INSIDE BINGHAMTON UNIVERSITY
Newcomers will play big roles for Bearcats
Fans may have to check their roster sheets to help identify the influx of newcomers on the floor for the Bearcats this season. But given the talent level of those recruits, spectators may not want to take their eyes off the floor for too long.
Second-year coach Kevin Broadus landed a group of transfers who are slated to play significant roles, including senior Sean Watson (Howard JC) and juniors Emanuel “Tiki” Mayben (Hudson Valley CC) and D.J. Rivera (St. Joseph’s). The addition of those players, plus 6-foot-9 transfer Theo Davis (Gonzaga), should help offset the loss of the team’s top three scorers (Lazar Trifunovic, Mike Gordon, Richard Forbes).
“We wanted to get better wing players and better back players because when you lose a player like a Mike Gordon or a Richie Forbes, you lose a lot,” Broadus said. “I had a vision of bringing in really good guards and really good wing players and I think we have a pretty good group heading into the season.”
Mayben inherits the starting role at point guard. Mayben, a one-time Syracuse recruit and former starter at UMass, is a sturdy 6-foot-3, pass-first guard who compiled impressive numbers last year at Hudson Valley Community College (19.9 ppg., 9.6 apg).
“Tiki will be our leader on the floor,” Broadus said. “His court vision is incredible. He is more of a set-up guy than Mike (Gordon) was. Tiki wants to get his guys the ball. He’s skilled enough and needs to make sure he does all the things to take us to the next level.”
Senior Dwayne Jackson and sophomore Chretien Lukusa could play shooting guard. Jackson, one of two four-year veterans on the team, averaged 8.5 points in just over 23 minutes per game last season. Lukusa is a defensive-minded player who started 19 of 28 games as a freshman.
Rivera received an NCAA hardship waiver and can play immediately. He averaged 5.6 points for a St. Joseph’s team that won 21 games and advanced to the NCAA Tournament last season.
Sophomore Brandon Herbert and junior David Fine should also provide some minutes at guard.
Senior captain Reggie Fuller’s competitive nature and charismatic personality have made him a fan favorite. Last season, Fuller averaged 8.1 points and 6.9 rebounds in league play and led the team with 34 blocks.
“Reggie is our anchor,” Broadus said. “He has the ability and the know-how, and he’s been through it before. We’ll need him to control the boards to be successful.”
Watson is the pure scorer the Bearcats have been missing in recent years. He averaged 22.1 points for Howard Junior College last season, shooting 59 percent from the field.
Sophomore Moussa Camara is a long and quick perimeter player who played well early in his freshman season. Six-foot-11 senior center Jaan Montgomery has continued his steady improvement and Broadus is hopeful his best is yet to come in 2008-09.
Davis, who will be eligible in late-December, was a highly-touted player at Cardozo High in Queens. After missing his freshman season at Gonzaga due to a shoulder injury, Davis played sparingly before leaving school to be with his family in Ontario.
Freshman Kyrie Sutton is another 6-foot-9 body who Broadus believes could push for minutes right away.
The Bearcats will be at home for its season opener for just the second time in the last six years. After playing a home exhibition game against Buffalo State on Nov. 14, BU will begin its season by hosting Mansfield on Nov. 17.
Back-to-back road games at Atlantic 10 member George Washington and Central Connecticut State follow before the team returns to host Utah Valley on Nov. 29. The Bearcats open their 16-game America East schedule on Jan. 3 at Maine. Binghamton then hosts Stony Brook on Jan. 5 in its first home conference game.
“We are a whole new team and have a lot to prove this year,” Broadus said. “We need to gel and gel early. We plan to finish a lot higher than fourth, and if we get some early success and momentum, we’ll be a tough force to reckon with.”
Men’s games: Chair backs, $12; bench seats, $8
Women’s games: Chair backs, $8; bench seats, $6
Groups of 20 or more can receive a $2 discount per ticket. Call 777-3741 with any questions. Events Center box office hours are noon-4:30 p.m., Monday- Friday.
Nov. 29: Men vs. Utah Valley, 2 p.m., Toys for Tots drive, team poster giveaway
Nov. 29: Women vs. Canisius, 6 p.m., Toys for Tots drive, team poster giveaway
Dec. 20: Men vs. Manhattan, coat drive, postgame player autograph session
Jan. 31: Men vs. Maine, Events Center five-year anniversary,
Zooperstars!, alumni day
Feb. 9: Men vs. Albany, Coach Broadus bobblehead giveaway, CHOW food drive
Feb. 22: Men vs. New Hampshire, Coaches vs. Cancer, Expand-a-Banner giveaway
Feb. 26: Men vs. UMBC, Senior Night, ball cap giveaway