The Hofstra Men’s Basketball team will commence the 2013-14 campaign on Friday when the Pride hosts Monmouth at 7 p.m. in the Mack Sports Complex.
The contest will mark the Hofstra debut for new head coach Joe Mihalich, who came to Hempstead after 15 highly-successful seasons at Niagara.
For ticket information to Friday’s game and all Hofstra Basketball contests call (516) HOF-TIXX or visit GoHofstra.com/tix.
There will be free PRIDE ZONE live video of all home Hofstra Basketball games this season through the official website of Hofstra Athletics, GoHofstra.com. The audio only broadcast of Friday’s game can be heard on 88.7 FM (WRHU), through the PRIDE ZONE on GoHofstra.com, via the GoHofstra.com mobile apps or through WRHU’s mobile app.
Mihalich, who guided the Niagara University men’s basketball team to five postseason appearances since 2003-04, was named the 12th head coach in the history of the Hofstra University men’s basketball program on April 10, 2013. Mihalich led the Purple Eagles since 1998 and during that time he won 265 games, earning a pair of NCAA Tournament berths and making three National Invitation Tournament (NIT) appearances.
The 2013 MAAC Coach of the Year, in addition to being the 2013 NABC District 1 Coach of the Year and the 2013 Skip Prosser Man of the Year, Mihalich guided Niagara to a 19-win season in 2012-13 and led the Purple Eagles to the NIT for the third time in his tenure.
The roster the Pride will showcase this season will feature a slew of new players to join with the five returnees from last season. Despite only having five players back from a season ago, the Pride does return three starters in sophomore forward Jordan Allen (Bay Shore, NY), junior forward/center Moussa Kone (Bronx, NY) and senior forward/center Stephen Nwaukoni (Queens, NY).
All three can leave their marks on the game in different ways as Nwaukoni is one of the top rebounders in the conference and led Hofstra with 7.9 rebounds per game, while scoring 6.8 points per contest a season ago. Nwaukoni started 15 of the 25 games he played in before an injury ended his season prematurely.
Kone is a high-energy player whose ability to run the floor will certainly assist Hofstra in Coach Mihalich’s new offensive philosophy. Kone averaged 6.5 points, 4.4 rebounds and was second on the team with 25 blocked shots last year. He played in all 32 games, making 16 starts.
The last of the Pride’s three returning starters is Allen, who might be the Pride’s most versatile player. His ability to play multiple positions will be a huge asset to Hofstra this season, as depth could be a factor. Allen also played in all 32 games in 2012-13 and made 25 starts. He chipped in with five points, 2.9 rebounds, 15 blocks and was second on the squad with 29 steals.
Many of the newcomers should see significant playing time this season as the new faces on the team features a pair of graduate transfers in guard Dion Nesmith (Union, NJ) and guard/forward Zeke Upshaw (Chicago, IL). Three freshmen should also see the court extensively this year as guard Eliel Gonzalez (Cayey, Puerto Rico), guard/forward Chris Jenkins (Hillside, NJ) and guard/forward Jamall Robinson (Cheltenham, MD) have joined the Pride after successful scholastic careers.
Hofstra’s short two-game homestand to open the season will continue on Sunday when the Pride hosts Fairleigh Dickinson. Tip-off for that contest will be 4 p.m. Please call (516) HOF-TIXX or visit GoHofstra.com/tix for more information.