SYRACUSE, NY. – October 31, 2011 – Onondaga Community College has announced its 2011-2012 Men’s Basketball roster. The Lazers return 8 players from last year’s 20-10 squad which reached the Mid-State Athletic Conference semi-finals and the National Junior College Athletic Association Region 3 quarter-finals. Onondaga will be looking to extend its strings of 11 consecutive post-season berths this season. That mark is the longest active streak of any Mid-State Athletic Conference school.
Co-captains Jesse Gates (6’4” forward, Liverpool) and Jordan Prior (5’11” guard, Cortland) will lead this year’s Onondaga team. As a freshman a year ago Gates was the Lazers’ top scorer, averaging 17.8 points per game. He also pulled down 7.3 rebounds and handed out 3.3 assists per contest. Gates was a 1st Team MSAC All-Conference selection, a 2nd Team NJCAA All-Region 3 selection, and an Honorable Mention Basketball Coaches Association of New York All-New York State Junior College selection. Prior averaged 6.2 points and 3.1 assists per game a year ago.
Other returning Lazers include Brandon Seibt (5’9” guard, Central Square P.V. Moore, 10.0 points per game a year ago), Tom Graf (6’2” guard, Jordan-Elbridge, 6.8 ppg), Kevin Corbin (6’3” guard, Cicero-North Syracuse, 4.0 ppg), Mike Ontl (6’ forward, Davenport Charlotte Valley, 2.2 ppg), Nick Rizzo (6’7” forward, Vernon-Verona-Sherrill, 1.8 ppg), and Steve Lothridge (6’8” center, East Syracuse-Minoa, 0.8 ppg). Gates and Seibt were named among the nation’s top returning player in the NJCAA Division III Men’s Basketball Media Guide.
11 newcomers will complete this year’s roster. Six of the newcomers, freshmen Jon Foulds (6’3” guard, Norwich), Adam Misener (5’10” guard, Liverpool), Mike Scott (6’7” center, Chittenango), Ahmet Tunali (6’7” forward, Syracuse Academy of Science), Jacob VanDusen (6’5” forward, Oneonta), and Tyler Wood (5’11” guard, Broadalbin-Perth), signed National Junior College Athletic Association Letters of Intent last spring. Four other first year players, Jared Donalson (6’4” forward, Syracuse Nottingham), Ian Hamm (6’3” forward, Liverpool), Malik Mountain (5’8” guard, Nedrow Onondaga), and Garrett Sisson (Schenectady Mohonasen), round out the active roster, while Zach Loura (6’1” guard, Fulton G. Ray Bodley) will redshirt this season in anticipation of playing in 2012-2013. The New York State Sportswriters Association named Foulds, Hamm, Tunali, and VanDusen to their All-State High School Basketball Team a year ago.
Dave Pasiak (Waterville) returns for his 12th year as Onondaga’s head coach, the longest tenure of any basketball coach at Onondaga. In his first 11 seasons, he has directed the Lazers to a 197-135 record, including an 98-48 mark in Mid-State Athletic Conference play. His 197 wins make him Onondaga’s all-time leader in coaching victories. Johnny Davis (Syracuse), Zack Thomsen (South New Berlin), Dan Marsella (Liverpool) and Heath Stone (Chittenango) will serve as assistant coaches. Davis is entering his 10th season with the Lazers, while Thomsen is beginning his 2nd year, with Marsella and Stone each in their 1st season.
Onondaga will open its 28 game regular season schedule this Saturday, November 5, with a 3:00 pm home tip-off against Northampton Community College of Bethlehem, PA. Northampton is coming off of a 21-9 season in 2010-2011, and is ranked #12 nationally and #2 in Region 19 by the NJCAA. The Lazers and the Spartans have split two previous meetings at Northampton, with Onondaga winning in 2009-2010, and Northampton returning the favor in 2010-2011. Saturday’s game will mark the first ever meeting between the two teams in Syracuse.
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