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Season Preview: Point Park men's basketball picked 8th in AMC Preseason Poll

Pioneers look to turn things around in 2010-11 with mix of veterans, newcomers

Oct. 24, 2010

CEDARVILLE, Ohio – The American Mideast Conference released its 2010-11 Men’s Basketball Preseason Coaches’ Poll today, and Point Park University was chosen to finish 8th of 10 teams according to a vote of the league’s coaches.

Point Park, which was 9-16 overall and 5-11 in the AMC last year, received 36 points in being chosen 8th of 10 teams.

2010-11 POINT PARK QUICK FACTS AMC PRESEASON COACHES' POLL

Rager in huddle 420x320
Point Park men's basketball head coach Bob Rager is in his 22nd year.

The Pioneers, under 22nd year head coach Bob Rager, return just one player who was a full-time starter in 2009-10. But Point Park will look to turn things around thanks to having several players who have gained valuable experience the last few years as well as a group of talented newcomers who will make an immediate impact.

T.J. Heatherington, a sophomore point guard from McKeesport and Serra Catholic High School, is the only returner who started all of last season. The 5-10 Heatherington led the Pioneers with 15.9 points and 5.9 assists per game on his way to earning All-AMC second-team honors.

The Pioneers must replace two starters who were lost to graduation – Gerald Warrick, a 6-7 center, and Marcus Robinson, a 6-3 guard. The other two spots in last year’s starting lineup were made up of a rotation of players who are back this year.

That group includes upperclassmen Dante Anglin (F, 6-5, Jr.), Devon Alexander (F, 6-5, Jr.) and Josh Trocchio (G, 6-3, Sr.), three players who are in their third year in the Point Park program and who have seen plenty of playing time the last two seasons.

Added to the roster this year were two senior transfers  – Kris Douse (F, 6-7, Sr.) and Jimmy Sherwood (G, 6-3, Sr.) – as well as freshmen Robbie Heatherington (G, 6-0, Fr.) and Josh Pohlot (G/F, 6-4, Fr.). Each of those players is expected to contribute right away.

Douse, an athletic big man, comes to Point Park after spending the last two years at Delaware St. Univ. The native of Toronto, Ontario, started his career at Nebraska. Sherwood, a guard from Sharon, Mass., played at Duquesne Univ. for two years before spending last year at Arkansas Tech.

Robbie Heatherington, a high scoring guard out of Serra Catholic, is the younger brother of T.J. Heatherington. Pohlot is a 6-4 swing player who averaged nearly a double-double last year at Belle Vernon High School.

Johnson, from Uniontown, is second in scoring among returning players at 11.2 points per game. Fellow senior Trocchio, a native of North Hills, averaged 9.2 points per game. Other returning guards are seniors Joel Cashatt (7.9 ppg) of Stockton, Calif., and Franco Sebastiani (7.0 ppg) of Greensburg.

In the frontcourt, Anglin and Alexander, a pair of 6-5 juniors, have combined to start 45 games the last two years. Anglin, from North Hills, was mainly used as a defensive presence in years past, but he has improved his offensive game this year. Alexander is averaging 9.0 points per game for his career.

Rager enters his 22nd year at his alma mater with a career record of 295-289 (.505). Rager is just 10 wins shy of tying his predecessor and his college coach, Jerry Conboy, for the all-time lead in victories at Point Park. Conboy, a resident of Bethel Park, amassed 305 victories as Pioneers’ head coach from 1969-89.

The Point Park men’s basketball program has had just four head coaches in its first 43 years of existence. The program was started in 1967-68, and the coaches for the first two years were Mel Cratsley and Carl Rizzo for one year each.

The Pioneers open the 2010-11 season Nov. 5-6 at the Daemen College Tournament.

Walsh was chosen as the AMC favorite coming off a 32-3 season that included the AMC regular-season title and a trip to the NAIA Division II national championship game. Cedarville, last year’s AMC tournament champ at 26-9, was picked second, one spot ahead of Notre Dame (OH), the AMC North Division champion at 19-12.

Walsh received eight of the 10 first-place votes and garnered 96 points. Cedarville had one first-place vote and 86 points while Notre Dame (OH) had 84 points. The lone remaining first-place vote went to Roberts Wesleyan, which was chosen fourth in the poll.