LET’S GET IT STARTED
Columbia is 77-38 all-time in season openers. Last season, the Lions dispatched Kean University, 107-62.
No stranger to Morningside Heights, Jim Engles enters his first year as head coach of Columbia after a successful eight-year stint with NJIT. Engles spent five years as an assistant coach under Joe Jones from 2003-08.
ABOUT STONY BROOK
• The Seawolves are coming off their first ever NCAA Tournament appearance after a 26-7 campaign and America East Championship in 2016-17.
• Jeff Boals takes over the program after Steve Pikiell went on to take the Rutgers head coaching position.
• Stony Brook also lost its top three scoreres (Jameel Warney, Carson Puriefoy and Rayshuan McGrew) to graduation.
• Senior guard Ahmad Walker is the team’s leading returning scorer (10.3 PPG) and rebounder (7.1 RPG).
Stony Brook leads the all-time series with the Lions, 12-6, and have won the last three meetings. Last year, the Seawolves trailed by as many as 17 points, but used a 24-3 run in the second half to earn a 69-60 victory at Island Federal Credit Union Arena.
Columbia was picked fifth in the preseason Ivy League polls. Princeton was tabbed as the early favorite, followed by Harvard, Yale and Penn, respectively.
COLUMBIA BASKETBALL ON "THE CUSP" PODCAST
The Columbia University Sports Management program will produce a series of podcasts involving the men’s and women’s basketball programs this season. The podcasts will be part of the program’s podcast series, The CUSP Show. The show is produced by staff and students of the Columbia University Sports Management program, and hosted by faculty members and sports business grandees Joe Favorito and Tom Richardson. The podcasts can also be found in the App Store and by going to BlogTalkRadio.com/TheCUSPshow.
Last year, Columbia became just the second Ivy League team to win a postseason tournament and the first since Princeton won the NIT in 1975. The Lions established program records for wins (25), non-conference wins (15) and home victories (18). Columbia’s ten Ivy League victories were the most for the Lions since 1993.
Senior forward Luke Petrasek is the team’s leading returning scorer after posting 10.2 points on 44.2-percent shooting from downtown. Petrasek recorded 16 points and eight rebounds in the CIT Championship Game against UC Irvine and hit a game-winning trey at Manhattan last season.
THE IVY LEAGUE TOURNAMENT
The Ivy League will add men’s and women’s basketball tournaments to its slate of conference championships beginning in March 2017. The League’s Council of Presidents approved four-team tournaments in men’s and women’s basketball, with a one-game reduction for each team in the regular season. The tournaments will determine the conference’s automatic bids to the NCAA Division I Basketball Championships. The regular season champion will receive an automatic bid to the postseason NIT. The 2017 Ivy League Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournaments will both be held over the same two competition days, March 11 and 12, at The Palestra in Philadelphia.
The Lions have four players with international playing experience on their roster.
• Peter Barba participated in a goodwill tour where his team played four games in Croatia through Global Sports Academy in August 2016.
• Chris McComber was one of three Canadians selected to play at the Basketball Without Borders Camp, sponsored by the NBA, in Buenos Aires in 2013.
• Lukas Meisner has been a part of the Junior German National Team system since 2010.
• Conor Voss spent the summer of 2015 playing with East Coast USA against a team of French pro league All-Stars and the Chinese National Team.
The Lions will welcome four players into the fold for the 2016-17 season. Guards Jake Killingsworth (San Carlos, Calif./Junipero Serra) and Mike Smith (Burr Ridge, Ill./Fenwick) along with forwards Andrew Panayiotou (Victora, Australia/Melbourne Grammar School) and Patrick Tape (Matthews, N.C./Queens Grant).
THREE FORMER LIONS IN PROFESSIONAL RANKS
Asenso Ampim ’11CC joined Siauliai of the Lithuanian League in 2016-17 and is in his fifth season playing professionally overseas. Through 15 games, he is averaging 11.3 points and 4.4 rebounds. Maodo Lo ’16CC signed with Brose Bamburg, defending champions of the the German League. Lo has played in seven games, averaging 18 minutes and 6.6 points and 2.9 assists per contest. Alex Rosenberg ’16CC signed with Maccabi Kiryat Gat of the Israeli Premier League and has played in four games.