March is almost upon us, and with it comes the best time of the year for college basketball. While the Sean Kilpatricks and Jabarie Hinds of the world seem to grab all the headlines and attention locally, there are several talented basketball players at the Division III level.
As a former Division III athlete I’ve always had a soft spot for the guys getting it done at smaller schools. Of the 62 teams that earned bids to this year’s NCAA tournament seven feature local players. All first-round games are set to tip off Saturday, March 2.
As always, follow me @LoHudCollege for updates on locals excelling at the next level.
So with today being a slow day due to the lack of games, I decided to post a quasi-primer for the Division III men’s basketball tournament, focused specifically on the locals in the tournament.
For the complete bracket click here.
PLATTSBURGH STATE (19-8)
Locals: John Perez (North Rockland)-Junior
Reggie Williams (Gorton)-Junior
Anthony Baker (Gorton)-Junior
Jordan Moody (Yorktown)-Sophomore
Billy O’Shea (Tappan Zee)-Freshman
Kirk Ottey (New Rochelle)-Freshman
How they got in: At-large bid
Who they face: Husson (20-8)
What you need to know: Perez, who is second on the team in scoring (11.6 PPG) and first in rebounds (7.3 RPG), was recently named second-team All-SUNYAC. Moody is third on the team in PPG (9.9). Williams has been solid off the bench for the Cardinals (4.6 PPG, 4.2 RPG). O’Shea has appeared in 22 games during his rookie season.
Locals: James Jensen (Valhalla)-Junior (pictured above)
How they got in: At-large bid
Who they face: Curry (21-7)
What you need to know: Jensen (6.6 PPG, 4.2 RPG) has played in every game for the Panthers, who have been nationally ranked in the top-10 all season.
PURCHASE COLLEGE (22-5)
Locals: Isaac Campbell (Mount Vernon)-Junior
Justin Person (Woodlands)-Junior
David Haughton (Woodlands)-Junior
Taj Bridgers (Ramapo)-Junior
Michael Braithwaiter (Spring Valley)-Junior
Joel Neri (Port Chester)-Sophomore
Craig Davis (Westchester CC)-Senior
How they got in: Won the Skyline Conference
Who they face: WPI (25-2)
What you need to know: Neri (10.3 PPG, 4.4 RPG) and Davis (12.4 PPG, 6.1 RPG) have played well inside for the Panthers. Person has started in every game for the Panthers and done it all (8.8 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 3.9 APG). Fellow Woodlands’ alumni Haughton has also played well (7.4 PPG, 6.5 RPG).
RHODE ISLAND COLLEGE (25-3)
Locals: Chris Burton (New Rochelle)-Sophomore
Kadeem Francis (Stepinac)-Junior
Fernando Torres (Brewster)-Senior
How they got in: Won the Little East Conference.
Who they will face: Hobart (21-6)
What you need to know: Burton, who was named to the Little East second team and all-defensive team, has been a beast for the Shoremen (10.6 PPG, 6.5 RPG, 2.4 SPG, 1.3 BPG), helping them to the highest seed (2) of all teams with locals.
DICKINSON COLLEGE (20-7)
Locals: Adam Honig (Horace Greeley)-Junior
How they got in: Won the Centennial Conference.
Who they will face: Marietta (20-7)
What you need to know: Honig (13.5 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 2.6 APG), a 2011 Centennial honorable mention pick, leads the team in MPG at 31.1.
Locals: Will Trawick (Fox Lane)-Freshman
How they got in: Won the University Athletic Association
Who they will face: Randolph (21-6)
What you need to know: Trawick (3 PPG, 1.9 RPG) has come off the bench for all but one of the Eagles’ games this season. Trawick beat his former Fox Lane teammate Dylan Peretz and Rochester in the UAA final.
Locals: Dylan Peretz (Fox Lane)-Freshman
How they got in: At-large bid.
Who they will face: Fitchburg State (16-10)
What you need to know: Peretz has played in nine games for Rochester, who was the number one ranked team in the country at one point this season.