FARMINGTON – The University of Maine at Farmington’s mens’ basketball team is poised for yet another successful season. The team was placed second in the East Division of the North Atlantic Conference’s preseason poll, trailing only behind Husson University. The talented squad looks to build upon the program’s success in 2019-2020, where the Beavers went 22-5 overall and 13-1 in NAC play.
Head coach Samuel Leal enters his second year at the helm. Leal took over the program following the retirement of longtime head coach Dick Meader. Following last year’s season of inactivity, Leal is excited to see what the team has accomplished, especially given the dedication they have for the team and for each other.
“Team has stayed together for each other over a long two years. I’m very proud of the sacrifices they make for each other. We have a handful of players who are stepping up as leaders and making others around them better. We head into our regular season with great optimism about what we can accomplish as a team.”
He is joined by longtime assistant coach Jim Bessey and Mikey Coppersmith. Bessey joined the staff in 2012 after 34 years as the head coach at the Mt. Blue High School boy’s program, while Coppersmith is the most recent hire for the team, joining the Beavers last month. Coppersmith will serve as recruiting coordinator and head player development.
Key returners for the group include Senior guard Terion Moss and Senior forward Jack Kane, both of which were starters on the 2019-2020 squad that reached the NAC championship game. Moss, the 2019-2020 NAC Player of the Year, averaged 18.4 points, 4.0 assists, and 3.3 rebounds per game as a sophomore. The talented guard was named NAC Player of the Week three times during his first year as a Beaver. Moss looks to make a critical impact again for the Beavers. Kane, a 6’9” center for the Beavers, averaged 10.3 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 2.4 blocks per game in his sophomore campaign. The forward’s strong inside presence makes him a dominant force in conference play.
Notable newcomers include Dylan Griffin and Will Harriman. Griffin, a 6’7” forward from Thornton Academy in Saco, ME is a talented post player looking to elevate his game to the collegiate level. Harriman, a 6’5” forward from Biddeford, ME was noted by Leal as being “one of our most consistent workers all preseason.”