Men's Basketball

Vikings Cruise To 9-1 First-Half Mark

CONTACT: Jeff Foley (518) 629-8085 or (518) 373-1262
FOR RELEASE: Immediate, Wednesday, December 27, 2000

Hudson Valley's Men's Basketball Team Ranked
Fifth In The Nation Thanks To Total Team Effort

     The Hudson Valley Community College men's basketball team is on a well-deserved winter break, having posted a 9-1 record during the first portion of the 2000-01 season. Led by sixth-year head coach Vince Medici, the Vikings are ranked fifth in the nation among National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) teams.

     Hudson Valley is ranked first in the most recent weekly NJCAA Division III Region III coach's poll.

     Before this season began, the Vikings lost last season's tri-captains to graduation. Chris Jura (Lansingburgh), David Walden (Albany) and Dennis Pitaniello (La Salle Institute) combined to average 43.5 points per game in 1999-2000, carrying Hudson Valley to the Region III title game.

     While the trio has been missed, their absence has not affected Hudson Valley's ability to win. The Vikings' only loss this season came at the hands of Division II foe Sage JCA, by just three points.

     Earlier in the year, Medici said: "I expect my seniors to step up and assume that role of responsibility, just like Chris Jura, David Walden and Dennis Pitaniello did last year. I expect them to pick up their points, rebounds, assists, and to be good leaders for the freshman."

     The second-year student-athletes – Kurt Bush (Newcomb-Minerva), Kerey Johnson (Schenectady), R.J. Mann (Canajoharie), Kyle Miller (Columbia), Thomas Perren (Brotmanville, NJ) and Adam Vooris (Columbia) – have all played well. The freshmen – Joseph Bell (Albany), Paul Bowe (Hudson Falls), Billy Etue (Heatly), Bryan Gaudio (Schalmont), Todd Haver (Shenendehowa), Dustin Manny (Catholic Central), Jason McKinney (South Glens Falls) and Jeremy Schneible (Greenwich) – also have contributed.

     This is the highest national ranking the Vikings have obtained during Medici's reign. Medici led Hudson Valley to a number 10 ranking last year. He also led the Vikings to the NJCAA Division III championship tournament in 1998-99, establishing his team as one of the eight best in the nation. The Vikings have qualified for the NJCAA Division III Region III tournament during each of Medici's first five seasons, and he has twice been named Mountain Valley Coach of the Year. Medici has a lifetime record of 106-51.

     The last time Hudson Valley's men's basketball team was ranked as high as fifth in the nation was 1992-93.

    Hudson Valley Community College, located in Troy, offers more than 50 degree and certificate programs in four academic divisions; Business; Engineering and Industrial Technologies; Health Sciences; and Liberal Arts and Sciences. One of more than 30 community colleges in the State University of New York system, Hudson Valley Community College has an enrollment of more than 9,000 students each year, and is known as a leader in distance learning initiatives and worker retraining.