GENESEO, N.Y. - The SUNY Geneseo men's basketball team begins its season on Tuesday, November 13 when the Knights travel to Houghton to face the Highlanders at 7:00 p.m. Here are the six things you need to know about the team heading into the 2018-19 season:
SHOES TO FILL
The Knights lost three of their top four scorers from last season, but several players will have an opportunity to step into larger roles this season. Senior guard Zack Panebianco returns as the team's leading scorer, after averaging 13.4 points per game last season. Senior forward Jack Manke returns from last year's starting lineup after averaging 15.0 minutes per game while junior guards Terrance Nichols and Terence Rogers will be asked to step into larger roles this season.
KNIGHT IN AND KNIGHT OUT
Geneseo was one of the most efficient offenses in the SUNYAC last year, shooting a league-best 47.0% from the floor, including 36.8% from beyond the arc, good for third in the conference, and 74.6% from the foul line, second in the league. The Knights also committed just 13.2 turnovers per game and posted the third-best scoring defense in the SUNYAC, allowing opponents only 72.1 points per game.
Geneseo led the SUNYAC with 15.7 assists per game last season, while Panebianco leads the returners with 3.0 assists per game. The Knights recorded an assist on 59.2% of their made field goals, the highest assist percentage in the league.
The Knights have several new faces on the roster this season, and expect many of them to make an immediate impact. First-year guards Elijah Wingfield and Michael Gannon will begin the season with the expectation to contribute immediately. The Knights also welcome transfers sophomore forwards Cam Keeley and Justin Leonard as well as first-year guard Slade Pulliam and first-year forward Stephen Walter, who add significant depth in both the frontcourt and the backcourt.
Geneseo has reached the SUNYAC Tournament in each of the last seven seasons, one of only three active streaks of that length in the conference. The Knights earned the fourth seed and hosted Oswego in the SUNYAC Quarterfinals last year, the first time hosting a postseason game since 2014.
WHO GOT NEXT?
The Knights open the schedule on Tuesday at Houghton and then travel to New Wilmington, Pa. on Friday, Nov. 16 to compete in the Buzz Ridl Tournament, hosted by Westminster (Pa.), where they'll face Thiel in the first round. Geneseo opens conference play on Nov. 30 with a trip to Oswego and will play their first home conference game on Friday, Dec. 7 against Potsdam. The Knights add to a challenging non-conference schedule with games at Rochester (Dec. 4), at Morrisville (Jan. 5) and against Hamilton at home (Jan. 16). Geneseo finishes its schedule with six of its last seven regular season games at home, beginning with Buffalo State on Tuesday, Jan. 29.