Lyndonville, VT - The Northern Vermont University-Lyndon men's basketball team will open the 2019-2020 season with two games at the Northern Vermont University Tip-Off Classic this weekend at NVU-Johnson. The Hornets look to continue to build the program foundation and become a contender in the North Atlantic Conference. Lyndon finished 4-16 overall and 2-12 in the NAC last season
The Hornets will be led by their three captains, seniors Jahleel Gabriel (Springfield, MA) and Damon Denteh (Jamaica, NY) and sophomore Zach Falkenburg (Bridgeport, NY). Gabriel, a 6'4" forward, is entering his fourth season as a Hornet. He averaged 6.8 points and a team best 5.2 rebounds per game last season while shooting 53.7% from the floor, also the best mark on the team. Denteh, a 5'8" guard who is expected to rejoin the active roster in the near future, averaged 11.6 points and a team best 3.8 assists last year. Falkenburg, a 6'1" guard, was among the top rookies in the conference in his freshman season. He averaged 10.8 points and 2.7 assists per game.
Sophomore forward Kyle Cary (Selkirk, NY) and sophomore guard Luke Fredsell (Whitesboro, NY) are among the returnees expected to take on bigger roles this season. Cary came on strong in his freshman campaign, with some impressive individual performances, including a 19-rebound effort and a perfect 11 for 11 shooting game, down the stretch. Fredsell, a former All-State player in high school, also showed flashes last season and has added significant weight and strength to his frame.
Other returnees expected to contribute include senior Timothy Hoar (Shelburne Falls, MA), juniors Kenan Hajdarevic (St. Johnsbury, VT) and Neal Mulligan (Marshfield, VT) and sophomores Nicholas Canzano (Ipswich, MA), Phillip Lafond (Stoughton, MA), and Dylan Torello (Port S. Lucie, FL).
The roster also includes four newcomers, redshirt freshman Peyton Olsen (Middleburgh, NY), a transfer from NCAA Division II Roberts Wesleyan College, and true freshmen Tyrese Harris (Wiesbaden, Germany), Levi Haviland (Poultney, VT), and Bryan Thompson (New Britain, CT).
Veteran head coach David Pasiak enters his third season at the helm of the Hornets. This season will mark his 36th overall and his 21st as a collegiate head coach. Pasiak shared the following thoughts on the season: "This group has continued to move our team culture in a positive direction. They have a great work ethic and genuinely enjoy being around each other and being a part of what we are building. We made some very good strides down the stretch last season. With the experience that our young players gained, we are working to get better every day and become a factor in the NAC this season."
The Hornets have been picked to finish seventh in the NAC 2019-2020 pre-season coaches poll. Last season's regular season champion, the University of Maine at Farmington, edged out defending conference champion Husson University for the top spot. The predicted order of finish is:
1. University of Maine at Farmington
2. Husson University
3. Thomas College
4. SUNY Canton
T5. Maine Maritime Academy
T5. University of Maine at Presque Isle
7. Northern Vermont University-Lyndon
8. Northern Vermont University-Johnson
For a complete preview of the 2019-2020 NAC men's basketball season click HERE.
The Hornets will face Vermont Technical College this Friday at 5:30 pm in the opening round of the NVU Tip-Off Classic at NVU-Johnson. On Saturday, Lyndon will square off against Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts at 1:00 pm, also at NVU-Johnson.
The Hornets' home opener will be next Tuesday, when Norwich University comes to Stannard Gymnasium for a 6:00 pm tip-off. Lyndon begins NAC play on December 7th, when they travel to conference favorite Husson.