NOVEMBER 15| 7:00 PM
BOSTON – The 71st edition of Suffolk men's basketball gets underway Wednesday, Nov. 15 as the Rams raise the curtain of its 2017-18 slate in the friendly confines of Regan Gymnasium as Brandeis stops by for a 7 p.m. tip-off.
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GUESS WHO'S BACK
Suffolk welcomes back nearly every letterwinner from one of the youngest squads in program history that put together a league postseason run a year ago. Headlining the group is all-league second-team selection Michael Hagopian, who anchored Suffok's scoring in 2016-17 with 14.3 ppg to go along with 3.1 rpg and 1.5 apg.
Adding to the offensive is Hagopian's classmate, floor general Jim Djema, who dished out a team-best 2.5 apg and was second on the squad with 10.9 ppg. Sophomores Thomas Duffy (7.2 ppg, 5.3 rpg) and George Grillakis (7.6 ppg, 3.5 rpg) look to approve on impressive freshmen campaigns.
NEW FACES IN NEW PLACES
Four true freshmen and one transfer were brought in over the off season to add a boost to Suffolk's roster. Ryan O'Connell will make his blue-and-gold Rams debut as a sophomore, while Francisco Castello-Acevedo, Nathaniel Ilebode, Alex Jacovides and Brendan Mulson will each make their collegiate entrance at Suffolk.
LIFTING THE LID
- Since 1967-68, Suffolk is 20-29 in the first game of the season. Starting in 2009, the Rams rattled off three consecutive wins on day one of the season, but since Suffolk has gone 1-4, including an 87-78 setback at Brandeis in Jeff Juron's second season at the helm a year ago.
- The Rams will open up the slate inside Regan Gymnasium for the ninth time since 1976 and first time since tipping off the 2015-16 slate versus UMass Boston (L, 72-61) at home. Suffolk is 4-4 on its home hardwood on the first game of the season.
- The Rams have opened up its campaign 16 times on the road (5-11) and have taken the court at a neutral site for the first game of the year on 17 difference occasions (6-11).
- Prior to the 1976-77 campaign, the location of Suffolk's season opener was undisclosed with the Rams going 5-4 through those contests.
- The Rams look to come out on the winning side of its season opener for the first time in the Juron era and first time since taking down Western New England, 95-84, to lift the lid on the 2013-14 season.
- Suffolk and Brandeis will meet on day one for the second straight season.
BITS 'BOUT BRANDEIS
Brandeis' squad will have a fresh look as its top three scorers and leading rebounders from last year's squad that went 8-16 graduated.
Nate Meehan's 7.5 ppg is the returning leading scorer for the Judges with Collin Sawyer and Eric D'Anguanno each posting 6.7 ppg as freshmen a year ago. On the boards, Brandeis will look to Latye Workman, who grabbed 3.6 rpg in 2016-17, to pace the pack.
Brian Meehan, who returns to the Judges' bench for his 22nd season, added six rookies to supplement his rebuilding roster.
- Suffolk and Brandeis have a storied history, which dates back to 1968.
- The Rams trail the all-time series, 5-38, after falling to the Judges, 87-78 in last season's season opener.
- The blue-and-gold looks to snap a seven-game skid versus Brandeis Wednesday night.
- Suffolk's last win over Brandeis came Dec. 4, 2001 in a 78-75 decision.
|2017-18 GNAC MEN'S BASKETBALL PRESEASON COACHES' POLL|
1. Albertus Magnus
2. Johnson & Wales
3. Mount Ida
4. St. Joseph's (Maine)
10. Anna Maria
ON THE BENCH
Jeff Juron was named the fifth head coach in Suffolk men's basketball history in the summer of 2015 and begins his third season on the bench in 2017-18. Through two seasons with the Rams, Juron has led the blue-and-gold to two GNAC postseason appearances and 15 victories.
Without a senior on the team, Suffolk will look to its five juniors to guide its underclassmen made up of eight sophomores and four freshmen.
Position wise, the Rams are comprised of 10 guards, a trio of forwards, and swing players and one center.
Fifteen of the Rams' 16 players stand shorter than 6-5 and just a pair of players are 6-5 or taller.
The Rams 2017-18 roster features 17 players representing five states and Puerto Rice. There are 11 Rams that call Massachusetts home and four that hail from Connecticut. New York, Florida and Illinois are also represented.
Five of Suffolk's games this season will serve as doubleheader with the Rams' women's squad.
- Dec. 2 vs. Saint Joseph's (Maine)
- Dec. 12 vs. UMass Boston
- Jan. 18 vs. Emmanuel
- Jan. 27 vs. Mount Ida
- Feb. 1 vs. Albertus Magnus
Last season, Suffolk went 1-2 when playing the same day inside Regan Gymnasium as the women.
THAT'S A FIRST
Suffolk will tip-off against fresh competition this season when the Rams open action at the Williams Tip-Off Tournament Friday, Nov. 17 they will take on Stevens in the first-such meeting in program history.
Suffolk heads to Williamstown, Massachusetts, over the weekend where it will take on Stevens Friday, Nov. 17 at 8 p.m. to open action at the Williams Tip-Off Tournament. The winner will advance to the championship Saturday, Nov. 18 and take on the victor of tournament host Williams and Salem State. The loser of each contest will take the court in the consolation game.