Rams Selected as Preseason Favorites in Men's Basketball Coaches Poll
- Farmingdale State opens season on November 20th at Hofstra -
Farmingdale, N.Y. - The Farmingdale State men's basketball team, coming off the most successful season in program history, has been selected as the preseason favorite to win the Skyline Conference in the coaches poll. The Rams finished 27-4 last season, advancing to the Elite Eight in the NCAA Division III Championship.
In the opening round of the NCAA Tournament, Farmingdale defeated the University of New England 90-73 and MIT the following night on their home court by a score of 67-61, advancing to the Sweet 16 for the first time in the school history. The Rams traveled to Richard Stockton College and won by 20 over Bridgewater State before falling to #1 seed Richard Stockton in the Elite Eight.
Senior forward and team-captain Mike Campbell (Bronx, N.Y.) is Farmingdale's only returning starter from last season. He was named First team All-Skyline, All-Met Second Team, D3hoops.com All-Atlantic Region, and ECAC Second Team after leading the team with 19.6 points per game and 9.5 rebounds per game last year.
The Rams graduated the core of last years team, including Farmingdale's All-Time leading scorer Damien Santana along with Erastus Shannon, Dan Phillips, Joe Cammarata and Davon Jackson.
Coach Erik Smiles, entering his sixth season at the helm, has a lot of incoming talent for the 2009-10 season. Although the team is only returning one starter, big recruits should be a huge impact on the Rams talented roster. Junior guard Shahee Martin (Lakeview, N.Y.), standing at 6'6", is a transfer from Central Florida Community College where he averaged 16 points per game. Junior guard Tymel Ambrose (Brooklyn, N.Y.) averaged 9.8 ppg at Sullivan Community College and led Region XV in assists in 2008-09. Freshman forward Alby Skrelji (Hastings-on-Hudson, N.Y.) graduated from Hastings High School last year, where he was named All-Section by the Tri-County Basketball Association. Junior forward Andre Martin (Bronx, N.Y.) averaged 9 points and 9 rebounds at Sullivan Community College and freshman shooting guard Ricco Oliver (Brooklyn, N.Y.), a 2009 graduate of Boys and Girls High School, look to replace the four starters lost to graduation. Sophomore returner James Ockimey (Uniondale, N.Y.) will take some time at the point guard position to replace Santana.
Farmingdale State opens up their season on Friday, November 20th at Division I Hofstra University at 7:00 p.m.
2009-10 Skyline Conference Men's Basketball Preseason Coaches Poll:
1. Farmingdale State - 95 (6)
2. Old Westbury - 87 (5)
3. Maritime - 78
4. Purchase - 73
5. St. Joseph’s - 69
6. Mount Saint Vincent - 54
7. Yeshiva - 52
8. Mount Saint Mary - 38
9. NYU-Poly - 24
10. Sage - 20
11. Bard - 15
(First-place votes in parentheses)