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Minus last season's leading scorer, St. Vincent men still a PAC favorite

| Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2013, 10:15 p.m.
Eric Schmadel | Tribune-Review
St. Vincent forward Grant Latus pulls up to shoot during practice on October 23, 2013 in Unity Township.
Eric Schmadel | Tribune-Review
St. Vincent men's head basketball coach D.P. Harris conducts practice on October 23, 2013 in Unity Township.

The St. Vincent men's basketball team expects nothing less than a repeat of last year's Presidents' Athletic Conference championship season in which the Bearcats went 23-6 overall and 15-1 in the conference.

“We really have all the pieces right now,” coach D.P. Harris said. “I mean we lost Chris (Klimchock, last year's first-team All-PAC starting point guard), which was a huge loss, but at the same time, we have guys that are there to pick it up.”

Klimchock, who averaged 15.3 ppg last season, will be replaced by sophomore JC Howard,

“I think we have a good balance, but I think that our top three front court guys are our strength,” said 6-foot-5 junior forward Sean Kett, who averaged 7.3 points and 5.4 rebounds last season. “I think we all know what the competition is like and how to handle different people.”

With Kett playing alongside 6-foot-5 senior Dillon Stith (11.7 points, 5.2 rebounds and 1.0 block per game last year) and 6-foot-8 junior Grant Latus (7.9 points, 7.0 rebounds and 2.0 blocks), the Bearcats have one of the most physically imposing frontcourts in the PAC.

“Our inside presence is going to be huge,” senior guard Isaac Turner said.

“I think they're really going to disrupt a lot of shots and make it hard for people to finish down low.”

Turner will draw plenty of attention from opposing defenses, and may be the key to the offense's success.

“(Turner) — who certainly is one of the best players, if not the best player in the league — is going to find his shots any which way,” Harris said. “We're fortunate to have five very good players, four who have a lot of experience.”

So it's win or bust for the talented Bearcats.

“From a basketball standpoint, if we stay healthy, anything less than a championship here would be a failure,” Harris said.

“Everybody in October thinks they're going to be good, and that's great. But we know we're going to be good come January and February.”

Gary Horvath is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at ghorvath@tribweb.com.

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