2017-18 Men's Basketball Season Preview

Senior captain Jack Daly and the Panthers open their season when they host the Middlebury Tournament on November 17-18 in Pepin Gymnasium.
Senior captain Jack Daly and the Panthers open their season when they host the Middlebury Tournament on November 17-18 in Pepin Gymnasium.

The 2017-18 version of the Middlebury men's basketball team is a talented group laden with depth in every facet. Over the past 10 seasons, the program has racked up 226 victories against 57 losses for a .799 winning percentage and three appearances in the NCAA Quarterfinals. Looking to continue their winning ways despite the loss of four seniors, the team has its sights on contending for its third-straight NESCAC Championship, as well as another NCAA Tournament run.

Under the direction of two-time reigning NESCAC Coach of the Year Jeff Brown, who begins his 21st season on the Middlebury bench, the eighth-ranked Panthers return an experienced and seasoned squad.  

Brown looks forward to getting things rolling this season after graduating a senior class that went 82-31 over its four years in the blue and white jerseys.

Leading the group of returners will be senior guard Jack Daly. Starting all but one game over the last two years, the captain was second on the team and in the NESCAC with 5.9 assists per game, while his 1.9 steals per game tied for team-high honors and were second in the conference. Daly averaged career-best totals of 12.1 points per contest 6.5 rebounds per contest in 2016-17.

Other players at the guard position that will be battling for minutes will be sophomores Perry DeLorenzo and Joey Leighton as well as junior Hilal Dahleh.

DeLorenzo played in 16 games last year and Leighton appeared in 22 contests, while Dahleh sat out last winter due to injury after averaging 4.7 points per game in 2015-16.

At the forward position, senior captains Adisa Majors and Nick Tarantino along with junior Eric McCord and sophomore Matt Folger provide Brown a dynamic quartet. Majors appeared in 30 games and started 11 contests, tallying career-best totals of 9.6 points per game and 4.7 rebounds per contest, while shooting 54.3 percent from the floor.

Tarantino logged minutes in 31 games last year with 18 starts. A 6-7 swingman, Tarantino will battle for playing time after averaging a career-high 6.8 points per game and leading the squad with a 60.9 field-goal percentage. He scored double-figure points totals seven times last season, including 16 points during a program single-game record 7-7 shooting in a home win over Johnson State.

McCord saw action in 29 games a season ago with 16 starts, scoring 7.9 points and collecting 6.2 rebounds per contest in 19 minutes per game. His 54.9 field-goal percentage ranked third in the NESCAC.

Folger knocked down 22 three-point field goals and 80 percent of his free throws last season. He averaged 6.5 points per game, including 10.0 ppg during Middlebury's four NCAA Tournament contests, to go along with 4.1 rebounds per contest.

Sophomore Robbie Holley, who appeared in 10 games last winter, along with a talented first-year class which will be added to the mix will also vie for starting roles.

Brown and the Panthers open the 2017-18 schedule against Fitchburg State on November 17 when they play host to the Middlebury Tournament. Middlebury will travel to Virginia and compete in the Washington & Lee Tournament just before the calendar turns over to 2018. The blue and white begin league play when they make their way to Connecticut College on January 5.