|Ross Danzig||Brendan Boken||Justin Klingman|
Having a bull’s eye on its back is nothing new for The University of Scranton men’s basketball team.
The Royals have built quite a reputation under veteran head coach Carl Danzig, winning five Landmark Conference titles in the league’s first seven seasons of competition.
And with three starters returning from last year’s 24-4 team—including reigning conference player of the year Ross Danzig (Clarks Green, Pa./Abington Heights/Blair Academy-NJ) and first-team selection Brendan Boken (South Pasadena, Calif./Loyola)—it’s no surprise that Scranton is the clear-cut favorite to repeat as champion.
In the conference’s preseason poll of its head coaches released today, the Royals picked up eight first-place votes and 80 points to land the top spot. Catholic University, which received the other first-place vote, is second with 64 points, followed by Susquehanna (51), the Merchant Marine Academy (38), Drew University (30), Juniata College (26), Elizabethtown College (25), Goucher College (20), and Moravian College (17).
Danzig, now 245-110 (.690) in 13 seasons, also welcomes back sharp-shooting senior guard Justin Klingman (Clarks Summit, Pa./Abington Heights), who led the Landmark Conference in 3-point field goal percentage last year, along with eight other veterans who will battle to replace Tommy Morgan and Michael Barr in the starting lineup. Danzig also brought in five talented freshmen who will challenge the veterans for playing time.
The Royals, ranked 7th by DIII News and 21st by D3hoops.com in their respective preseason polls, will open the season on Saturday, November 15, against Centenary College in the PNC Bank/Radisson Invitational at the Long Center beginning at 7:30 p.m. Scranton will meet either John Carroll or Alvernia University the following day at either 2 or 4 p.m.