KUTZTOWN | The defending Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference East Division champion Kutztown University men’s basketball team was voted second by the league’s coaches as the PSAC released its Preseason Poll on Thursday.
In one of the most successful years in program history, the Golden Bears (26-4 overall) ended the 2016-17 season with the second-most wins in a single season in program history, trailing only the 2008-09 team’s 28. KU won its second straight Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Eastern Division title as it set the school record with 18 PSAC victories and tied a 100-year-old record with an 18-game win streak en route to earning a bid to its second consecutive NCAA Tournament.
KU reached the conference final for the first time since 2010, before falling to Shippensburg University the next night.
The 2017-18 Golden Bears return three starters, including senior Ethan Ridgeway (West Chester, Pa./Bayard Rustin), redshirt-junior Anthony Lee (Willow Grove, Pa./Abington) and junior Dan Cuevas(Stroudsburg, Pa./Stroudsburg). Ridgeway, Lee and Demetrius Bennett (Conshohocken, Pa./Plymouth-Whitemarsh (Neumann))were named team captains for the season.
The trio leads a group of 11 returning players from a year ago.
Ridgeway, a First Team All-PSAC Eastern Division member, set both the single-season (260) and career assist (465) marks last season while scoring 14.6 points per game (ppg).
Lee is another All-Conference and record-holder. The redshirt-junior earned All-PSAC Second Team honors last year for the second straight season. He set the KU single-season record with a 50.4 3-point percentage, while his 67 3’s ranked ninth in program history. His 15.9 ppg led the team and ranked 13th in the PSAC.
Cuevas rounds out the trio of returning starters from last year’s team. The junior forward scored 14.3 ppg in starting 27-of-29 games last season, which was good for fourth on the team. His 61.8 field goal percentage was third in the PSAC and 16th in the NCAA.
The 2017-18 men’s basketball season opens at home at Keystone Arena on Saturday, Nov. 11 at 6 p.m. against Penn State Schuylkill. After another home game versus the University of the Sciences on Wednesday, Nov. 15, KU opens its PSAC East title defense on the road with back-to-back crossover games at California University (PA) on Saturday, Nov. 18 and at Slippery Rock University on Sunday, Nov. 19.
PSAC MBK East
()- Indicates No. of first place votes
1) Shippensburg (8)
3) East Stroudsburg (1)
4) West Chester
5) Lock Haven
PSAC MBK West
1) IUP (8)
3) Mercyhurst (1)
4) Slippery Rock
7) Seton Hill