Penn State DuBois men's basketball open season Tuesday
DuBois - Penn State DuBois head men's basketball coach Dave Bennett is optimistic about the coming hoops season, after a successful season last year, culminating in a playoff appearance in the Penn State University Athletic Conference, and several key returning players.
Bennett succeeds Coach Larry Salone, who resigned at the end of last season due to increased business responsibilities. At press time, Bennett said he hadn't made final decision on his starting lineup, having two strong contenders for every position, a testament to the depth of the program.
At point guard, we are looking at Marcus Genevro or Kevin Genevro," Bennett said of the sophomore and freshman brothers, respectively, hailing from Elk County Catholic High School. "We were fortunate to get Marcus last year half way through the season as he transferred from IUP. It was a huge lift. He brought a lot of athleticism and scoring ability. Through the off season, it's obvious to me that he has worked hard and has improved his game.
"Kevin comes in after being a starting guard last year at ECC and having won the state championship. I have great respect for Coach (Aaron) Straub, and I know we are getting players with great basketball knowledge. Kez is a winner, and I'm excited about the depth he can give us and his playmaking ability at the point guard position," Bennett, himself an ECCHS graduate, said.
Vying for the two other guard positions are Dylan Howard (Oswayo Valley), Kyle Vogt (Cameron County), Brandon Krug (Punxsutawney), and Marcus Genevro.
"Dylan is a returning player. He is like a coach on the floor and does everything correctly – everything you're looking for as a coach, which makes him a very valuable player," Bennett said. "This will be Kyle's second year in the program – a very good athlete. He's a great defender, one of the top defensive players on the team, with a great attitude and great work ethic. And although Brandon is a freshman, he is probably the most athletic guy we have on the team. We’re looking forward to using his athleticism, his defensive ability and his ability to play in an up-tempo transition game."
At forward, Bennett is looking at Gabe Rosenburg (DuBois) or Kyle Dynda (Austin).
"Gabe gives us a lot of flexibility because he can play guard or forward, and he has the ability to play both outside and inside; he is very versatile." Bennett said. "This is Kyle's third year in the program, and he gives us nice experience. He has really improved his jump shooting over the summer and gives us a physical presence inside, defensively.
"At center we have either Johnny Songer (Cameron County) or Pat Brown (DuBois). Both of these guys have obviously improved over the off-season. Johnny is showing that he is more physical and more comfortable in the program so we are hoping for big things from him. Pat came into the season in very good physical condition. For a big player he runs the floor very well, which will help our up-tempo style of offense," Bennett said.
Rounding out the roster are Sean Christopher (Purchase Line), Neil Hanes (St. Marys), Jimmy Lowe (Purchase Line) and Owen Rogers (Bronx Science, NY), who Bennett said are hard workers and are showing strides in practice.
In looking at the team's schedule, Bennett said the first challenge is the way the season opens. Four of our first five games are on the road, beginning with a home game versus the University of Pittsburgh at Titusville on Tuesday (Nov. 14) followed by four away games: Penn State Schuylkill (Nov. 17), Penn State Delaware County (Nov. 18), Point Park College (Nov. 21) and St. Vincent College (Nov. 27.) Friday, Dec. 1, is the White Out game versus Penn State Scranton, where all fans are asked to wear something white, as is done in the student section at Beaver Stadium during football season, Bennett said.
"This is a good test to see where we are at when the season begins," Bennett said. "For the season, we'll be focused on competing for our conference championship and obtaining a berth in the USCAA national tournament which will be held in Maine in March.”
Joining Bennett are assistant coaches Tony Posteraro and Kurt Richards, both first-year coaches for the Nittany Lions.
"Tony played four years of college basketball at Goucher University in Washington D.C., and graduated about a year ago with a lot of fresh ideas. He has great knowledge of the game that he can pass on to our guards. As for Kurt, I really respect his basketball knowledge, and he has a great demeanor and ability to communicate with the players. He will be a great asset," Bennett said.
For more information on Men's Varsity Basketball, please visit http://www.ds.psu.edu/StudentLife/Athletics/21890.htm?cn257