CLAREMONT, CA. – The Pomona-Pitzer Men's Basketball team is set to begin their 2017-18 season with their sights set on a SCIAC Championship.
Coach Charles Katsiaficas returns for his 31st season with a young but experienced squad heading into the season.
The Sagehens went 14-12 overall last season and 10-6 in conference play, which landed them in fourth place at the end of the season after their 70-64 loss to the 2016-17 SCIAC Champion CMS Stags in the Semifinals round.
In the 2017-18 Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) Men's Basketball Preseason Poll, the Sagehens were picked second in the conference behind CMS who was voted first and in front of Chapman at third and Cal Lutheran in fourth.
SCIAC Preseason Coaches' Poll
Koch is coming off of his most productive season as he was named First Team All-SCIAC a season ago with a team-high 15.5 points per game and notched his career-high with 28 points against SCIAC rival Claremont-Mudd-Scripps this season. Koch was the leading force for this offense all season long in 2016 as he shot 40.3% from the field and 41% from beyond the arc.
Rosenbaum also earned All-Conference honors with a Second Team selection during his sophomore season. He returns this season for his junior year coming off of a 14.7 points per game season and a 46.2% field goal percentage and shot 41.2% from three-point territory. Rosenbaum also led the Sagehens last year with 6.3 rebounds per game and a career-high 36 points and 18 rebounds against La Verne.
After a season of collegiate basketball under his belt, Elan returns for his sophomore season coming off of a year where he averaged 12.6 points per game, led the Sagehens in three-point shooting percentage at 50% and led the Sagehens with 81 assists and 33 steals.
The Sagehens will rely on wing players Jack Gale and James Kelbert to contribute big minutes again this season. Gale returns for his senior season as he provides the Sagehens with a good three-point presence and the ability to play multiple position on the floor while Kelbert provides a spark of energy as he came off of the bench last season to average 7.7 points per game and 1.2 steals per game.
The Sagehens return two more seniors this season in Glenn Leininger and Hiawatha Davis. Leininger returns as the only true post player from a season ago as he averaged 4.4 points per game and pulled down 3.0 rebounds per game. Davis missed a large part of 2016 due to injury but will return this season to give the Sagehens depth at the point guard position.
Sophomores Adam Rees and Jack Boyle both return after major contributions during their freshman campaigns. Both appeared in almost every single game last season averaging over 10 minutes per contest while Rees added 3.4 points per game for the Sagehens while Boyle chipped in with 2.3. Both will look to see more minutes and expanded roles heading into 2017.
Pomona-Pitzer brings in four incoming freshmen for this season with Nick Marsh coming in as the only guard and some major size to add down low in 6'7 forward Winston Nelson, 6'9 forward Alex Preston and 6'10 center Pavle Rohalj.
"I really like the balance and depth we have on our roster", said coach Katsiaficas. "I am hoping that our versatility and ability to utilize a number of different looks and line-ups can work to our advantage. Likewise, we have a strong core of returning players with significant experience. This should serve us well through the 'ebb and flow' of our tough non-conference schedule and as we head into SCIAC play."
The Sagehens open up their season on the road as they travel to Santa Cruz to take on Linfield on Saturday, November 18th at 3:30 p.m.