Grubbs awarded honorable mention

Olivia Hutchinson, Sports Editor

The Pitt-Johnstown men’s basketball team started off their preseason on a high note with one of its players receiving a preseason honor.

Senior Patrick Grubbs earned an NCAA Division II men’s basketball preseason honorable mention All-American.

“There are a lot of great players in our league, so to be mentioned with them is nice,” said Grubbs.

“Hopefully, I can have this honor at the end of the year as well.”

Although the conference’s preseason poll has not been released yet, Grubbs said he expects the team will be ranked in the top four teams.

“We finished third last season and, even though we lost one of UPJ’s better players, Danny Branch, I think we can be just as good.”

Red-shirt junior Kevin Byer said their biggest competition will be West Liberty (W.Va.) University.

“We are always in competition with them and they will be a big game this year since they were the No.1 seed last year (in the Division II NCAA basketball tournament).”

UPJ plays West Liberty only once – Feb. 9 at the Sports Center.

Grubbs said the team is looking good so far at the preseason practices.

“I think we are getting better defensively and offensively at every practice. If we can continue to improve, we should have a very successful season.

“During the preseason, we hope to just get better every day on both ends of the court,” said Grubbs.

The Mountain Cats’ season begins with a tip off tournament Nov. 11 and 12 at the Sports Center.

The team plans to play Bloomsburg University, Chowan University (Murfreesboro, N.C.) and Wheeling Jesuit (W.Va.) University.