Nazareth aims to repeat as E8 champions as 2022-23 men’s basketball season approaches
Men’s Basketball | 3.11.2022 10:03:52
Nazareth College will look to repeat as Empire 8 Champions when the 2022-23 season begins on November 8, with several teams in action. The series starts on the 2nd-3rd. December. The top six teams advance to the Empire 8 Championship Tournament, which takes place with first-round action on Tuesday, February 21. The top seed will host the Empire 8 semi-final games on Friday 24 February and the championship on 24 February. Saturday 25 February. The Empire 8 Champion will receive an automatic berth to the 2022 NCAA Division III Men’s Basketball Championship.
Fans can watch the action all season long, for free on Empire 8 Network.
2022-23 E8 Men’s Basketball Players to Watch (sorted alphabetically)
Bryan Adams, Elmira, So., G, Bronx, NY/Gunnery School – Adams was named the 2021-22 E8 Rookie of the Year after averaging 17.5 points per, 2.8 rebounds and 2.5 steals per game in the league. He scored at least 20 points in a game 12 times this season.
Daniel Cook, St. John Fisher, Sr., F, Pittsford, NY/Pittsford Mendon – Cook was named the Empire 8 Player of the Year and earned D3hoops.com All-Region honors for the second straight year after averaging 19.7 points, 10.3 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.8 steals and 1 .2 blocks per game while shooting 51 percent from the floor. .
Nick Eiler, Hartwick, Sr., G, Highland Mills, NY/Saddle River Day – Eiler will lead the Hartwick backline this season after playing in all 23 games last season. Eiler averaged 9.3 points, 4.0 boards and 1.9 assists per game in 2021-22.
Noah Girard, Russell Sage, So., G, Glens Falls, NY/Glens Falls – Girard averaged 5.3 points per game as a freshman last season and will be counted on to play a much bigger role for the Gators in 2022-23.
Darius Hopkins, Utica, Gr., G, Tampa, FL/Seffner Christian – A three-time All-Empire 8 selection, Hopkins earned first-team honors in 2019-20 and second-team honors in the spring of 2021 and 2021-22. Hopkins, the 2022 E8 defenseman, enters the season with 1,104 career points.
Devin Milton, Keuka, Jr., G, Opelousas, LA/Beau Chene – Milton earned All-Empire 8 second-team honors in 2021-22 after averaging 16.9 points while shooting 58 percent on 2-point field goal attempts. He is 224 points shy of 1,000 for his career.
Jajuan Priester, Houghton, Jr., F, Orlando, FL/Central Florida Christian – Preaster averaged 9.9 points and 3.8 rebounds per game in 2021-22 while shooting 45 percent from the floor.
Brewster Marshall, Alfred, Gr., F, Horseheads, NY/Horseheads – A three-time All-Empire 8 second-team selection, Marshall enters 2022-23 just 18 points shy of 1,000 for his career. He averaged 15.6 points, 9.5 boards and 1.7 blocks per game in 2021-22.
Zach Stenglein, Nazareth, Gr., G, West Irondequoit, NY/Phillips Exeter Academy – Stenglein earned All-Empire 8 second-team honors for the third time in 2021-22 and is a former E8 Defensive Player of the Year. He enters his final season with 1,092 points and 283 assists.
Daunte Wilcott, Medaille, So., G, Erie, PA/Mercyhurst Prep – Wilcott averaged 6.7 points and 2.5 boards per contest in 24 games for the Mavericks last season.
Team caps (sorted by 2021-22 table)
Utica was one point away from making it back-to-back Empire 8 Championships in 2021-22. The Pioneers enjoyed a great season, winning the E8 regular season title by finishing 15-1 in league play, while posting a 23-4 overall record. The Pioneers provide plenty of firepower, as senior Thomas Morreale and graduate student Darius Hopkins will lead a veteran-laden team in 2022-23. Morreale earned All-Empire 8 first-team honors for the second straight season in 2021-22 after shooting 57 percent from the floor and 55.6 percent from 3-point range while averaging 14.4 points and 5.9 boards per match. He enters this season 220 points shy of 1,000 for his career. Hopkins is a three-time All-Empire 8 selection, including being named the 2022 E8 Defensive Player of the Year. He enters the season with 1,104 career points. Graduate student Avery Coston, along with senior Justice Brantley and junior Damien Call are proven performers who will be counted on to provide leadership and strong play this season. Both Call and Morreale are former Empire 8 Rookies of the Year.
Nazareth enjoyed a stellar 2021-22 season, winning its fourth Empire 8 championship while recording 24 wins and advancing to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The Golden Flyers return nine players and three starters from last season, including fifth-year standouts Zach Stenglein and Jonathon Park in addition to senior Logan Blankenberg. While Nazareth must replace the leadership and strong play of three-time All-E8 first-teamer Stephen Gabel, the Golden Flyers have plenty of experience and depth. Stenglein earned All-Empire 8 second-team honors for the third time in 2021-22 and is a former E8 Defensive Player of the Year. Park is also a three-time All-Empire 8 selection and enters his final season with 735 career points and 647 rebounds while shooting 58 percent from the floor. Senior guard Jordan Haggard and junior center Liam Hopwood will also be expected to play a bigger role for Nazareth in 2022-23.
St. John Fisher
St. John Fisher returns 16 players, including four starters, from last season’s team that won 19 games, including 13 in league play. The Cardinals will look to win their tenth Empire 8 championship in 2022-23 and have a veteran-laden roster with three graduates, including senior forward Daniel Cook, the two-time reigning E8 Player of the Year. He averaged 19.7 points, 10.3 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.8 steals and 1.2 blocks per game while shooting 51 percent from the floor in 2021-22. Brendan Trapper is back for his senior year to form one of the best 1-2 combos in Division III with Cook. Trapper averaged 16.7 points and 4.6 boards per game to earn All-E8 first-team honors for the second consecutive year. Graduate Sean Williams, the 2021 E8 Defensive Player of the Year returns after averaging 8.0 points, 4.9 assists, 3.8 rebounds and 2.3 steals per game, while classmate Ryan Gentile averaged just under 10 points per competition.
The Saxons return 16 players from last season’s team that won 17 games and advanced to the Empire 8 Semifinals. Graduate student Brewster Marshall is a three-time All-Empire 8 second-team selection, who enters 2022-23 just 18 points shy of 1,000 for his career. He averaged 15.6 points, 9.5 boards and 1.7 blocks per game while shooting 52.3 percent from the floor and 81.4 percent from the free throw line last season. Senior guard Mike Schmidt averaged 10.1 points and 4.9 assists, while Elliot Bowen shot 55 percent from the floor and 82 percent from the foul line. Alfred has a deep roster with several student-athletes who could be important contributors. Alfred had nine players score at least 100 points last season.
Russell Sage has advanced to the Empire 8 tournament in each of the last three seasons and returns eight players from last year. The Gators will have a new look in 2022-23, as five starters from last season graduated, including Jalon Borders, who was a three-time All-Empire 8 first-team selection and former all-league standouts Amani Cummings and Stuart Phair. Sophomore guard Noah Girard in addition to graduate student Ryan Long, junior Jackson Brown and sophomore Todd Williamson will be counted on to play a much bigger role for the Gators in 2022-23.
Keuka returns 12 players and four starters from last season’s team that was in contention for an Empire 8 postseason berth until last weekend. Senior guard Devin Milton returns after earning All-Empire 8 second-team honors in 2021-22. He averaged 16.9 points per game while shooting 58 percent on 2-point field goal attempts. Milton is 224 points shy of 1,000 for his career. Will Tehan and Mason VanDeMortel will also look to lead the Wolves in 2022-23. Head coach Jake Scott has brought in four freshmen and three transfers to the mix in 2022-23.
Elmira is trying to make its second postseason appearance in the last three seasons in 2022-23. The Soaring Eagles return six players from 2021-22, including Bryan Adams, who was named the Empire 8 Rookie of the Year after averaging a league-leading 17.5 points and 2.5 steals per game. Graduate student Quintel Clements and senior Harry Ravitz are also back to lead the Soaring Eagles in 2022-23. Head coach Casey McGraw has brought in a strong group of newcomers, including freshman forwards JJ Babcock and David Aysho and junior guard Brijon Warren, a transfer from Houghton.
Houghton looks to return to the Empire 8 after the 2022-23 season under first-year head coach Jeremy Bialek, who has had tremendous success as an assistant at the collegiate level and as a high school coach. The Highlanders return 10 players, including juniors Jajuan Preaster and Luke Cole. Newcomers John Rivera and Esafe Taufahema could see plenty of action right away.
The Hawks return 10 players and bring in a handful of talented newcomers as head coach Nick Ciresi enters his second season. Hartwick returns its top five scorers from last season in Anthony Girard, Nick Eiler, Cooper Francis, Kevin Felasco and Liam Drennan. Additionally, newcomers Jeremiah Boateng, Shea Barber and Daniel Oydrian will look to make an immediate impact.
Medaille will make its Empire 8 debut in 2022-23 after winning the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Championship and advancing to the NCAA Tournament last season. Medaille returns 12 players from last season, including standouts Daunte Wilcott, Jorarei Bile and Dante Moultrie for head coach Keith Hack.
Final 2021-22 Empire 8 Basketball, Men
Utica (23-4, 15-1 E8)
Nazareth (24-5, 13-3 E8) – League champions
St. John Fisher (19-7, 13-3 E8)
Alfred (17-10, 9-7 E8)
Russell Sage (13-13, 7-9 E8)
Keuka (4-19, 4-11 E8)
Elmira (6-19, 4-12 E8)
Houghton (4-21, 4-12 E8)
Hartwick (2-21, 2-13 E8)
Medaille joins the Empire 8 in 2022-23
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The members of the Empire 8 Conference are primarily committed to the pursuit of academic excellence, and the league is regarded as an outstanding NCAA Division III conference. The membership has distinguished itself among its peers for its quality institutions, lively and sporting competitions, outstanding services and highly ethical guidelines and practices. Its commitment to serving the educational needs of its student-athletes is the hallmark of E8. For more on Empire 8 visit www.empire8.com and YouTube
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