2016-17 Clark Men's Basketball Season Preview

2016-17 Clark Men's Basketball Season Preview

King Of The Court
Clark head coach Paul W. Phillips returns for his 19th season on the Clark sidelines. He is the program's all-time leader in wins (251) and has guided the Cougars to five all-time NCAA appearances, including two trips to the National Quarterfinals (Elite Eight).

Captains Of The Ship
Head coach Paul Phillips has tabbed seniors Joe Atkinson (Milford, Mass.), Lamar Berk (Saint Augustine, Fla.) and David Mercier (Milford, Mass.) as captains for the 2016-17 season.

Berk Alert
Speaking of Lamar Berk, the senior had a strong junior campaign in 2015-16. He is the team's leading returning scorer (9.8 points per game) and averaged 6.0 boards a night as well. Berk recorded a pair of double-doubles, including 11 points and a career-high 15 rebounds in a loss at Framingham State.

Make Them Pay
In a recent vote of the eight head coaches of the New England Women's And Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC), the Cougars were picked to finish eighth.

Fly Swatter
David Mercier enters his senior campaign ranked ninth on the school's all-time blocked shot list (63).

One To Watch
Luca McCormick
(Bradenton, Fla.) had some explosive scoring outputs as a freshman a season ago. He reached double figures in 11 of the 23 games he played in, including three games with 20 points or more – the first freshman to do that since Brian Vayda in 2008-09. McCormick pumped in a career-high 26 in a loss to Anna Maria and then had exactly 20 points against Wentworth and Emerson. Overall, he averaged 9.7 points while shooting .385 from behind the arc.

On Target
Hard-nosed guard John Pisacreta (Andover, Mass.) was excellent from behind the arc a season ago. He connected on .395 percent from three-point land (30-for-76), good for fifth in the league in 2015-16.

Thief In The Night
Joe Atkinson
definitely plays the passing lanes. A season ago, he finished second in the conference in steals per game (1.7) and total steals (42). He had two or more steals in 12 of the 25 games he played in and at least one steal in 22 of the 25 contests.

Not Your Average Joe
2015-16 was a breakout season for Joe Atkinson. He set career-bests in points per game (7.8), rebounds per game (6.1), field goal percentage (.451) and three-point percentage (.412).

Let It Fly
For the first time since 2012-13, Clark did not lead the league in three pointers attempted, finishing second (545) behind only Emerson (551). They did however, lead the conference in three-pointers attempted per game (21.8).

New Faces
The Cougars welcome a trio of new players into the fold for 2016-17. Sophomore Jared Stape (Bethesda, Md.) along with freshmen Kyle Coughlin (Beverly, Mass.) and Robby Girardin (Goffstown, N.H.) round out the roster.

Come Home
The schedule for 2016-17 shapes up as an interesting one early on. Clark will play their first five games away from the Kneller Athletic Center before a stretch of four straight home contests to end the first semester of action. Later on in the season they will have separate three-game home stands accounting for ten of their 11 home contests.