Hampton at Iona
WHEN: Tonight, 7 p.m.
WHERE: Hynes Athletics Center
ON THE AIR: 1230 AM in the New Rochelle area, or www.wfasam.com (Gary Stanley, Bill Daughtry).
SERIES: Iona leads 2-0
LAST MEETING: Iona won 91-72 in 1996.
SCOUTING HAMPTON: The Pirates, picked second in the preseason MEAC coaches poll, went 18-12 last year and finished tied for second in the conference. They lost to eventual conference champ Coppin State in the MEAC tournament quarterfinals. Michael Freeman and Vincent Simpson are both preseason second-team all-MEAC picks.
SCOUTING IONA: The Gaels return just four starters in Kevin Willard's second year and will start two freshmen guards: Scott Machado at the point and Trinity Fields at the 2, with 6-3 sophomore Rashon Dwight joining them in a three-guard lineup. Six-nine senior power forward Gary Springer is their leading returning scorer and rebounder. He'll be joined in the starting front court by seven-foot junior Jonathan Huffman.
FAST FACTS: Iona is 46-15 in season openers but just 11-12 in its last 23. ... It's the first season opener at home for the Gaels since 2001. ... The Gaels are 12-2 against current MEAC teams, including a loss to South Carolina State last year in the Las Vegas Invitational. ... The Gaels signed Chirs Pelcher, a 6-9 power forward from Albany, to a letter of intent on Wednesday.