State Altoona, who is coached by former NBA player Armon Gilliam.  The Hawks will also participate in the Buffalo State Holiday Inn Tournament, featuring area rivals Medaille College, D’Youville College and Buffalo State.

            Third-year head coach Rob deGrandpre returns nine players from last year, including 5’9 senior guard Sam Gioia (West Seneca, NY/West Seneca West).  Gioia led the team in scoring last season (15.0 PPG), and is the all-time career assist leader at Hilbert College (291).  He was selected first-team All-North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) for the second consecutive season in 2003-04, and will again be a key component in the Hawks backcourt.

            Returning in the frontcourt are sophomore post players Keon Rembert (Brooklyn, NY/Archbishop Walsh) and Dominic Miller (Niagara Falls, NY/West Seneca West).  The 6’6 Rembert started 25 of 26 games as a freshman last season, and finished second on the team in scoring (8.0 PPG) and third in rebounding (4.8 RPG).  Miller (6’3) improved over the course of his inaugural season, averaging 9.9 PPG in the final nine games for the Hawks.  Both players will look to build on their promising freshmen campaigns.

            6’3 guard Sean Kenney (Tonawanda, NY/Tonawanda) and 6’6 forward Will Wereley (Syracuse, NY/Henninger/Onondaga Comm. College) will both provide senior leadership to a program that saw four freshmen start the majority of last season.  Kenney averaged 4.6 PPG in 2003-04, while Wereley chipped in with 4.3 PPG and 3.3 RPG.

            Sophomore returnees Brian Wojcik (Buffalo, NY/ St. Mary’s), Glen Ufland (Buffalo, NY/Bishop Timon), and Ryan Brancato (Buffalo, NY/Bishop Timon) will all look for time in the backcourt.  Wojcik started 21 games as a freshman and averaged 6.8 points per contest while Ufland drained 51 treys in his rookie campaign.  Brancato provides depth at the point guard position after seeing action in eight games as a freshman.

            Junior Al Leight (Oakfield, NY/Oakfield-Alabama) returns this year after sitting out last season.  The 6’7 forward started 17 games in 2002-03 and averaged 6.7 PPG and 5.0 RPG in his first collegiate season. 

            The coaching staff brought in a solid four player recruiting class highlighted by 5’9 lightning quick guard, Michael Reyes (Buffalo, NY/Bishop Timon).  The freshman point guard started for Bishop Timon High School in 2003-04, and led the Tigers to a 19-6 record as a senior.  He will push for playing time in the Hawks backcourt immediately.  6’3 freshman guard Dallas Reinard (Smethport, PA/Smethport) led the Pennsylvania Top 30 in scoring as a high school senior and will also be in the mix for the Hawks.  6’4 freshman Dan Rodriguez (Oneida, NY/Oneida HS) and 6’6 JUCO transfer William Hall (Buffalo, NY/Traditional/Erie Comm. College) will provide depth in the frontcourt.

            The men’s basketball team plays host to Sheridan College out of Oakville, Ontario in Canada with an exhibition game on Sunday, November 14th at 1:00 PM.  The Hawks will open the regular season against #25 ranked Potsdam State in the North Country Invitational on Friday, November 19th.  The host Bears won the State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) tournament last season, and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Division III Tournament.  Tip-off for the opener is scheduled for 8:00 PM.          

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.