Lyndonville, VT - Optimism is running high for the Lyndon State College men's basketball team as they prepare to open the 2017-2018 season next week. The Hornets are looking to build on a 2016-17 season which saw them advance to the North Atlantic Conference semi-finals, Lyndon's 7th consecutive appearance in the NAC Tournament. The Hornets finished last season with an overall record of 12-14, including a 10-8 mark in NAC play, good for fourth place in the conference.
This season the Hornets will be led by a pair of senior co-captains, 6'1" forward Zach Knowlton (Franconia, NH) and 5'11" guard Alexis Ravelo (Lowell, MA). Knowlton and Ravelo are both entering their third season in a Hornet uniform.
Guard Charles Correa Jr. (Prospect Heights, RI) returns for his senior season. Correa, a 2nd Team All-NAC selection a year ago, was Lyndon's leading scorer, averaging 15.0 points per contest. He led all NAC players with 78 made three-point goals over the season. Correa will be joined by junior forward Darnay Gray (Mashantucket, CT), who averaged 9.9 points and 4.2 rebounds a year ago. Junior forward Kevin Love (Bristol, CT), the 2015-16 NAC Rookie of the Year, also returns. Love averaged 4.9 points per game last season and shot 52.9% from the floor, best among the Hornets.
Senior guard Darren Williams Jr. (Wiesbaden, Germany), a four-year player at Lyndon, has had an outstanding pre-season and will be counted on to take on a significantly larger role in his final Hornet season. Junior forward CJ Jimmy (Modesto, CA), junior guard Corey Frost (Hamden, CT), senior guard Kendrick Mills (Rutland, VT), and sophomoe forward Jahleel Gabriel (Springfield, MA) also return, and each is expected to make an increased contribution this year.
Newcomers include a trio of talented freshmen, guard Korey Steele (Jupiter, FL), and forwards Gerald Fleming (Riverview, FL) and Kenan Hajdarevic (St. Johnsbury, VT), along with sophomore Neal Mulligan (Marshfield, VT).
Perhaps the biggest change for the Hornets this season will be on the sidelines, as veteran coach David Pasiak takes the reigns at Lyndon. Pasiak will be entering his 19th season as a collegiate head coach, and his 34th overall coaching basketball. He has been pleased with what he has seen so far from his team. He remarked "We have been working very hard every day to get more familiar with how we want to play, and with each other. If we continue to grow and improve and trust each other we have a chance to have a special season." Pasiak will be assisted by former Hornet guard Raymond Monroe.
The 2017-18 edition of the Hornets will open their season on Wednesday evening when Fisher College comes to Stannard Gymnasium. Tip-off is set for 6:00 pm. Fans can gain free admission to the contest by bringing a non-perishable food item for donation to the St. Johnsbury Food Shelter.