The Binghamton Bearcats men's basketball team is trying to recover from the drowning death of team member Calistus Anyichie.  Anyichie drowned on Sunday, July 14 while on an outing with teammates at Buttermilk Falls State Park near Ithaca. It was a devastating tragedy for his family, his team and all those who came to know him.  He was back on campus to take summer school classes in preparation for his sophomore season at Binghamton University.

Coach Tommy Dempsey talked about the heartbreak and sadness that rocked him and his team on News Radio 1290 WNBF this (Wednesday) morning.  Dempsey said "there are no words, no blueprint for how to deal with such a painful loss"

Now, Dempsey and his staff have to push forward and fight through the loss and emotions and try and prepare his team for a new season.  The Bearcats will never forget their teammate but hope to derive inspiration in playing in their teammate's memory.

BU will have 10 newcomers on their roster this season.  A certain key to the season is the return of sophomore point guard Sam Sessoms.  Sessoms was the top point producer on last year's team as a freshman. He averaged 17.8 points per game.  He was third in scoring in America East and ranked fifth in freshmen scoring in the nation.  He was named the America East Rookie of the Week seven times last year and was named the conference Rookie of the Year. He scored a team Division I record- tying high of 34 points against Hartford and hit for 32 points versus UMass Lowell.

Coach Dempsey says his team has added some size for the new campaign. 7'0" Yarden Willis comes to the Bearcats after a season at Seward Community College.  6'11" Ador Athuai also joins the Bearcats.  He hails from the South Sudan. One forward who will not be back is Thomas Bruce.  Bruce missed all of last season with concussion issues and has not received clearance to play this year.

The Bearcats open their season on November 5 in Ithaca against Cornell and then travel to Michigan State on November 10 to take on the nation's preseason number one team in the Spartans.

WNBF News/Roger Neel Photo