Hofstra University men's basketball head coach Joe Mihalich speaks during...

Hofstra University men's basketball head coach Joe Mihalich speaks during the program's annual media day at Mack Sports Complex. (Oct. 17, 2013) Credit: James Escher

There won’t be any high expectations or much fanfare surrounding new Hofstra coach Joe Mihalich and the Pride this season, especially after the way last year ended. But sometimes a new regime can be just what the doctor ordered for a struggling program.

The Pride was picked ninth out of nine teams in the CAA preseason coaches poll and didn’t have one player selected to any of the all-conference teams.

Only three regulars return from last season’s team in senior forward Stephen Nwaukoni, junior forward Moussa Kone and Bay Shore product Jordan Allen. Sophomore guard Adam Savio and second-year forward Darren Payen, who both played sparingly last year, is also expected to provide solid minutes.

While the Hofstra frontcourt appears to have enough experienced bodies to at least rebound and defend, the backcourt, which has undergone a complete overhaul, is another story. Look for transfer students Dion Nesmith (Monmouth) and Zeke Upshaw (Illinois State) to play a big role.

With so many new faces, it wouldn’t be a total shock if someone out of Mihalich’s freshmen group of Chris Jenkins, Jamall Robinson or Eliel Gonzalez stepped up and put forth a solid season.

Said Mihalich at media day: “Things are going well, guys are working on. We have to get better…I’m hoping what you’re going to see is some guys that work real hard, play real hard, get up and down the floor and play the right way.”

CAA Men’s BB Predicted order of Finish

1. Towson
2. Drexel
3. College of Charleston
4. Delaware
5. William & Mary
6. Northeastern
7. James Madison
9. Hofstra


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