BRADFORD, Pa. – The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford men's basketball team will begin its 2017-18 season competing in the Hilton Scranton Invitational hosted at the University of Scranton this weekend.
Pitt-Bradford will be led by Head Coach Sean Brown Sr., who is in his first season at the helm of the men's program after serving as the head coach of the Panthers women's team for the past two seasons.
Last season, the Panthers finished sixth in the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference with a 10-8 mark in conference games, and have been selected to finish seventh in the 2017-18 AMCC Preseason Coaches' Poll.
Returning for the Panthers are three seniors: Christian Kelly-Perkins, Sahlil Harris and Tim Atkinson. Rounding out the returners is junior Jacob Sutton, and sophomores Zach Dahlstrand and Dylan Niedermeyer.
"Sahlil, as a fifth-year senior, is going to run the point for us. This system fits him perfectly and sets him up to have a really great year for us. Tim does a lot of good things on the floor. He's shooting the ball a lot better this year and he has an extremely high basketball IQ. Christian is a master scorer. He hits shots. That's what he does and that's going to be his role on the team," Brown Sr. said of his seniors.
"Jacob is getting the chance to get into the starting lineup this year," Brown Sr. said of his returning junior. "He's a very versatile player, and he originally came here as a guard, but with him having added so much size, he can play either the guard or forward positions. He's a great defender and will do a lot of stuff on offense similar to Draymond Green, like setting screens, hitting open three-pointers and grabbing rebounds and pushing the ball up the court."
"Dylan has the potential to have a huge career here," Brown Sr. said of his returning sophomore back for his second season. "He has the chance to score 1,000 points within his next three years as a Panther."
Pitt-Bradford boasts a deep roster, as joining the six returners are 12 newcomers, with six experienced transfers.
The six transfers come to Pitt-Bradford from all over the country – and north of the border: Desmond Brogsdale (Hyattsville, Md.), Malique McCoy (Salt Lake City, Utah), Duranay Atikullah (Ottawa, Can.), Reginald Rogers (Sweet Home, Ark.), Dylan Mitchell (Gilroy, Calif.) and Colby Mills (Grafton, W.Va.).
"Colby Mills is a sharpshooter and he is going to be someone that is really going to be a key for us," Brown Sr. said. "Our up-tempo style will create space in the open court and make many open three-pointers for him to shoot. Desmond Brogsdale is our strongest player physically and he is someone that can play all five positions, so he will also be a key to us finding success in our style. Reginald Rogers is someone else that is really quick and really fast who can change the tempo of the game, and he can get in the lane and create for other people."
In terms of freshmen that will make an immediate impact, Brown Sr. believes Jeffrey Fry (Williamsport, Pa.) is someone that will step in and help the team.
Rounding out the newcomers are freshmen Darius Jones (Newport News, Va.), George Alston (Warminster, Pa.), Wyatt Rugar (Pittsfield, Pa.) and Ugwunna Amadi (Washington, D.C.), and senior Brady Dailey (Windsor, Pa.).
"Our overall goals for the season are always the same," Brown Sr. concluded. "First, we want to play the best that we can play every single night and leave it all on the floor, win or lose. That's our minimum goal. But in the big picture, we are going to look to earn a top-four spot in the conference and set ourselves up to play our way to an AMCC title."
The Panthers open up their season taking on York (Pa.) in the Hilton Scranton Invitational on Friday and will play their second game of the tournament on Saturday with a time and opponent to be determined.
After their season-opening action at Scranton, the Panthers will head to Keuka on Tuesday, Nov. 21, before their home opener on Wednesday, Nov. 29, a doubleheader with the women's team against conference-rival Hilbert.