Team preview: Binghamton

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(Information in this team report is as of October 1.)

Last season was Binghamton's best in its five seasons as a Division I program.

The Bearcats set a school record for wins in the Division I era and victories in America East play while finishing second in the regular season and advancing to the conference semifinals for the second straight year.

As it has under Al Walker, Binghamton did it with defense and placed three players on the America East All-Defensive Team while allowing just 56.6 points per game.

Many are wondering if the Bearcats can take the next step and win the conference championship. It's possible, but Binghamton will have to do it without graduated seniors

Andre Heard (17.1 ppg, 4.8 rpg) and Sebastien Hermanier (11.1 ppg, 6.1 rpg), who finished 1-2 in scoring and rebounding last season. Both Heard, a first-team all-conference selection, and Hermanier, the defensive player of the year, made the all-defensive team.

"The obvious question is 'can we replace those guys?' " Walker said. "I think we can because we had some good players who played behind them and are hoping to grow into their talent."

The Bearcats have point guard Mike Gordon (8.5 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 4.5 apg, 1.7 spg) back. Gordon, a 6-0 junior, has been a catalyst for success since being inserted into the starting lineup midway through his freshman year.

Binghamton needs him to be a steadying force as it defines its roles early in the season.

"He's everything that you want in your point guard, we love him," Walker said. "He's going to get the keys to a bigger car, so to speak, this season."