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Men’s Basketball preps for games against college hoops royalty

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Picked as the preseason favorite in the Northeast Conference, the men’s basketball team will look to pull of some monumental upsets in an incredibly challenging non-conference schedule.

The team opened the season on Tuesday night, falling 82-67 at the University of Buffalo despite 19 points and 9 rebounds from junior Keith Braxton.

Buffalo upset the University of Arizona last year in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. With most of their key players back from last season, the Bulls are poised to make another run at the Big Dance.

Buffalo is one of several quality programs on the Red Flash’s 2018-19 non-conference schedule. The team will face the University of North Carolina, UCLA and Virginia Tech later this month.

All three of these teams are currently ranked in the NCAA Top 25.

“It’s going to be a challenge,” said Head Coach Rob Krimmel. “Not just because of the opponents, but because of where we’re traveling. A lot of it is on the road, so we’re away from the friendly confines of DeGol Arena.”

Last year’s schedule looked very similar to this year’s in terms of strength of schedule, with college basketball bluebloods Louisville and Duke, as well as Saint Mary’s, on the non-conference slate in 2017-18.

“It’s designed to get our guys prepared for the Northeast Conference, and to do that, you’ve got to go out and play some teams that are talented and play a certain style of basketball,” said Krimmel.

“It will be a tough schedule, but I’m excited to see how our guys respond.”

Last year, SFU won 18 games and led the Northeast Conference in scoring for a second straight season, averaging 79.0 points per game.  The 18 victories marked the most wins for the program since the 1990-91 season.

The Flash lost to Fairleigh Dickinson, 84-75, in the NEC quarterfinals at DeGol Arena last March.

“We have to treat every game like it’s the last game that we’re going to play,” said senior Andre Wolford, who earned the NEC’s Most-Improved-Player Award last season.

“We have to treat every game like we’re playing the best competition.

Wolford made 97 three-pointers last season, second-most in a single season in school history.

“Honestly, North Carolina is the game that I am most looking forward to,” said Wolford. “I’m excited to play all the games and just go out there and compete again.

“Basketball season’s back.”

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