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#CAAHoops Countdown Extra – Hofstra

Sep 26, 2013, 1:28 PM EDT

Hofstra's Moussa Kone Hofstra's Moussa Kone

It’s a season of change at Hofstra, where veteran head coach Joe Mihalich begins his first year with the Pride. Mihalich won 265 games and made five postseason appearances during his tenure at Niagara, and he hopes to replicate that success at Hofstra.

The sideline won’t be the only place where there will be new faces for the Pride. Only five letterwinners return from last season, but three are starters. Leading that group is senior forward Stephen Nwaukoni, who ranked sixth in the CAA in rebounding (7.9 rpg) and contributed 6.8 ppg a year ago despite missing the final five games with a shoulder injury. When Nwaukoni went down last season, junior forward Moussa Kone (6.5 ppg, 4.4 rpg) stepped up, averaging 14.0 points over the Pride’s final four regular-season contests. The duo will give the Pride a formidable presence inside.

Rounding out the group of returning starters is sophomore small forward Jordan Allen, who made 25 starts and averaged 5.0 points and 2.9 rebounds in a solid rookie campaign. Also back for Hofstra are sophomore forward Darren Payen and sophomore guard Adam Savion.

Several newcomers will have the opportunity for significant playing time. Freshman Eliel Gonzalez could earn the starting spot at point guard. The Pride has also added a pair of Division I transfers in the backcourt in graduate students Dion Nesmith (Monmouth) and Zeke Upshaw (Illinois State).

Did You Know: Hofstra head coach Joe Mihalich received the 2013 Skip Prosser Man of the Year Award, which honors those who not only achieve success on the basketball court, but those who display moral integrity off it as well. Mihalich was also the 2013 MAAC Coach of the Year and the 2013 NABC District 1 Coach of the Year.

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