Men’s basketball confident in veterans for 2012-2013 season

High expectations set the tone for the 2012-2013 Geneseo men’s basketball team.

With a strong group of 10 veterans paired with six new faces, the Knights consider qualifying for SUNYACs an expectation, and anything less would be falling short, according to head coach Steve Minton.

The competition will remain tight within the conference, as other SUNY schools, such as SUNY Oswego and Buffalo State College, are experiencing similar situations.

Senior co-captains Marcus Hoy and Ryan Riefenhauser lead this year’s team, replacing Abe Miller ‘12 and classmate Mike Hoy, who left large shoes to fill. The alumni duo contributed in many ways – both on and off the court, Minton said.

Miller and Mike Hoy played in nearly every game since their freshman year, and Mike Hoy even started games at the end of the same year.

Miller maintained a strong presence inside with his bigger build and strong rebounding – “something that’s hard to replace,” Minton said. The Buffalo, N.Y. native also led off the court by being active in many projects including community service.

Minton said Marcus Hoy and Riefenhauser must balance that leadership task while also assisting the new underclassmen that join this year’s squad.

All of the incoming freshmen, as well as the two nonfreshman first-years, play as guards, yet Minton said each brings a different skill set to the Knights.

Freshman Mike Callaghan of Baldwin, N.Y. is a point guard who is a “very tough defender,” according to Minton. Classmate Connor Keenan is another strong defender, specifically on-the-ball.

Freshman Dennis Oralls, a walk-on from Norwich, N.Y., contributes “a great deal in practice, really pushing everybody to get a little bit better,” Minton said.

The fourth, Kevin Zabransky, will be a key player against defensive zones due to his ability to shoot beyond the arc, Minton said.

Sophomores Calvin Floyd and Connor Rogers – a transfer from Ithaca College – join the Knights for their first seasons. Minton said that he hasn’t seen much of Rogers’ game, since he was diagnosed with appendicitis five days before the first practice. Floyd chose not to try out in his freshman year at Geneseo.

The Knights open their season at the New York University Tip-Off Tournament against the host – who is a consistent national powerhouse – on Nov. 17.

The Knights will remain in New York City for two and a half days to learn about “history or some type of different culture that you might not see here in Geneseo,” Minton said; he added, however that basketball remains the priority of the trip.