GANSEVOORT, N.Y. – The Wells College men's basketball team was ranked ninth out of 13 programs in the first-ever North Eastern Athletic Conference Men's Basketball Preseason Poll, the league office announced Thursday afternoon. Wells received 62 total points following a vote by the conference's 13 head coaches.
Wells overcame a sluggish start to their 2014-15 season by racking up six victories in nine games to place them squarely in the hunt for a playoff position. Despite three tough losses by less than eight points down the stretch, the Express set many team offensive records as they look to rebound in time for the 2015-16 season in their newly-renovated facility, the Farenthold Athletic Wing.
Last season, the Express combined to post a .702 free throw percentage (401-for-571) in 2014-15, the best mark in single season history. From three-point range, the Express also had an impressive mark - shooting .329 (126-for-383) from beyond the arc, the Wells cagers fell just short of beating the team record of .346 (170-for-491) that was set in 2011-12.
Wells will look to replace several graduating seniors heading into the new season. Joe Walton '15 departed with 194 assists, passing Dave Foltz for first all-time (193), while his 551 career points in three years stands as the ninth-most in program history. His 67 starts are also the most by any one player in team history, as are his 1,905 minutes played.
Erich Kaempffe '15 concluded his four-year career with 82 games played, the third-most in team history – serving as the Graduate Assistant men's basketball coach at Ithaca College, he will return to the Farenthold Athletic Wing on Dec. 8 for a 7 p.m. contest. He is the second Wells men's basketball alumni in the last two seasons to join the collegiate coaching ranks, following Al Paul '14 who is a part of the Castleton University staff.
Head Coach Joe Wojtylko, the only men's basketball coach Wells has ever known, enters his eighth season with the team after picking up his 100th career coaching victory against Wilson on Jan. 22, 2015. The Express enter this season's first tilt with 94 overall victories since debuting as a varsity program in 2008.
Gallaudet University earned 129 total points, placing first in the NEAC Preseason Poll with three first-place votes. Lancaster Bible College trailed the Bison by only one point despite earning a league-leading six first-place votes. Morrisville State College and the SUNY Polytechnic Institute both received two first-place selections, earning 120 and 103 points, respectively.
Wells opens its season this Friday, Nov. 13 as they travel to take on the Saxons from Alfred University at 5 p.m.
2015 NEAC Men's Basketball Preseason Poll Full Results
|Rank||Institution (First-Place Votes)||Total Points|
|1||Gallaudet University (3)||129|
|2||Lancaster Bible College (6)||128|
|3||Morrisville State College (2)||120|
|4||SUNY Polytechnic Institute (2)||103|
|6||Penn State Berks||81|
|8||Penn State Abington||71|
|10||Bryn Athyn College||61|