Purchase 2011-12 men's basketball preview
By Bobby Ciafardini, SID
Purchase, NY (Nov. 15, 2011) – When the
Purchase College men's basketball team hits the hardwood this
winter, head coach Jeff
Charney and company will be looking to make it three
Only this time, the coaching staff will have to work its magic with a new cast of characters. The only returnee from last year's two-time defending Skyline Conference Championship and consecutive NCAA DIII appearance is senior captain Beijon Warrington.
Don't fret Panther fans, the Charneys went back to work and did
one amazing job recruiting this off-season. Purchase has nearly 15
new faces, highlighted by a host of transfers, including former
JUCO standout John
Pressley, a transfer from Mt. San Jacinto in California.
Warrington, who transferred in last winter from Dowling, played the
second half and helped Purchase secure its second league crown. The
Panthers would later win their first-ever NCAA game, advancing to
the second round of the tournament, where Purchase would fall to
Cabrini College – a longtime "Sweet 16" contender.
Purchase also welcomes back swingman Chris Fazio from injury. He will be a welcomed addition to the front line – one that includes Avila. Avila, who also played for head coach Jeff Charney at Port Chester High School, joins new teammate Joel Neri in that regard. Neri, a tall freshman center, is expected to crack the rotation.
The Panthers are also hopeful guard Antonio Johnson, the little brother of former Skyline standout Dino Johnson, can provide some relief in the backcourt, with reigning Skyline Player of the Year Marvin Billups* gone. The Panthers also graduated playmakers Justin Walters and Angel Gonzalez, while third guard Derrick Stanton, Jr. transferred to rival Mount Saint Mary.
Purchase got much taller upfront this off-season, bringing in transfers Elon Howard (Post University), Allan Forbes (Ulster) and Craig Davis (WCC), who is expected to join the team in the second half. The coaching staff will have plenty of options in the backcourt with newcomers Amar Reynolds, Will Williams, Jake Stevens III and Donald Smith vying for time. Brandon Serrano, Justin Person and Blake Borsewicz are also among those trying to find a place in the starting lineup, with the potential that all five spots will be new in 2011-12.
The Panthers are also looking to replace former All-Skyline forward Corey Orgias* and big man Charles Thompson, along with tournament MVP Mike McNair, who graduated last May along with eight others.
-With James Brown