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Veteran-Laden Roster to Lead Men's Hoops in 2017-18

Veteran-Laden Roster to Lead Men's Hoops in 2017-18

Nov. 16 - HIRAM, Ohio - Looking to a deep, veteran roster to lead the way, the Hiram men's basketball team will look to recapture the success that the program saw two seasons ago as they prepare for the 2017-18 campaign. 

2016-17 saw the Terriers post 11 wins, down eight from a 2015-16 campaign that saw the team total a 19-8 record. 

With six players still remaining from that squad from two seasons ago, Hiram will look to regain the winning formula in Head Coach Chris Kibler's fourth season at the helm. 

Hiram will look to its seven seniors to not only provide leadership, but depth off the bench as well. Forward Kelvin Jones returns for his final year to spearhead the attack for the Terriers. 

Last season, Jones was nearly unstoppable en route to becoming the only player in the North Coast Athletic Conference to average a double-double. Jones totaled 17 points and 11 rebounds per game in 2016-17, while posting 14 double-doubles on the year. 

Despite drawing double, and sometimes triple, teams, the Terrier big man was efficient all season, breaking the Hiram single-season record and leading all of Division III in field-goal percentage (.691). 

This season, the Terriers will look to senior Paul Ortiz to help lift some of the defensive pressure off of Jones. The senior guard has averaged double figures in each of his last two seasons, ranking second on the team with 11.7 points per night as a junior. 

As an entire unit, Hiram will look to improve on their outside shooting presence. The Terriers ranked 10th in the league in three-point percentage in 2016-17, allowing more defenses to focus on defending the interior. 

Along with the shooting prowess of Ortiz, seniors Terrence Warren, Ryan Greenwood, Isaiah Matthews, Jake Williams and Anton Gross, all return for their senior seasons. 

Hiram returns five of their top seven leaders in minutes played from a year ago, and are not short on experience at any of the five positions. 

Warren spent the entirety of the 2016-17 campaign as a starting guard. He led the team in assists (60) and ranked second in steals (25) while also averaging four points per night. 

Greenwood and Matthews also split time in the starting lineup last season. Greenwood totaled 15 starts, averaging 4.8 points per night, while Matthews started in 14 contests, averaging 4.0 points per game. 

Including the senior class, the Terriers return 11 letterwinners as junior Marcel Rice and sophomores Austin Blatt, Sherman Dean III and Brevin Dye will all look to add more significant roles this year. 

Despite having 11 returners, Hiram still brought in eight new faces that will also look to make an impact in their first year with the Terriers. 

With the majority of last season's squad returning, Hiram is poised to once again make noise in the conference standings. Despite just 11 wins in 2016-17, the Terrier's numbers were not overly dissimilar from the squad that won 19 games the year prior.

The biggest discrepancy was the team's record in games decided by 10 points or less. Two seasons ago, Hiram posted a 12-2 mark in such games, while last year's squad posted a record of 5-11.

The Terriers open the 2017-18 campaign on the road against Saint Vincent College on Nov. 18. Hiram will then take on La Roche in Pittsburgh on Nov. 21 before opening their home schedule on Saturday, Nov. 25 against Geneva College at 7 p.m.

Hiram's North Coast Athletic Conference matchups begin on Saturday, December 2 at Oberlin College.

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