First game is tonight in York
By Brian Christiana, Paul Jones and Ian Kemmerer
Knightly News Reporters
The Central Penn basketball teams will have their opening games tonight at Penn State York, with the women starting at 6 and the men at 8.
The men’s team started playing on Oct. 27 when they traveled to Pikesville, Ky., to compete in the University of Pikesville Tip-Off Tournament.
The Knights are coming off a very successful season in which they finished 25-9 and had a long United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA) tournament.
The Knights, however, have lost many key players due to graduation. The players include Tyree Tucker (21.4 points per game), Tyrie Orosco (20.3) and Rafeeq Bush (9.5).
The Knights have many key players returning to the team this season. The Knights are excited to have Noah Baylor, Daylin Davis, Randy Dupont, and Joel Zola return to the floor. They are depending on these guys to help lead the team to another tournament appearance.
The team has brought in many first-year players who could help. The team welcomed Justin Kellman (Reading, Penn.), Juwan Gooding (Boston, Mass.), John Blanc (Hillside, N.J.) and Ryan Lawrence (Lakewood, N.J.).
Facing a tough lineup
The Knights will be going up against some heavy NCAA Division I competition this season. They will be traveling to the University of Maryland Baltimore County on Nov. 16, Winthrop University on the 18th, Howard University on the 20th, University of Buffalo on Dec. 9 and Cornell University on Jan. 5.
“I think we have a hungry group of guys this season – the chemistry we have is really helping us,” Zola said.
He also said that the main goal for this season is to bring Central Penn its first-ever USCAA championship.
“The coaching staff has really done a great job to prepare us and push us really hard,” said the sophomore. “We have a new group that are always willing to work all year-round.”
First-year player Ryan Lawrence was eager to start the season, too.
“I’m feeling pretty good,” Lawrence said. “We have a new coaching staff that will help with our new players. The new faces around here will help bring a new culture to the team.”
John Blanc said some good things as well.
“The coaching staff is doing an excellent job of making sure we are practicing and playing well,” he said. “Even when Coach Archer isn’t there, the assistants are really stepping up.”
Blanc also said the team’s energy could lead to a championship.
An interesting off season
In the summer, some current and former Knights got to show their own and see others’ talents at the summer league games played on the basketball courts behind Kathi Hall. The summer league gave players Daylin Davis and Zola a good look at who is going to be coming to the Knights’ program.
Head Coach David Archer is also excited to see the team tip off. He talked about how the team still has the same standards even with one senior. He wants his players to step up, so they can fulfill their goal of winning a championship.
“The team will continue to work hard in the classroom, on the court, and in the community,” Archer said.
He then said: “We are not just building basketball players, but the future leaders of tomorrow.”
Not many home games
The Knights have only eight home games in Enola this season, so make sure you get a chance to see them play. The Knights play home games at East Pennsboro High School.
The first home game is on Nov. 17, when they go against Penn State Lehigh.
Here’s the schedule.
To comment on this story or to suggest one, contact TheKnightlyEditors@CentralPenn.Edu.
Edited by Prof. Michael Lear-Olimpi, Knightly News co-adviser.