HAWKS OPEN 2013-14 CAMPAIGN IN BIG APPLE AGAINST COLUMBIA
Frankie Allen (pictured) will look to his guard play to dominate the matchup against the Lions
Frankie Allen (pictured) will look to his guard play to dominate the matchup against the Lions

Nov. 8, 2013

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NEW YORK, N.Y. – The University of Maryland Eastern Shore men’s basketball team has made its way to the Big Apple as the Hawks open up their 2013-14 season at Columbia University on Saturday, Nov. 9 at 7 p.m. This is the second meeting over the past four years between the two schools, as the Lions posted a 104-78 victory over UMES in 2010. The game will be the second career meeting in the history between the two.

The guard play will be pivotal to the matchup for UMES.  UMES’ top returning scorer from last season, junior KyRee Jones (Indianapolis, Ind.), spearheads the charge but he will be assisted by freshman Hakeem Baxter (Philadelphia, Pa.) to anchor the backcourt. Jones averaged nearly 14 points-per-game last year and was a midseason All-Star, while Baxter was named MEAC Preseason Newcomer of the Year by Lindy’s Sports this past October.

UMES will look for senior Francis Ezeiru (Enugu, Nigeria) to anchor the front court as the 6’10 center will need to hold his own amongst a pair of same size counterparts. Columbia showcases two 6’10 student-athletes, including junior Corey Osetkowski, who was one of the top rebounders for the Lions a year ago.

Let’s take a look at the matchup:

SCOUTING THE LIONS

Columbia is 80-32 all-time in its season opener, including wins in four of its past five contests. The team returns three of its top-5 scorers from last season’s squad, including sophomore guard Grant Mullins. Mullins averaged 9.7 points-per-game and shot .374 from three-point territory.

The Lions went 12-16 last season but defeated two teams that reached the NCAA Tournament in 2013 (Harvard, Villanova). They feature two student-athletes that stand 6’10 and lost eight games by six points or less. The team is guard dominated but have seven players that stand 6’7 or taller, including freshman 7’1 center, Connor Voss.

GAMES NOTES

  • UMES IN SEASON OPENERS: The Hawks are looking to secure their first win in a season opener in 17 years, dating back to the 1996-97 season when they defeated St. Peter’s, 72-56.The last time UMES won an opener on the road was 35 years ago in 1978, when they beat Salisbury State, 79-72
  • SNYDER REPRESENTED IN MEAC POLLS:  Troy Snyder has been named to two All-MEAC preseason teams in College Sports Madness All-MEAC Second Team and All-MEAC Preseason Third Team
  • A BEAUTIFUL TRANSFORMATION: The Hawks have been the beneficiary of transfers this year as four student-athletes join the squad after spending time at a previous school. Iman Johnson and Issac Smith III headline the group, but Shane Randall and Devon Walker will play important roles for the Hawks as well
  • POINTS ARE BACK: UMES brings back four of its top five scorers from a year ago, including KyRee Jones, who led the Hawks with 13.6 ppg. Despite returning just six players from last year’s roster, nearly 60-percent of the points are back
  • THE FATHER/SON WAY: With the signing of Assistant Coach Kevin Jones earlier this season, UMES completes the first father/son combination on a team since 2004. This is the first time the Hawks feature such a relationship since Head Coach Thomas Trotter coached his son Tee Trotter

 

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