WESTON, Mass. – The Regis College men's basketball team is aiming for improvement in 2018-19 as its season begins with four games in seven days.
Nate Hager, the only head coach since the start of the Pride men's basketball program in 2007, begins his 12th season at the helm. This year, he is joined on the coaching staff by Lambros Papalambros, a standout player at Curry College earlier this decade who was an assistant coach at his alma mater last season.
Regis will boast an experienced squad with nine players active from the 2017-18 roster as well as two other players, senior Isaiah Wilson (Cambria Heights, N.Y.) and sophomore Gibou Njie (Miramar, Fla.), who return to the program after not playing last year. Junior guard Michael Carucci (Suffield, Conn.) is the only newcomer for the Pride.
Senior forward Ademola Afonja (Staten Island, N.Y.) was the Pride's leading scorer and rebounder last season with 13.3 points and 7.8 rebounds per game. A Second Team All-GNAC selection, Afonja shot 56.3 percent from the field last season, has improved his free throw shooting every year, and is already sixth on Regis's all-time scoring list with 878 career points and fifth on the career rebounding list with 519 boards.
Senior center Shawn Wedderburn (Bronx, N.Y.) is one of two Regis players to appear in all 26 games last season, averaging 8.0 points and 6.3 rebounds per game for the Pride in 2017-18. Fellow senior Jordan Seldon (Dorchester, Mass.) started 21 of the 23 games he played in last year, averaging 8.1 points per game, including a 19-point performance against Worcester State.
After finishing last season in a tie for fifth place in the GNAC standings at 9-7, Regis ended up sixth in the GNAC 2018-19 Preseason Poll with 77 points, just ahead of conference newcomer Colby-Sawyer with 75 points. Defending GNAC Tournament champion Johnson & Wales collected eight first place votes to emerge as the preseason favorite with 139 points, just ahead of Albertus Magnus, the top team in the GNAC during the regular season last year, with four first place votes and 135 total points.
Regis opens the season Monday, Nov. 12, with a non-conference game at Lasell, followed by a matchup the next night at Curry. The Pride then head to New York City for the NYU Tip-Off Tournament, taking on Baruch College Saturday night, Nov. 17, before a quick turnaround to face either the host Violets or Sarah Lawrence Sunday afternoon, Nov. 18.
In Monday's opener, Regis starts the 2018-19 season in the same gym where the 2017-18 campaign ended, as Lasell eliminated the Pride from the GNAC Tournament with an 88-72 quarterfinal victory. Heading into the week, Regis is 0-3 all-time against Lasell and 1-3 all-time against Curry, although the Pride last faced the Colonels in January 2011. Regis has never faced any of the teams in the NYU Tournament.
The home opener for Regis takes place Thursday, Nov. 29, against Wheaton beginning at 7 p.m. In total, the Pride will have nine home games this season, including a three-game homestand facing Lasell (Jan. 19), Suffolk (Jan. 22), and Johnson & Wales (Jan. 26), as well as the Senior Day game against Rivier Feb. 2.