Penn State Wilkes-Barre Men's Basketball team is ready to kick off their 2018-2019 campaign November 13th on the road against Davis College. The Mountain Lions enter the year with a lot of excitement and buzz around the program and area. The program returns a solid core of its 2018 National Tournament team players and Head Coach, Leshawn Hammett. Coach Hammett brought in a talented and deep recruiting class from across the country to go along with the solid group he returns from last year.. The Mountain Lions roster feature student-athletes from Michigan, Delaware, Arkansas, Florida, New York, New Jersey, Texas, California, Georgia, Virginia, and Washington D.C.
Kevin Silverberg, Junior Guard: Last season Kevin averaged 10.7 ppg, 2.4 rpg and shot 40.4% from three point land hitting 67 three pointers for the season. He also won the 2018 USCAA Three Point contest making him the best shooter in the country.
What Coach Says: Kevin is a big time shooter, he hit a lot of big shots for us last year. He can really fill it up, he is much more than just a three point shooter. Kevin had a great summer improving his body and his game. He will play on the ball more this year as last year he just played off ball. I expect him to have a really big year after the summer he had.
Davaughn Roberts, Senior Forward: Last season Roberts averaged 10.0 ppg, 6.1 rpg and 3.0 apg while shooting 43% from the three.
What Coach Says: Davaughn is our Draymond Green but in a good way. His versatility is something that makes us a dangerous team. His ability to score in the post and on the wing is a tremendous lift. He is a Forward with wing skills. He can easily flirt with averaging close to a triple double if he stays locked in. We expect Vaughn to do a little bit of everything for us this year. He had an amazing summer and now we see that it's paying off this preseason. I am excited to get him back for his senior year and expect this to be his best year of his college career. I expect him to step up as a leader and be an amazing teammate for us this year.
Jordan Williams, Senior Forward: Last season Jordan averaged 10.0 ppg, 5.6 rpg He was a 2nd team All-Conference selection.
What Coach Says: Jordan is very talented and skilled. At 6'9 he does a lot of things guards can do. He was another player who had a huge summer. He got stronger, worked on his skills around the rim and away from the rim. His 2nd semester last season was a lot better then his first and I expect him to build off the way he play end of last season. He really fits well with what we want to do offensively. His ability to stretch the floor and shoot threes is a huge and will be something we utilize this season. I love Jordan's passion and work ethic. You've seen his game expand due to his hard work.
Kahlil White, Junior Guard: Kahlil is a transfer from Penn State York. Averaged 13 points per game last season for PSU York.
What Coach Says: Kahlil is someone Who can fill up a stat sheet fast. He score in bunches once he sees shots go in. He's Big time scorer who has the ability to play the point guard position as well. We are thrilled to have him in our program. The hope is he will be a big time incoming Player for us this season.
John Armstead, Junior Guard: John comes to the Penn State Wilkes-Barre from Mercer County Community College. Where he played for Legendary Coach Howard Levy. Armstead averaged 17ppg, while hitting 47 threes A season ago.
What Coach Says: John is a high level knockdown shooter. He has great size and athleticism. His ability to shoot is only one of his best qualities. He can get to the rim and really can finish well with his athleticism. We believe he will bring an add scoring punch and depth we're looking for to spark us off the bench. John Rebounds the ball well, his rebounding which will allow us to get out and run.
Dominique Stevenson, Junior Guard: Dominique comes to Penn State Wilkes-Barre from Penn State Beaver. where he led the team In scoring averaging 13 points per game.
What Coach Says: Dom bring some added scoring power to the wing and a team who already is loaded with scoring. Dom is very crafty and will see time at both wing positions and point guard position. He shooting the ball well and is a solid lock down wing defender. After watching him these past 2 seasons at Beaver and now being in our program He looks a lot better now then before. He acclimated well to the changes here and he's going to be big for us this season.
Jayden Hampton, Junior Guard: Jayden Comes to us from Napa Valley Community College in California. He averaged 9 points and 5 Assist last season.
What Coach Says: He is a tenacious defender and a crafty passer. He really can score the basketball and is an amazing rebounder. His freshman year of junior college averaged 17 points per game but as his team changed his sophomore season he acclimated to become a passer more then scorer. He's someone I wouldn't be surprised averages close to a triple double. His speed and change of pace gears remind me of Russell Westbrook. He was a HUGE pick up for us and we expect him to be a big part of our future these next 2 years.
Penn State Wilkes-Barre this past summer also added these 3 recruits who are expected to make an impact this season.
• William Pierce Senior Forward: PSU Beaver Transfer Averaged 9.8 Rebounds Last Season
• Lynorris Hamilton Senior Guard: Florida College Transfer Averaged 7.3 Points 4.4 Assist Last Season
• Nicholas Roberson Freshman Center: 6'9 Freshman Center From Atlanta, Georgia
What are the expectations this season?
Coach Hammett said, "My expectations are high. We have every piece needed to win a PSUAC Championship & National Championship. There is a new excitement around our program and campus after our National Tournament Run last year. We are looking to build off that. Every year our program has taken a step forward in the 3 years I have been here so I expect the same and then some this season. We have a amazing and extremely talented team. The players have bought into our philosophy of playing for each other and to leave their mark on the program. We've set goals for our players and they are working hard to achieve them. We have depth and a lot of experience with 9 seniors and 7 juniors so everything we do is to prepare us for March and we'll be ready for it".
What's your Thoughts on your preseason?
"I think it went really well. We got a lot accomplished due to the fact we we're allowed to get started earlier this year. The guys are in great shape due to us putting in some conditioning goals our returning players did a great job setting the tone and example for our new players to show them how hard they needed to work. Overall we had a great Training Camp. We pushed each other and the players got better everyday and really worked hard. We came out of it healthy which is huge, we were banged up a little at the end. We all are ready and excited for our season opener.
What's your overall thoughts on your team?
I think we have a very talented roster. We have size, we have talent, we have experience and we have depth. I think we have the full package of what's needed to win our conference and win a National Championship. We have 17 student athletes that are ready to impact. We really have 2 starting fives who could easily start for us. Practice was very competitive every day and we really pushed the guys to challenge each other to simulate what games will feel like. Our preseason was long but we got a lot accomplished we're mentally and physically ready to have a historic season. My excitement grows and grows as the days go by. I just hide it from the guys but I Can't wait for our first game of the season.
Penn State Wilkes-Barre Opens it season on the road versus Davis College Tuesday November 13th At 6pm.