NYU Men's Basketball Tips Off This Weekend
Following one of the most successful seasons in school history in 2011-12, the New York University men's basketball team has high expectations for 2012-13.
The Violets were picked to finish third in the University Athletic Association (UAA) in the 2012-13 Preseason Coaches Poll. The squad earned two first-place votes, landing only behind preseason favorite and defending UAA champion Washington University and the University of Rochester.
Those three teams, plus Emory University, represent the UAA in the D3hoops.com Preseason Top 25. Washington is ranked #21 in the nation, while NYU landed just two spots out of the poll, receiving 76 votes. Rochester earned 10 votes, while Emory received two.
The Violets will be looking to build on a 2011-12 season that saw them reach the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 15 years and post their highest UAA finish in 16 seasons. NYU went 21-6 overall, advancing to the second round of the NCAA Division III Championship. In the UAA, the squad posted a record of 9-5 to finish in second place, its best marks since 1996-97.
The Violets placed among the top-10 in Division III in several categories: third in assists per game (19.1), fourth in three-point field goal percentage (.408), sixth in team field goal percentage (a school record .501), and seventh in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.35). In addition, Head Coach Joe Nesci became the program's all-time winningest head coach and raised his record to 424-202 (.677) heading into his 25th season.
NYU will begin the 2012-13 season with a mix of strong veteran leadership and talented newcomers. Four starters, seniors Max Wein, Carl Yaffe and Kyle Stockmal, as well as junior Ryan Tana, return.
Tana and Kyle Stockmal will anchor the NYU backcourt. Tana earned Honorable Mention All-UAA in '11-12, as he scored 7.7 ppg while shooting .507 from the field and .493 from three-point range. He also finished with a team-leading 103 assists.
Kyle Stockmal earned Second Team All-UAA accolades. The team's leading returning scorer (14.5 ppg) drained a team-leading 73 three-pointers and doled out 99 assists.
Joining them in the backcourt is Cory Stockmal, who averaged 3.6 ppg and posted a .548 field goal pct. off the bench. Iyoha Agho, Max Ralby and Conor Smith will also compete for playing time at the guard position.
In the frontcourt, Yaffe should once again provide production in all facets of the game. A Second Team All-UAA selection last season, he averaged 14.4 ppg and led the team in rebounding (6.6 rpg) and blocks (1.1 bpg), while finishing third in both assists (87) and steals (31).
Also in the frontcourt is Wein, who averaged 6.6 ppg and 5.0 rpg and was named the team's best defender last season. Returners Jed Borovik and Adam Xu and newcomers Evan Kupferberg, Patrick Burns and Tony Bai will also look to see the floor at forward.
NYU will have to fill the void left by First Team All-UAA center Andy Stein, the only graduating starter from last year's team. Devin Karch will step into an expanded role after averaging 11.5 minutes per game and contributing 6.0 ppg with a team-best .565 field goal pct. Freshmen Costis Gontikas and Kevin Kabore will also look for minutes at center.
The Violets will begin the season on Saturday and Sunday, November 17-18, when they host their annual Tip-Off Tournament at the Coles Sports Center. NYU opens play in the tournament on Saturday at 1:00 pm against SUNY Geneseo.