SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – The Thomas Jefferson University men's basketball team kicks off the 2019-20 season this weekend with a pair of games at American International. The Rams take on Franklin Pierce on Saturday before playing the host Yellow Jackets on Sunday afternoon.
Jefferson is coming off a 22-8 campaign, their sixth consecutive 20-win season. The Rams captured the CACC South Division regular season title. The team advanced to the semifinals of the conference tournament before falling to eventual champion Dominican (N.Y.).
SCOUTING THIS YEAR'S SQUAD
The Rams return all five starters from 2018-19 in seniors Kylan Guerra, DeVaughn Mallory, Josh Bradanese and Prince Hickson and sophomore Deondre Bourne. Also back is veteran reserve Kareem Matthew. Jefferson will look to develop six freshmen throughout the year: Ja'Zere Noel, Darius Kinnel, Casey Jack, Nick Ovchinnikoff, Antonin Kemkeng and Nate Spurlock.
THE HUNT FOR 1,100
Head coach Herb Magee begins his 53rd season at the helm of the Rams. He starts the campaign with 1,096 career victories, just four away from 1,100. Magee will become just the second coach in the history of college basketball, men or women, to reach the milestone behind Duke's Mike Krzyzewski.
Jefferson was selected to win the South Division in the CACC Preseason Coaches Poll. The Rams earned 90 points and 12 first-place votes, both the highest of any school. In addition, Jefferson is ranked fifth in the D2SIDA East Region Preseason Poll.
ABOUT FRANKLIN PIERCE
The Ravens look to build off of a 15-14 record from 2018-19. They return three starters, including top scorer and rebounder Doyin Fadojutimi (16.6 ppg, 5.4 rpg). Franklin Pierce was chosen fourth in the Northeast Division in the NE10 Preseason Coaches Poll. The Ravens received three first-place votes.
ABOUT AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL
The Yellow Jackets will look to improve on last year's 11-17 mark. AIC has three starters back, including leading scorer Zekiah Owens (10.6 ppg). Owens also paced the squad in rebounding (6.1 rpg). The Yellow Jackets were picked seventh in the Southwest Division by the NE10 coaches.