Reigning Centennial Champs Open the 2016-17 Season this Weekend

Reigning Centennial Champs Open the 2016-17 Season this Weekend

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LANCASTER, Pa. – Franklin & Marshall returns the majority of last year's squad that won the Centennial Conference (CC) Championship. That experience combined with a strong group of freshmen have expectations high in Lancaster this season.

2016-17 Diplomats

The Diplomats return nine players, including four starters from last year's squad that earned its 24th trip to the NCAA Tournament by winning the Diplomats' eighth CC Crown, and 19th overall conference title. F&M finished the year with a 22-6 mark, which was the 27th time in school history the Diplomats finished with 20 or more wins in a season. 

Key Returners

G - Brandon Federici, Jr.
G - Hunter Eggers, Sr.
F - Lionel Owona, Jr.
PG - Matthew Tate, Jr.
PG - Jared Wright, Sr.


Guard

Federici was dominant last season as he earned NABC All-Region recognition for the first time in his career as well as D3hoops.com All-Region honors and was named to the Al-CC First Team. He led the conference with 17.6 points per game, while his 42.9 three-point percentage were the second best in the conference, and his 46 steals placed him third.  Federici finished in double-figures in 24 games, including eight games with 20 or more points, and enters the season six points shy of 1,000. 

Eggers received Honorable Mention from the conference following the season. He was third on the team with 11.9 points per game and second with 67 assists. The junior's 48 steals ranked him second in the CC, and he scored in double-figures in 19 games with 20 or more points in four contests.  

Junior Daniel Osley will come off the bench this season after missing most of last season due to an injury. Freshman Ignas Slyka should see significant time off the bench.

Post

Returning in the post is junior Lionel Owona who will look to play a larger role in the Diplomats offense this season. Owona started in 25 games last year with 4.7 rebounds and 2.6 points per game.  The challenge this season will be replacing First Team All-CC and three-year starter Cedric Moune. That is not an easy task and it will be executed by committee. Leading the committee is senior Lior Levy and sophomores Jordan Phelps and J.C. McGrath with freshmen Zach Jimenez and Julius Stoma poised to break into the rotation. 

Point Guard

Tate will get the nod at point guard with senior Jared Wright looking to contribute valuable minutes as well. Freshman Mike Rice should also see time on the floor this season.

Tate started in all 28 contests and led the team with 96 helpers. He averaged 8.6 points per game and shot almost 82-percent from the line. Wright played in every game and ended last year with 61 assists and 109 points.

Preseason Polls

F&M enters the season ranked in the top-25 in two preseason polls. The Diplomats are ranked 23rd in the D3hoops.com Preseason Poll and DIII News has F&M seventh in its preseason poll. F&M was picked second behind Swarthmore in the Centennial Conference Coaches Preseason Poll.

The Road Ahead

F&M starts the 2016-17 campaign when the Diplomats host the William Marshall Tip Off Tournament on Nov. 18th and 19th. The Diplomats will face Lancaster Bible at 7:30 p.m. in the second game of the tournament. York and St. Vincent will also compete in the tournament with the Consolation (5:30 p.m.) and Championship (7:30 p.m.) games set for Saturday evening.

Centennial Conference (CC) action picks up on Tuesday, Nov. 22 when the Diplomats host Gettysburg at 8:00 p.m. The Sponaugle New Years Tournament will run from Jan. 2-3 and feature SUNY-Canton, Penn St.-Harrisburg and Case Western with the Consolation game at 5:30 p.m. and the Championship at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday. 

The CC Playoffs begin with the First Round on Wednesday, Feb. 22 with the Semifinals and Championship occurring on Feb. 24-25.

A continued feature to this year's schedule is the "Add to Calendar" button, which allows fans to sync new events and updates directly in their Google, Exchange, Yahoo, Outlook, iCal and additional calendars.

Look for the icon below, which can be accessed at the top-right of the 2016-17 men's basketball schedule when viewed on your computer, or bottom-left of all schedules on your mobile device.

Follow Along

All of your favorite Diplomat athletic teams are available on social media. Follow them on Twitter and Instagram, like them on Facebook and subscribe to the Diplomats YouTube page for frequent highlight videos of games throughout the season. 

All home games at the Mayser Center will be broadcast live in HD at GoDiplomats.com/Live.