Special to The Leader
Last season the men’s basketball team finished with a record of 10-15 and failed to reach the SUNYAC playoffs. The team hasn’t been to the playoffs since the 2012-2013 season. Surely, getting back to the playoffs will be the team’s top priority for the 2017-2018 season.
This year’s senior class includes Dante Williams, Justin Tapper, Keith Ruiz, Ian Helps and Tommie Banks. When asking senior forward Ian Helps on what he wants to achieve before leaving Fredonia, he started by saying, “I have a couple things I want to do before I leave. For sure my first thing is giving Fredonia a SUNYAC championship.”
Philip Seymore will be entering his fifth year as head coach for the Blue Devils. When asking Seymore about areas of focus in offseason, he stated there are areas with room for improvement.
“We want to continue to improve on our defense from last year,” said Seymore. “I believe that we will be a better rebounding team from the past this season. We know the better we take care of the basketball, the more opportunities we’ll have to score and get easy baskets in transition.”
Seymore needs to figure out how to overcome the loss of two key players sharp shooters, Richard De la Cruz and Kareem Brown. This past offseason was definitely an impactful one for Seymore and his coaching staff, as they added student athletes Derek Ice, Jonathan McDonald, Vinace Zangrana and a host of others.
Ice is a junior transfer from Jamestown Community College. He played 29 games for the Seahawks averaging 12 points, two rebounds and two assists per game. He is anticipated to have a big impact on the team this season.
The Blue Devils have a highly anticipated exhibition game against Fordham University on Nov. 3. The Fordham Rams are in NCAA Division 1, and currently compete in the Atlantic 10 Conference. Expect this game to challenge and provide a learning opportunity for the Blue Devils as they prepare for the rest of the season.
The Blue Devils will then kick off the 2017-18 regular season playing against Penn State Behrend on Nov. 15 in Erie, Pennsylvania.