An August tour through Ontario, Canada will give Binghamton University the chance to get Abington Heights and JB Hoops alumnus J.C. Show back in action prior to the 2017-18 men’s basketball season.
Binghamton University is northeastern Pennsylvania’s most direct connection to National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I men’s basketball, both in proximity and in the make-up of the team.
Even with the graduation of another former JB Hoops player, Dunmore’s John Rinaldi, the Bearcats still have two JB Hoops graduates in prominent roles on the team that is coached by another northeastern Pennsylvania native.
Dunmore graduate Tommy Dempsey is preparing for his sixth year as head coach of the team, which features both Show and Timmy Rose in the backcourt. Rose played at Scranton Prep and with J.B. Hoops.
Show, who began his college career at Bucknell University, sat out a redshirt season after transferring and was also coming back from a foot injury when he made an impressive debut at Binghamton. After scoring more than 20 points in four of his first 12 games, however, Show suffered an arm injury that sidelined him for the remainder of the 2016-17 season.
“We are really excited to get back onto the court together this summer,” Dempsey said, according to a story on the school website. “Although we are returning a veteran group, we do have some important additions to the roster and those guys will get an opportunity to mesh with our returning core, which gives us a nice head start to next season.
“We thought it was important to get J.C. back into game action after missing so much time last season.”
Show started all 12 games he played, averaging 13.3 points, 3.9 rebounds and 1.8 assists. He shot 42.5 percent from the floor, 35.8 from 3-point range and 82.5 percent from the line.
The Bearcats will play four games in five days in St. Catharines and Toronto. The team departs Aug. 8 and will play Brock University and Laurier University in St. Catharines the next two nights. After a day of travel to Toronto, Binghamton will face Ryerson University and McMaster University Aug. 12 and 13.
Binghamton returns its top five scorers and a total of 11 letterwinners from a 12-20 team.
Show, a 6-foot-1 guard, had the team’s top scoring average.
Rose, a 6-3 guard, was third on the team in points and fourth in scoring average with 7.3 per game. He started a team-high 27 games and was the runaway team assist leader with 3.6 per game. Rose shot 45.3 percent from the floor, 46.4 percent on 3-pointers and 71.9 percent from the line.
The Canadian Tour, which will not count as part of Binghamton’s official record, was one of two schedule announcements made by the program in June.
Binghamton will take a trip to Mexico early in the 2017-18 schedule to participate in the Cancun Challenge.
The Cancun Challenge has teams play two U.S.-based games before heading to the Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya Resort to play two games.
Binghamton will play at George Mason Nov. 16, then face Evansville Nov. 18. The Bearcats will then participate in the Mayan Division in Cancun where they will face Montana State Nov. 21 and either Cal State Northridge or Southeast Missouri State Nov. 22. All will be new opponents for Binghamton.
Fresno State and Louisiana Tech are the other teams in the event.
The Cancun Challenge has had an impressive list of champions, beginning with Vanderbilt in 2008 and followed by: 2009, Kentucky; 2010, Missouri; 2011, Illinois; 2012, Wichita State; 2013, Wisconsin; 2014, Northern Iowa; 2015, Maryland; and 2016, Purdue. Wichita State and Wisconsin followed their titles by making the Final Four later in those seasons.
George Mason, an Atlantic 10 school from Fairfax, Va., is coming off its sixth 20-win season in the last 10 years. Evansville, a Missouri Valley Conference member, won 21 games last season.
The complete Binghamton schedule will be released in the coming weeks.