No. 9 men's basketball in tournament in Pittsburgh this weekend

No. 9 men's basketball in tournament in Pittsburgh this weekend

The undefeated Hamilton College men's basketball team is in the Steel City this weekend for the 2018 Carnegie Mellon University DoubleTree Invitational in Pittsburgh, Pa.

The Continentals (3-0 overall) take on Transylvania University from Lexington, Kentucky, at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 24. Carnegie Mellon and Frostburg State University are the other two teams in the tournament, which concludes on Sunday, Nov. 25 with the consolation game at 1 p.m. and the championship at 3.

Hamilton hosts six NESCAC games this season -- plus a special weekday matinee against Keene State College on Thursday, Jan. 3 at 1:30 p.m. -- at Margaret Bundy Scott Field House. The Continentals play at home against Trinity (Jan. 6), Amherst (Jan. 19), Bowdoin (Jan. 25), Colby (Jan. 26), Bates (Feb. 1) and Tufts (Feb. 2).

Eighth-year head coach Adam Stockwell, who was voted the 2018 NESCAC Coach of the Year, guided Hamilton to an historic season in 2017-18. The Continentals won their first 15 games, including Elmira College Tip-Off and Moravian College's Greyhound Classic tournament titles, and finished with an overall record of 24-5. The 24 victories were the second-highest total in a season in program history.

Hamilton tied for first place in the NESCAC with a 7-3 conference record and hosted a NESCAC championship quarterfinal for the first time since joining the conference for basketball in 2011-12. The Continentals defeated Tufts 91-82 and advanced to the NESCAC semifinals for the first time.

The Hamilton men traveled to southern Pennsylvania for the first two rounds of the NCAA Division III championship and defeated Nazareth College (86-72) and host York College (69-66) to reach the Round of 16 for the first time since 2003. The Continentals ended up ranked 11th in the final Top 25 poll of the season. High-flying Hamilton led the NESCAC in points, field goals made, free throws made and attempted, and steals per game. The Continentals were also second in the conference in field goal and 3-point field goal percentage, and they made more than 71 percent of their free throw attempts.

Fast-forward to this season and Hamilton was ranked ninth in the Top 25 preseason poll, which was the Continentals' highest ranking in the history of the poll. Hamilton has picked up right where it left off last season as the Continentals have scored 97 points twice and 125 in another game.

Hamilton is led by Kena Gilmour '20 and co-captain Peter Hoffmann '19. Gilmour was selected to the all-NESCAC first team, the all-region team and the National Association of Basketball Coaches Division III all-district team last season. Hoffmann made the all-conference second team.

Gilmour was second in the NESCAC in scoring at 18.5 points per game and led the conference with 52 steals. He averaged 7.2 rebounds per contest and was named the NESCAC Player of the Week on Jan. 2.

Hoffmann (13.9 ppg, 5.0 rpg) ended up fifth in field goal percentage at 56.1 percent and tied for third with 40 steals. He went over the 1,000-point mark for his collegiate career during the last regular season game last season and is currently 25th on the program's all-time list with 1,126 points.

Point guard Tim Doyle '19 (10.0 ppg, 3.3 apg) was third with 97 assists, fifth with 39 steals and fifth with a free throw percentage of 80.6 percent. He's joined in the backcourt by backup point Sayo Denloye '20 and shooting guard Mark Lutz '20 (4.6 ppg). Lutz shot 38.1 percent from 3-point range but missed the last 14 games due to injury last season.

Co-captain Michael Grassey '19 (12.8 ppg, 7.1 rpg) and Spencer Kendall '21 (3.0 ppg, 2.6 rpg) will play on the wings. Kendall came off the bench in all 29 games as a first-year. The forwards are 6-foot, 7-inch Andrew Groll '19 (7.4 ppg, 6.1 rpg) and 6-9 Mike McEneney '21.

The roster is filled out by four first-year players who are all 6-4 or taller. They are guards Elliott Tirbaso '22 and Nick Osarenren '22, wing Eric Anderson '22 and forward Colman Shea '22.