The Ramapo College basketball team commences its season Saturday, as the Roadrunners are set to square off against Yeshiva University at the Bradley Center at 8 p.m.
The Roadrunners are fresh off an 18-9 record in 2011-2012, and expectations are running high for the 2012-2013 season after a heartbreaking double-overtime loss to Richard Stockton College in the New Jersey Athletic Conference semifinals that ended Ramapo's 2011-2012 campaign.
Led by captain Garret Thiel, the men's basketball team is ready to start strong once the leather hits the floor on Saturday.
"Being that the majority of our team is all upperclassmen, we have had a lot of experience playing together and have built a good understanding of each other's strengths and capabilities, which is key to any successful team," Thiel said. "I believe we are the most talented team in the NJAC, so it will be interesting to see what we make of it."
The Roadrunners have two of their top three scorers returning from last year, as seniors Will Sanborn (19.5 points per game) and Stephen Treadwell (13.7 points per game) return to lead a high-powered offense. Both Sanborn and Treadwell received NJAC Second Team All-Conference honors last year.
The Roadrunners' greatest challenge this year will come during their conference play, as they look to improve on last year's 7-6 record among NJAC competition.
College men's basketball has always been a top team in the NJAC year after year, so a 7-6 record in league play is unacceptable," Thiel said. "After coming up short last year, we are much more motivated to put forth the work needed to win the NJAC and make a run in the NCAA tournament, especially since it is our last chance to for our senior class."
Expectations are not only high in the Roadrunners' locker room, but also from critics. D3hoops.com's preseason rankings list Ramapo at No. 17 in the country. The rankings are voted on by 25 coaches, sports directors and media members from across the country.
Sanborn has also garnered national attention, receiving D3hoops.com pre-season All-American honors after a stellar junior campaign in which he led the team in points and minutes.
"I believe we are very deserving of our No. 17 preseason ranking, although we would have liked it to be a little higher," Thiel said. "We still have a lot to prove and will harness it as motivation to achieve our goal of winning the NCAA championship."