Setting the Scene... The USMMA Basketball team opens the 2012-13 season Friday and Saturday at the Chuck Resler Invitational, hosted by the University of Rochester. The Mariners will open play Friday against the Yellowjackets before facing either Mt. St. Mary or St. Lawrence on Saturday.
Series History... Merchant Marine and Rochester are tied 2-2 in the all-time series history; Friday night will mark the first meeting between the two sides since the 1995-96 season. The Mariners are 18-12 in their history against Mt. St. Mary and hold a 0-1 mark all-time versus St. Lawrence.
Bang for "Buck"... USMMA returns 2011-12 Landmark Conference Player of the Year Reed Buck for his junior campaign. The forward averaged 20.6 points per game last season as well as 5.1 rebounds per game. Buck has already been tabbed a "Top-24" selection by DIII News as well as a preseason All-America Honorable Mention by D3Sports.com.
Mariners Picked Fifth in Preseason Poll... Merchant Marine was selected to finish fifth in the Landmark Conference in 2012-13 by a preseason vote of the league's head coaches. USMMA finished last season tied for fourth in the rankings but missed the playoffs via tiebreakers. Scranton, this year's preseason favorite, and Merchant Marine are the only teams to capture a Landmark Conference Championship as the league begins its sixth season.
New Faces in the Crowd... There are nine freshmen on the USMMA roster to start the 2012-13 season, the most under third year head coach Danny Nee. As the season unfolds the coaching staff expects freshmen to make their way into the starting lineup.
Road Warriors... Merchant Marine will play the majority of its games on the road this season, playing 15 games away from Kings Point, NY compared to just ten contests insideO'Hara Hall
Up Next... The Mariners will have ten days off before their next game, which will take place Nov. 27 on the road against rival Maritime (NY).