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Season Preview: Men's Basketball Tips Off 2017-18 Season at Home Wednesday

Grayson Roth
Grayson Roth

HAVERFORD, Pa. – The Haverford College men's basketball team will kick off a new era this Wednesday as Patrick Doherty takes over as head coach following the retirement of Michael Mucci who patrolled the Haverford sidelines for the previous 22 seasons. Although the Fords have a new leader in place, many familiar faces will return to lead Haverford on the court.

Despite the graduation of 1,000 point scorer Matt Sherman '17, Haverford returns 12 of its top 13 scorers from last season. That group includes six different players who have started at least 10 games, and three others who have been a part of the starting five at some point in their careers. The group will also have room to grow as just two seniors, Jeremy Evans and Josh Fried, are on this year's 15 man roster. Evans will serve as a team co-captain having played in 37 games over his first three seasons. Fried has appeared in 48 career games, making eight starts. The Fords' center already ranks eighth in program history with 53 career blocks, denying just over one shot per game during his career.

The four-member junior class will look to make another jump as upperclassmen with each of these players having started at least 23 games at Haverford. Co-captain Joe Scibelli, the 2016 Centennial Conference Rookie of the Year, has been a two-year starter for the Fords and was leading the Centennial Conference in points and rebounds per game before missing the second half of last season. Despite missing that time, both he and classmate Kahlil Garnes are currently on pace to reach the 1,000 point club during the next two seasons.

Garnes is averaging 11.7 points per game in his 50 career appearances. Making 40 starts at guard, he ranks fourth in program history with an .814 career free throw percentage. He also ranks among the top 20 players in program history in minutes, steals, defensive rebounds, and assists per game. Kyle Goldfarb has made 35 starts at guard during his 46 career appearances. He averaged 6.6 points per game last season. Sam Stogdon provides another presence in the paint for Haverford as his 39 blocked shots through two seasons rank 15th in school history. Stogdon averaged 5.4 points per game last season as a sophomore, rejecting 1.2 shots per game.

The sophomore class is the largest on the team with six players ready to make the next step in their development. Grayson Roth saw the most playing time of that group during his rookie season. He averaged 25.4 minutes per contest on his way to scoring 4.4 points per game. Coming off the bench for all but six starts last winter, Jonathan Lang was the highest scoring member of that class at 7.3 points per game in just over 22 minutes per contest.

Jack Cork and Joe Hartman also saw time in the starting lineup as first years. Cork made 10 starts, averaging 16.6 minutes per game to go along with four rebounds and just over three points per game. Hartman started three games, but was particularly efficient in those contests. He averaged seven points per game as a member of the starting lineup. Joe Wujciak saw time in 13 games last winter, shooting nearly 47% from the field. Michael Wiper had his rookie season cut short, but was averaging nearly three points and three rebounds through the first six games of his career.

The first year class set to join this returning nucleus will definitely have a local flavor as all-state player Jesse Turkson (Masterman) and deep threat Sam Istvan (Germantown Friends School) grew up in Philadelphia. On the contrary, multi-sport star and lock down defender Josh Radin joins the Fords from the west coast in California.

Men's basketball will play 13 of its 25 regular season games inside the Calvin J. Gooding '84 Arena this winter. After the home opener on Wednesday, November 15 against Penn State-Harrisburg, Haverford will also host Elizabethtown (Nov. 26), Bryn Athyn (Dec. 13), and Eastern (Dec. 16) in non-conference action. Centennial Conference play for the Fords opens up on Tuesday, November 21 with a 7 p.m. trip to Ursinus.