SYRACUSE, NY. – December 8, 2011 – The annual Onondaga Community College Classic will tip off this weekend on the Onondaga campus. The Classic, now in its 5th year, has established itself as one of the premier National Junior College Athletic Association Division III in-season men’s basketball events in the country. In addition to the host Lazers of Onondaga, this year’s tournament will feature Anne Arundel Community College of Arnold, MD, Nassau Community College of Garden City, NY, and Roxbury Community College of Roxbury Crossing, MA.
Onondaga will be entering the Classic with an overall record of 7-2 on the season, and is ranked #5 in Region 3 of the NJCAA. The Lazers are currently averaging 94.4 points per game, making them the 3rd highest scoring team in the country according to the latest NJCAA statistics. Onondaga features a balanced attack, led by Brandon Seibt (Central Square P.V. Moore) and Jesse Gates (Liverpool), who are averaging 15.2 and 15.1 points per game respectively. Point guard Jordan Prior (Cortland) averages 12.7 points per game, and is handing out 6.1 assists per game, ranking him 9th in the nation in that category. Ahmet Tunali (Syracuse Academy of Science) is averaging 9.4 points per contest, and leads Onondaga with 10.8 (10th nationally) rebounds and 2.2 blocked shots per game (7th nationally). Seibt is one of the national leaders in both three-point field goal percentage and free throw percentage. He is shooting 94% from the foul line (3rd in the country) and 51% from behind the arc (6th nationally.) Forward Nick Rizzo (Vernon-Verona-Sherrill) is 5th nationally in field goal percentage, shooting 67% from the floor on the season. As a team, Onondaga is 4th nationally from the foul line (72%) and 9th from three-point range (36%). The Lazers last won the Classic in the event’s inaugural year, 2007. Onondaga head coach Dave Pasiak (Waterville) is in his 12th season and is the Lazers’ all-time leader in victories with 204.
Anne Arundel currently has an overall record of 5-4. The Pioneers are no strangers to the Classic, as they competed in the 2007, 2009, and 2010 events. Anne Arundel has played one of the most demanding schedules in the nation thus far, as their last 6 games have all been against Division I or Division II opponents. Second year guard Kevin Eaglin leads the Pioneers, averaging 18.3 points per game. Freshman guard Javier Pierce is chipping in 11.8 points per contest. Forward Malcolm Freeman averages 8.0 points and 12.1 rebounds per game. Anne Arundel head coach Tom Smith is in his 5th season at the helm of the Pioneers.
Nassau Community College is making its first appearance in the Classic. The Lions enter the weekend with an overall record of 6-3, and are currently ranked #3 in Region 15 of the NJCAA. The Lions feature a very balanced team, with four players averaging in double figures. Forward Quentin Tate leads the way at 13.4 points per game. He is followed by Malcolm Moore at 13.1 ppg, and then Chris Mauldin and Timothy Johnson at 12.0 ppg and 11.0 ppg respectively. Nassau also has two players among the top ten in the country in field goal percentage. Forward Morten Chambers leads the country, shooting 71% from the floor, and forward Claudy Casseus is 8th, at 65%. Nassau head coach A.J. Wynder is in his 15th season.
Roxbury Community College is currently 7-0, with a game against Northern Essex Community College still to play before making their first Classic appearance. The Tigers are ranked #5 in the nation in the most recent NJCAA Division III poll. Freshman guard Charlie Nedd-Arujo leads Roxbury with an average of 20.5 points per game. Gabriel Fumoudoh adds 15.3 ppg, with Paul Becklens and Jeffery Hall chipping in 14.0 and 11.3 ppg respectively. Fumoudoh is pulling down 10.5 rebounds per game, while Becklens hands out 9.5 assists per contest. Roxbury is the 7-time NJCAA Region 21 champion, and captured a national championship in 2000. Kwami Green is entering his 4th season as Roxbury’s head coach.
The Classic will begin with opening round games on Saturday. Nassau tips off against Roxbury at 5:00 pm, followed by Onondaga against Anne Arundel at 7:00 pm. Saturday’s winners will meet for the Classic championship at 4:00 pm on Sunday afternoon, with the Saturday losers squaring off in a 12:00 noon consolation game.
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