MELBOURNE, Fla. (October 25, 2018) – Looking to replace a pair of graduated 1,000-point scorers, Rollins was picked to seventh in the Sunshine State Conference preseason poll, it was released Thursday.
The Tars earned 41 votes in the poll conducted among the SSC's 11 head coaches. Florida Southern earned 95 votes and six first place nods with defending SSC Champion Barry getting two first place votes and 84 total votes. Eckerd in third (78 votes), Lynn fourth (74 votes), and Nova Southeastern (73 votes) fifth each earned one first place vote.
Rollins was 16-14 last season and finished fourth in the league standings at 11-9. They beat Nova Southeastern in the SSC Tournament quarterfinal, but were bounced by Barry in the semifinals.
Gone are four-year letter winners Jeff Merton (1,775 career points) and Sam Philpott (1,457 career points) along with standouts Deion Clark and Jack Fleming. Returning for the Tars are 10 letter winners and two starters who aim to take over the scoring load and maintain Rollins' stout defensive tradition.
Eric Castaneda put up 11.7 points a game last year while three-year starting point guard Connor Mckim averaged 11.3 points and 3.6 assists a night. Jakobi Bonner was the Tars spark off the bench last season and scored 8.7 points a night.
Head coach Tom Klusman enters his 39th season leading the Tars and needs just seven wins to eclipse 700 for his career (693-407).
Rollins opens its season on the road, taking on Benedict (Nov. 9) and Auburn-Montgomery (Nov. 10) in Melbourne at the Florida Tech South Region Tip-off.
All Rollins games can be found live on the Tars Sports Network at RollinsSportsLive.com with students from Full Sail University's Dan Patrick School of Sportscasting on the call for home games. The network is part of the new SunshineStateConference.tv. distribution network. Robert Segal and Jim "Shooter" Ferro will continue to call both home and road games on WPRK, 91.5 FM locally and worldwide at RollinsSportsLive.com.