PHILADELPHIA – The Philadelphia University men's basketball team is 18th in the Division II Bulletin Preseason Rankings that were released by the publication on Wednesday.
This is the team's second preseason ranking this year. Philadelphia was tabbed as the eighth-best team in Division II by The Sporting News in September.
Philadelphia is coming off a strong 2013-14 season that had the team go 25-7, win its third Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) championship, and reach the NCAA Tournament for the 33rd time in program history.
The team returns four starters from a year ago, led by junior center Peter Alexis (Wilkes-Barre, Pa./Holy Redeemer). A 2014-15 Sporting News Preseason All-America second team selection, Alexis recorded 18.2 points per game, 9.5 rebounds per game, and 57 blocks last year. He earned numerous postseason accolades including Daktronics All-East Region first team, National Association of Basketball Coaches Division II Men's Basketball All-District second team, City of Basketball Love Division II All-Area first team, and All-CACC first team.
Senior guard Nick Schlitzer (Pottsville, Pa./Pottsville) recorded 15.3 points per game, made 72 3-pointers, and shot 43.1 percent from 3-point range and 83.2 percent at the free throw line to garner All-CACC second team recognition. He was second in the conference in 3-point shooting, fourth in made 3-pointers and free throw shooting, and seventh in scoring.
An All-CACC third team selection, junior forward Derek Johnson (Conshohocken, Pa./Atlantic Christian) ranked sixth in the conference in made 3-pointers (67) and seventh in scoring (15.5 points per game).
Junior guard Andre Gibbs (Smyrna, Del./Smyrna) was first the CACC in free throw percentage (88.9 percent), fifth in assists (111), and sixth in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.2).
Philadelphia opens the 2014-15 season with an exhibition contest at James Madison University on Sunday, Nov. 2. The regular season begins at the Bentley Tip-Off Classic on Friday, Nov. 14 against host Bentley.