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POINT PARK MEN'S BASKETBALL SEASON PROSPECTUS

Pioneers picked third in AMC North preseason coaches' poll

Oct. 23, 2009

CEDARVILLE, Ohio - The Point Park University men's basketball team was picked to finish third in the American Mideast Conference North Division, according to the AMC men's basketball preseason coaches' poll released Thursday by the league office.

Each of the six coaches in the AMC North voted one time, and the coaches split their first-place votes. Daemen (N.Y.) and Notre Dame (Ohio) each received three votes for the top spot and earned a total of 27 points.

Basketball

Point Park was third in the AMC North voting with 22 points followed by Houghton (N.Y.) and Malone (Ohio), who tied for fourth with 16 points. Roberts Wesleyan (N.Y.) was picked sixth with six points.

According to the voting, AMC North coaches deem Point Park a playoff team since the top three teams in each division make the postseason.

Point Park returns one starter from last year's team, which was 12-16 overall and 4-9 in the AMC. The Pioneers missed the postseason last year for the first time since 2003-04.

MEN'S BASKETBALL QUICK FACTS 

Point Park's only returning starter is sophomore forward Devon Alexander (McKeesport/McKeesport), who averaged 10.0 points per game and was named to the All-AMC Freshmen Team last year. Alexander is pictured left. But head coach Bob Rager, who is in his 21st season at Point Park, has added several key pieces to this year's team.

Among the newcomers is freshman point guard T.J. Heatherington (McKeesport/Serra Catholic), a two-time all-state player who averaged 25.0 points per game as a senior at Serra Catholic last year.

Another talented addition to the backcourt includes Marcus Robinson (Pittsburgh/Allderdice), a 6-3 guard who started his career at Stony Brook, an NCAA Division I school on Long Island. Robinson, a senior, spent last season at Clarion.

The Pioneers bolstered their frontcourt with the addition of Gerald Warrick (Penn Hills/Penn Hills), but the 6-7 center will not be eligible to play until the second semester. Warrick (pictured below) is a senior who has one semester of eligibility remaining. Two years ago he averaged 10.5 points and 7.3 rebounds per game at Edinboro after spending his first two years at Mercyhurst North East.

Other key newcomers include Meech Drayton, a 6-2 guard who averaged 11.2 points and 5.2 rebounds per game at Mercyhurst North East last season. Drayton is a junior and a native of Euclid, Ohio.

Jamar Washington, a native of Pittsburgh and a graduate of Peabody High School, is another player who has made the move from Mercyhurst NE to Point Park.  A 6-3 swing player, Washington averaged a career-high 10.0 points per game in 2006-07.

Gerald Warrick action

Returning players from last year's team include sophomore Dante Anglin (North Hills/North Hills), a 6-4 forward who gained valuable experience as a reserve in his freshman season, and Eric Johnson (Uniontown/Uniontown), a junior guard who was limited to playing only the second semester last year after transferring into the program.

Other returning letter winners include Josh Trocchio (North Hills/North Hills) and Franco Sebastiani (Greensburg/Greensburg Central Catholic), a pair of junior guards who transferred to Point Park last season.

Freshman center Dave Menzies (McKeesport/Serra Catholic), who is 6-5, 240 pounds, adds depth to a frontcourt that will be thin until the arrival of Warrick.

Guard Ryan Kearney (Pittsburgh/Chartiers Valley) played a limited role last year, but is back for his sophomore season. The Pioneers also welcome back guards Joel Cashatt and Mike Carr, who hope to get their first action with the team this year. 

A native of Stockton, Calif., Cashatt missed all of last year with an injury after transferring in, and Carr (Munhall/Steel Valley) was redshirted a year ago.

Last year marked the first time since 2001-02 that the AMC did not include a North and South Divisional alignment. But this season, the conference has reverted back two divisions, and each division has six teams.

Walsh (Ohio), which won the AMC tournament last year, was picked to finish first in the AMC South after getting four of the six first-place votes. The Cavaliers shared last year's regular-season championship with Cedarville, which got two first-place votes and was picked to finish second.

Northwestern Ohio was picked third with 23 points followed by Mt. Vernon Nazarene (19), Shawnee State (11) and Wilberforce (8).

Walsh, Cedarville and Mt. Vernon Nazarene represented the AMC in the NAIA tournament. The conference once again has two automatic bids to the national tournament.

Point Park opens its season Nov. 13 versus Rochester (Mich.) in the opening game of the Notre Dame (Ohio) tournament. That game is the first of five road games in five days to start the season for Point Park.

2009-10 AMC MEN'S BASKETBALL PREASON COACHES POLL

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(Rank by points; first-place votes in parentheses)

NORTH DIVISION

T1.

Daemen (3)

27

T1.

Notre Dame (3)

27

3.

Point Park

22

T4.

Houghton

16

T4.

Malone

16

6. 

Roberts Wesleyan

6

SOUTH DIVISION

1.

Walsh (4)

33

2.

Cedarville (2)

32

3.

Northwestern Ohio

23

4.

Mount Vernon Nazarene

19

5. 

Shawnee State

11

6.

Wilberforce

8