By: Brett Gilbert, staff writer
The Lebanon Valley College men’s basketball team has some lofty expectations for its 2016-17 campaign.
The Dutchmen return the majority of the team coming off a 16-11 record and a second place finish during the regular season in the Commonwealth division of the Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC).
The team was projected to finish second in the MAC Commonwealth preseason poll. The defending champion, Lycoming College, was tabbed first in the poll. Arcadia College, Alvernia University and Albright College round out the top 5 of the preseason poll.
LVC will be led by 2015-16 MAC Commonwealth player of the year Anderson Orr. Orr was named as a preseason All-American by D-III News and D3hoops.com. Junior guard Sam Light will also be a key part of the Dutchmen’s attack. Light was a first team all-conference performer last season. The Dutchmen also return Travis Conrad and Will Boccanfuso, who were starters last season.
The Dutchmen are excited for conference play to begin with hopes of returning to the playoffs and winning a conference championship. The Dutchmen will be well prepared for conference play because of its challenging non-league schedule. The non-league schedule consisted of some very good tests for the team including Division I George Mason, Misericordia and Franklin & Marshall.
The team understands the importance of protecting home court during conference play.
“You have to protect your home court in order to be successful,” Anderson Orr, a junior forward, said.
The players stressed the necessity of focusing and paying close attention to detail during conference play.
“The familiarity of the competition in conference play makes the games very intense,” Orr said. “You learn your oppositions’ tendencies on the court, and the games become more scrappy and defensive.”
“Conference games are always very competitive, so we have to bring our A game,” Caleb Barwin, a junior guard, said. “We just have to stick with our game plan each day and go to battle.”
The Dutchmen will open up their conference slate with a battle against Widener University on Nov. 30 in Sorrentino Gymnasium.