As the St. Thomas Aquinas College Men's basketball team rapidly approaches the start of their 2017-2018 campaign, the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) released their preseason coaches poll earlier on Tuesday, and the 2016-2017 NCAA Division II East Region, ECC Regular Season and Tournament Champions have been slotted fifth in the rankings.
Head Coach Tobin Anderson returns seven players from the championship squad, including All-American Justin Reyes (RSr., F/G, Haverhill, MA), who averaged 20.6 points per game and 9.3 rebounds per game last season on the Spartans run to the NCAA Division II Elite Eight.
Joining the squad this season are eight new faces, including: Malik Parker (Fr., G, Chicago, IL), Chris Atkinson (Jr., G, Hempstead, NY/Canisius), Kameron Murrell (Jr., G, Long Beach, CA/George Mason), Irwayne Connell, Jr. (Fr., F, Brooklyn, NY), Joshua Leak (Fr., G, Queens, NY), Zachary Rzwenicki (Fr., G, Harwood Heights, IL), Kevin Lynch (Fr., F, Palisades, NY) and Jamar Sudan (Fr., F, Chester, PA).
The Spartans are coming off of a 28-6 season and are the reigning, defending NCAA Division II East Region, ECC Regular Season and Tournament Champions. The team will look to recapture those titles and a return trip to Sioux Falls, South Dakota starting November 3rd and 4th, when St. Thomas Aquinas College travels to Evansville, Indiana to face NABC Ranked #10 Ferris State and #20 Findlay in the 2017 Small College Basketball Hall of Fame Classic.
St. Thomas Aquinas will open up the home portion of their schedule the following weekend, November 11th & 12th when they take on University of New Haven and Saint Michael's College in the ECC/NE-10 Challenge Tournament at Aquinas Hall.