The Hiram College men’s basketball team will return two starters and 13 letterwinners in 2013-14.
Last year, Hiram ended the season with an 11-12 overall record and 5-11 in the North Coast Athletic Conference. The Terriers failed to qualify for the conference tournament for the first in the last nine tries and will look to regain a spot in the postseason this winter.
“It’s always disappointing to not qualify for postseason play,” said eighth-year Head Coach Steve Fleming. “As a result, our players have used that as motivation over the summer and fall as we begin this season.”
Highlighting this year’s returners will be All-NCAC senior Aaron Stefanov (Stow/Stow-Munroe Falls). Last season, Stefanov led the team, and was fourth in the NCAC, in scoring averaging 16.1 points per game while shooting 40.8 percent (118-of-289) from the floor. He also led the team and the conference in free-throw shooting converting 81-of-89 attempts (91.0 percent). In addition, he was second on the team in three-pointers made (53), attempts (138) and third in shooting percentage (38.4). Stefanov averaged 4.3 rebounds per game and was third in assists with 44.
In addition, to Stefanov, Hiram will return four other seniors in Josh Edmondson(Euclid/Twinsburg), Justin Lonis (Mentor/Perrysburg), Matt Roman (North Olmsted) and Chris Zurowski (Medina). Zurowski was the team’s top rebounder last year averaging 5.7 boards per game and was second in blocked shots with 17. He averaged 6.8 ppg. while shooting 44.2 percent (65-of-147) from the field. Despite being listed as a forward, he finished third on the team in three-pointers made with 16. He also dished out 15 assists and had 11 steals defensively. Edmondson played in all 25 games and averaged 5.5 ppg. coming off the bench while shooting 31.2 percent (44-of-141) overall. Edmondson was third on the team in triples made with 16. He also averaged 3.5 rpg. as a guard and had 29 assists, 25 steals and two blocked shots. Lonis and Roman also came off the bench last season and averaged 3.8 and 2.8 ppg. respectively. Lonis shot a team-leading 49.4 percent (41-of-83) from the field and was amongst the team leaders in rebounding with a 3.4 rpg. average. He also tallied 18 assists, six steals and two blocked shots in 25 games. Roman also played in all 25 games. He grabbed 47 rebounds (1.9 rpg.) and had 12 assists, nine steals and blocked three shots.
“Our seniors will play a big part in our ability to be successful,” said Fleming. “They are talented, experienced and bring versatility to the court.”
Another player to watch in 2013-14 will be sophomore Riley Moore (Grafton/Midview). As a freshman, Moore came off the bench and played in all 25 games and had one start. He averaged 3.0 ppg. on 41.0 percent (32-of-78) shooting. He pulled down 48 boards in addition to recording 11 assists, five steals and one blocked shot. Also making their return this season are junior Christian Davis (Cape Coral, Fla./Ida S. Baker) and sophomores Hayden Diedrich (Chardon/West Geauga), Pat Linn (LaGrange/Midview),Austen Rekolt (Salem/West Branch) and J.J. Woodson (Oakwood Village/Bedford). All six players will battle for increased playing time throughout the season.
“Our younger players have worked hard in the off-season,” added Fleming. “They will provide some depth to our team.”
Hiram will begin the 2013-14 season on Friday-Saturday, Nov. 15-16 when the Terriers take part in the TGI Friday’s Tip-Off Classic hosted by La Roche (Pa.) College in Pittsburgh, Pa. Hiram will play against host school La Roche on Friday in a game that begins at 8 p.m. The Terriers will play in their first home game on Saturday, Nov. 30 against Geneva (Pa.) College at 3 p.m. at Price Gym. Hiram will begin its NCAC slate on Wednesday, Dec. 4 against Allegheny (Pa.) College in Meadville, Pa. Tip-off for that game is scheduled for 8 p.m.
“We are excited about our team and meeting the challenges of the upcoming season,” said Fleming.