LYNDON CENTER, Vt. — A year ago, everything that could go wrong for the Lyndon men's basketball program, did. Once the smoke had cleared from a pre-season filled with twists and turns, the Hornets found themselves with one returning player from a team that played for the North Atlantic Conference title several months before and a seemingly uncertain future.
But thanks to the return of five players from the 2011-12 season - including two starters - and senior Jose Fortunato, who started at point guard for Lyndon from 2008 to 2011, Head Coach Joe Krupinski has the right to feel optimistic heading into the 2012-13 campaign.
Up front, the Hornet lineup will feature two-time All-NAC performer Jason Gray, who opens his senior year a mere 46 points shy of 1,000 for his Lyndon career. The East Thetford, Vt. resident averaged 14.5 points and 8.0 rebounds per game last season while playing nearly 35 minutes per game.
At 6-foot-4, Lorden has played well throughout the pre-season, getting a few starts along the way, while the Komisarek (6-3) and Morrison (6-5) have played their way into Krupinski's rotation with their size and strength. John Williams, a 6-1 rebounder and defender from last season has been slowed by a knee injury and his status is unknown heading into Wednesday's opener with Springfield College.
The back court is flexible with the likes of Fortunato and sophomore holdover Devyn Baranauskas. Both are outstanding ballhandlers who can knock down the outside shot and take the ball to the basket as well.
Fortunato has collected 538 points and 337 assists in his tenure at Lyndon while Baranauskas averaged 11.8 points 3.2 assists per outing last year.
Daquan Vaughan, who transferred into the program in January, adds depth and experience at the guard position along with junior Patrick Dunn, who is coming off a knee injury sustained in November 2011.
Adding further depth and increased athleticism to the Lyndon backcourt is sophomore Howard Lyles, a transfer from Bridgeport University, an NCAA Division II program; and the freshman quarter of Sam Coachman, Devon Rollins, Donovan Hester and Christian Brandon.
Lyles, is an inside-outside scorer while Coachman gets most of his points going to the basket. Rollins, Hester and Brandon play solid defense and will get more minutes as they develop.
Lyndon opens its 2012-13 season on Tuesday, Nov. 20 when it plays host to Springfield College. Game time is slated for 6 p.m. at Stannard Gymnasium.