Lynn University’s men’s basketball looks to become one of the top teams in the Sunshine State Conference in the upcoming 2012-13 season. After an eighth place league finish last year with a record of 13-16 overall and 6-10 in conference play, the Fighting Knights hope to improve while focusing one game at a time.After graduating their top scorer, Josh Garcia, and top defensive player, Michel Vidal, in May, the Fighting Knights have some big shoes to fill. The Blue & White return Slobodan Miljanic and Jeremy Lampkin, the second and third leading scorers from last season, who averaged 11 points and 10.6 points per game respectively. Brandon Smith is also expected to step up for LU as well. Smith averaged 8.6 points per game and shot 71.9% from the free throw line in the 2011-12 season.
The Blue and White welcome eight newcomers to this season’s roster. Kaleb Clyburn, a sophomore transfer from the University of Delaware is expected to help lead the Fighting Knights toward another SSC conference tournament appearance. Other notable additions to the roster are freshman Pavle Raickovic, who hails from Podgorica, Montenegro and Herbert Thomas, a junior transfer from Waycross College. Shamel Akins also joins the Fighting Knights after previously playing at Newberry College.
The 2012-13 roster is rounded out by junior Kevin Ohen, sophomores Jarrell Oxendine and T.J. Bullock, as well as freshman Luca Scala, Dante Scholl, and Reed Ridder.
Lynn’s schedule continues to provide games against some of the top Division II programs in the south. The season will tip off against visiting Ave Maria University. A pair of home games followed by a road game at Valdosta State, lead the Blue and White into a six game home stand to finish out the non-conference portion of the schedule.
LU will host the annual Courtyard by Marriot Holiday Classic on December 18-19, before a two week winter recess. Action will resume January 5, when the Fighting Knights travel to preseason favorite Saint Leo University. The Fighting Knights were ranked seventh in the preseason polls and hope to make a push for another post season berth. Defending SSC champions Florida Southern for a second consecutive SSC Tournament title en route to a sixth straight NCAA Tournament appearance.