By: Kevin Beattie, Associate Athletic Director
TROY, N.Y. – The Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) men’s basketball team, which returns 12 student-athletes from a season that saw it win a school-record 24 games, has been ranked 14th in Division III in the 2020-21 Basketball Times Preseason Poll. Among those back for the Engineers is senior forward Patrick Mahoney, an All-American as a junior who garnered preseason All-America honors from the Times.
In addition to recording the most victories (24-5), Rensselaer also had the most conference wins in a season (17-1 in Liberty League) and tied the school mark for consecutive victories (18). RPI, which is coached by Mark Gilbride, was third in the nation in scoring defense (60.9 points allowed per game) on its way to earning an at-large berth into the NCAA Tournament and advancing to the second round for just the second time in school history.
Mahoney (Ossining, NY / Fordham Prep.) was honored by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) a season ago, earning East Region Player of the Year and All-America First Team recognition. Also the Liberty League Player of the Year, he started all 29 games for the Engineers, averaging 14.8 points and 5.7 rebounds in 28.5 minutes. He also had 44 assists, 27 steals and four blocked shots.
He led the team in field goal attempts (365), field goals made (169) and scoring average, while ranking second in free throws attempted (87) and rebounding average. He had at least 15 points in 14 games with eight contests of at least 20 points.
Junior guard Dom Black (Arlington, MA / Arlington) was the Liberty League Defensive Player of the Year in 2019-20. He led the team in minutes (31.0), rebounding (6.2), assists (94) and steals (58) and ranked third in scoring average (11.4) and blocked shots (12). An All-Conference selection, he was among the Liberty League leaders in steals per game (2.1), assists per game (3.5) and assists-to-turnover ratio (1.3).
Mason Memmelaar (Middletown, NY / Pine Bush), a junior forward, was second on the team in scoring (13.2) and third in rebounding (5.5) while averaging 24.0 minutes. He ranked among the conference’s best with a 54.2 shooting percentage (160-295) as well as in steals per game (1.4) and blocks per game (0.7). He was an All-League selection.
The 2020-21 team consists of three seniors and three juniors with five freshmen. The start and duration of the season are unknown due to the COVID-19 pandemic.