Entering the 4th year of the Tommy Dempsey Era for Binghamton University Men's Basketball, this is the first year that a member of the freshman recruiting class isn't being expected to be a major contributor from the start of the preseason. In Dempsey's first year, it was Jordan Reed. His second, Marlon Beck, Yosef Yacob, Nick Madray, and Magnus Richards. Last year, it was Willie Rodriguez, Dusan Perovic, Romello Walker, Justin McFadden, and Bobby Ahearn. This year, all the starters return, and the bulk of the playing time is expected to go to returning players.

While Dempsey will likely get contributions from Thomas Bruce, Everson Davis, and Tim Rose, as well as John Schurman who red-shirted last year, Beck, Rodriguez, Walker, McFadden, Ahearn, and a now healthy Dusan Perovic will likely make the biggest impact.

Not having a freshman in the starting five is a new experience for Dempsey at BU, but not necessarily bad one. As they say, another year older, another year wiser... right?

"Experience does help us a lot, but we also have to recognize that we have to improve our skills and also be ready to play," said Justin McFadden, sophomore forward. "One year older doesn't always mean one year better, like they always say. So we have to make sure we concentrate on being a year better instead of just a year older."

"Just not relying on freshmen for the first time. I think that's the major difference where we do return five starters and we return a lot of guys that have played a lot of minutes," said Dempsey. "Each year that we've gone into it, we've had the unknown. We've had freshman that needed to be major contributors. This year we know a little more about ourselves."

McFadden suffered a minor concussion while taking a charge in practice on Tuesday and is out for a week.

Yacob's status is more questionable. Dempsey said the junior guard suffered a torn labrum and will go for an MRI on Thursday. If the injury requires surgery he will be out for the season, if not, he will likely miss a month.

The Bearcats open the season on November 14th against St. Bonaventure in Olean, NY.