Team preview: Sacred Heart

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

Last season Sacred Heart finally broke on through to the other side.

After struggling to find their Division I way, the Pioneers turned their seventh season competing in the college game's highest level into a successful one. They won five of their first eight league games and hung on to make the NEC Tournament for the first time since 2001-02 despite playing without one of their best players all year.

While forward Joey Henley sat with a broken ankle, senior Kibwe Trim stepped into the spotlight and
guided SHU through the season. Trim averaged 19.2 points and 8.6 rebounds on the way to all-conference first-team honors.

"It was a good news, bad news year," coach Dave Bike said. "It certainly was an improvement [for the program]."

The Pioneers open a new season with some good news and some bad news. The former comes with the return of Henley, a 6-5 junior who averaged 12.3 points and 5.3 rebounds while being voted to the all-conference second team in 2004-05.

But the Pioneers no longer have Trim, who overcame two years of back woes to be a star in the NEC in his final season.