New era for Hofstra men's basketball
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Two additions to the Pride who bring plenty of backcourt experience include graduate students Dion Nesmith and Zeke Upshaw, who both earned their college degrees and are using their final year of eligibility at Hofstra. Nesmith averaged 8.4 points in 63 games for Monmouth, and tallied 24 points in the loss at Louisville. Upshaw, who played at Illinois State, poured in 37 in Hofstra’s near upset at Richmond.
“They have been through it all,” said Mihalich of the experience both Nesmith and Upshaw bring to the Pride. “They have the miles on their tires.”
Freshmen contributing early are guard/forwards Chris Jenkins and Jamal Robinson. The Pride is also receiving strong leadership from three transfers in Juan’ya Green and Ameen Tanksley, who played for Mihalich at Niagara, as well as Brian Bernardi from SMU. All three have to sit out this season due to NCAA transfer rules but can still practice with the team.
“These guys play every day like it’s game time,” said Mihalich, who played at LaSalle University from 1974-78 after growing up in the Washington D.C. area. “They remind you why you love to coach.”
Hofstra has already challenged itself in non-conference play with road games at Louisville and Richmond and will have another tough one away from home Jan. 2 at Tulane. Hofstra’s non-conference slate also includes a home game against George Washington of the Atlantic 10 on Dec. 28 starting at 4 p.m.
“You want to sharpen your teeth for league play and that is what it does,” Mihalich said.
Hofstra opens CAA play on Jan. 8 at Delaware, with its first conference home game slated for Jan. 11 against CAA newcomer College of Charleston starting at 4 p.m. For further information on Hofstra’s schedule or to order tickets, call 516-463-TIXX or log onto www.gohofstra.com.