WASHINGTON – The Gallaudet University men's basketball program enters the 2015-16 season with high expectations and will have a target on its back after being selected as the North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) preseason favorite to win the league.
GU had a record-breaking season last season as the team posted records for wins (18), conference wins (14) and consecutive wins (10) and hosted a NEAC tournament quarterfinal game. The Bison want to move past last year's disappointing loss in the NEAC quarterfinal round and enter this season with a clean slate and a new coaching staff. Kevin Kovacs takes over as the head coach and brings his staff consisting of Lawrence Moten, the all-time leading scorer in Syracuse University men's basketball history (2,334 points) and a former NBA player, and former Gallaudet standout Layton Seeber, a two-time All-NEAC performer during his three seasons in the buff and blue and accumulated 1,116 points, 423 rebounds, 359 assists, 148 steals, 73 blocks in 77 games.
"We have two great additions to the coaching staff in Lawrence and Layton," said Kovacs. "Lawrence brings a lot of positive energy to the team and program and already has a good rapport with the players. Layton has a great feel for the athletes on the team and the game. He will help our guards out a lot."
Kovacs has set the bar high for the Bison in his first season and wants the team to reach high not only on the court but also off the court in the classroom.
"We want to succeed on and off the court. We want everyone to be on track to get their degree and be the best they can be. We believe if players can work hard on the court they can carry that off the court and in whatever they do in the future," said Kovacs. "We expect to compete for the conference championship and pickup where the program left off last year. Last year's team and coaches did a great job and it is our responsibility to sustain what they started last season."
NEAC Record: 14-4
Highlight: Team set school records for wins (18), conference wins (14), consecutive wins (10), made NEAC tournament
Awards: Two All-NEAC honors, NEAC Coach of the Year, Trey Gordon named CoSIDA Academic All-America Third Team and D3hoops.com All-Region third team
Trey Gordon (Talladega, Ala.), Sr., Guard
The D3hoops.com All-Region player is back for his senior season and will be Gallaudet's top threat from outside. The All-NEAC first teamer was one of the top three-point shooters in Division III last season with three-point field goal percentage (47.2), three-point field goals per game (3.36) and three-point field goals made (84). Gordon is also a leader off the court as he was named to the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Academic All-America third team last season.
Todd Bonheyo (Frederick, Md.), Sr., Guard
Bonheyo will orchestrate the offense from the backcourt. He passed out 103 assists and made 38 steals last season. He averaged 4.4 points per game and 4.5 assists per game during the 2014-15 season.
Joshua McGriff (Somerset, N.J.), Jr., Center
McGriff was limited to 21 games last season but he made the most of his minutes as he finished third on the team in scoring with 248 points (11.8 points per game) and brought down a team best 159 rebounds (7.6 rebounds per game) and made 46 blocks (2.2 blocks per game).
Andy Cruz (Bronx, N.Y.), So., Forward
Cruz had a solid rookie debut last season as he saw action in all 25 games where he averaged 6.6 points per game. He was second on the team in blocks (14), third in steals (34) and rebounds (133). Cruz should build off last season and will play inside and out.
James Steingieser (New Market, Md.), Jr., Guard/Forward
Steingieser returns to the men's basketball program after sitting out a season. The fundamental player brings a great work ethic to the court and can execute on both ends of the court, especially on defense.
Shawn Harrington (Frederick, Md.), Jr., Center
Harrington will make his debut with the men's basketball program this season but he is no stranger to Gallaudet athletics. He played in five games at wide receiver for the 2011 football team. Harrington will setup camp in the post for the Bison this season as he brings a strong all-around game.
Brandon Holsworth (Beal City, Mich.), Sr., Forward
Holsworth takes to the court for the first time in his Gallaudet athletic career after being a standout pitcher for the Bison baseball team for several years. He brings play making abilities to the court and can create from outside.
"This is a big honor and humbling opportunity for me. I am excited to see how we do this year and see how the program grows and carries over from last year." Kevin Kovacs, Gallaudet University men's basketball head coach
- Season opener: at Yeshiva (Sun., Nov. 15)
- Conference opener: at Penn College (Sun., Dec. 6)
- Home opener: vs. East. Mennonite (Tues., Dec. 8)
- Home Conference opener: vs. Penn College (Sat., Jan. 9)
- 2014-15 NEAC Conference Champs: at SUNY Cobleskill (Sat., Jan. 16)
- Senior Day/Last home game: vs. Penn St.-Berks (Sat., Feb. 20)
The Bison will begin their season in November on the road at Yeshiva University on Sunday, Nov. 15, in the season opener. Gallaudet will then travel to Towson, Md., to face Towson University from the Division I ranks on Nov. 25 at 7 p.m. GU closes out the month on the road against in-region power St. Mary's (Md.) College on Nov, 28 at 2 p.m.
Gallaudet's first home game will be Dec. 8 against Eastern Mennonite University at 5 p.m. in the Field House. The Bison will host University of Valley Forge on Saturday, Dec. 12, at 4 p.m. before closing out the semester at Goucher College on Dec. 19 at 2 p.m.
In the month of January the Bison will see only conference action beginning away against Penn St.-Abington on Tuesday, Jan. 5. The first home conference game will be in the Bison's second match-up against Penn College on Saturday, Jan. 9. The Bison hit the road for three NEAC games including a trip to play last year's NEAC champions, SUNY Cobleskill, on Jan. 16. Gallaudet returns to the Field House for the weekend of Jan. 23-24 for two NEAC games before closing out the month of January with an away doubleheader at Lancaster Bible College and Penn St.-Berks.
February will begin on the road for a weekend in New York before closing out the regular-season slate with four consecutive home games. The last regular-season game will also honor the men's basketball seniors on Senior Day, Saturday, Feb. 20, against Penn St.-Berks at 1 p.m. The NEAC tournament will follow on Feb. 23-28.
BISON HOME GAMES
Dec. 08 vs. Eastern Mennonite, 5 p.m.
Dec. 12 vs. Valley Forge, 4 p.m.
Jan. 09 vs. Penn College, Noon
Jan. 23 vs. Cazenovia, Noon
Jan. 24 vs. Morrisville St., Noon
Jan. 26 vs. Penn St.-Abington, 5 p.m.
Feb. 13 vs. Wilson, Noon
Feb. 16 vs. Bryn Athyn, 5 p.m.
Feb. 19 vs. Lancaster Bible, 5 p.m.
Feb. 20 vs. Penn St.-Berks, 1 p.m. (Senior Day)