The Alfred State College men's basketball team will tip off their 2007-08 season on Saturday when they take part in the Monroe CC Classic. The Pioneers will begin their 30-game schedule with a 6 p.m. contest with Rockland CC.
Dusty Marshall (Newfield), Fran Lantigua (Jamestown), and Jerome Hall (Cicero North Syracuse) return from last year's 17-12 team. Marshall, an honorable mention All-WNYAC selection started in 27 of the team's 29 games last year and averaged 8 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 4.6 assists. Lantigua played in 26 games and averaged 10.2 point and 4 rebounds. Hall saw action in all 29games and scored 3.3 points and grabbed 3.7 rebounds per game.
Jimmie Dillard (Gates Chili) and Shamar Anderson (Cardinal Spellman) return from the 2005-06 squad. Dillard averaged 6.3 points and 4.3 rebounds for the 20-9 squad while Anderson averaged 2 points and 2.2 rebounds.
Cerrone Jackson (Forrest Hills) and Travis Brannen (Elmira Free) are expected to headline the freshmen class of eight players. Jackson (6'0", 150 lb.) will be asked to handle the point position while Brannen (6'6", 230 lb.) will be counted on down in the blocks.
Head Coach Jerry Jusianiec has toughened up the non-league portion of his schedule as well. The Pioneers will host Lakeland (OH) CC, Cuyahoga (OH) CC, and Monroe College in early non-league action and will travel to the New England area to take on Dean College (MA) and the CC of Rhode Island.
The second half of the season features home and away contests with every WNYAC school. The Region III Division II Final Four will take place at Jamestown CC the first weekend of March with the winner advancing to the National Championships in Danville, IL.