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Men’s Basketball Opens Season on Saturday at Villa Maria

Men’s Basketball Opens Season on Saturday at Villa Maria

D'Youville (0-0, 0-0 ECC) at Villa Maria (0-1)

Date: Saturday, Jan. 30, 2021

Time: 3 p.m.

Location: Villa Athletic Center | Buffalo, N.Y.


In the program's first game since Feb. 22, 2020, the D'Youville men's basketball team opens the 2020-21 campaign by heading crosstown to take on USCAA opponent Villa Maria on Saturday afternoon.


New Level, New Look – Head coach Earl Schunk's team is set to start its first season as a provisional NCAA Division II program and member of the East Coast Conference, with the program also competing in the USCAA for the next three years until full Division II status is granted. The team will also play their first game as the rebranded Saints on Saturday, ushering in a new era of D'Youville Basketball.


Roster Overhaul – With only five returners from last year's team, led by seniors Grant Beyer and Brian Sharp, Schunk will have a bevy of fresh faces at his disposal. A five-man freshman class will look to establish themselves early, with much attention going to point guard Mason Putnam, who sits eighth all-time in scoring at the high school level in New York State. Putnam will share the backcourt with two other rookies in Rochester product Kaori Barley and former All-Western New Yorker Trent Scott. Four transfers join the Saints as well, such as Garrian Wade arriving from Luther College and Western New York native Jaeger Martino coming home after spending three years at Glenville State.


Look Who's Back – Beyer returns after averaging 12.9 points per game last year, ranking second on the team, while Sharp's 7.8 points per game was the fifth-most for D'Youville and his 32.3 shooting percentage from beyond the arc was the second-best three-point percentage. Sophomore captain Noah Denz also brings back his 5.4 points per game from his rookie season, along with an 82.4 percentage from the free-throw line. Juniors Trey Boling and Latrell Butler return as well, as both are expected to have expanded roles this season.


Villa Maria at a Glance – The Vikings opened the season at Clarkson, dropping the Wednesday meeting by a 101-80 final score. Juwan Beale posted 21 points in the losing effort, making all nine of his free throw attempts. Master Radford barely missed out on a double-double, grabbing nine boards and scoring 10 points, while three other players registered 12 points apiece in the first game of Villa's season.


Follow the Saints – Watch Sunday's matchup at Villa Maria on the Vikings' Facebook Live feed or follow the action through live stats.