Tonawanda News

Sports

November 8, 2013

Daemen set to kick off first D-2 season

Daemen Wildcats set to begin inaugural season as only Western New York Division 2 basketball program

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Tonawanda News —

Daemen is primarily made up of Western New York talent. When Silveri and Associate Head Coach Mike Miranto recruited the core of the team four years ago, the vision was to get solid character players that had something in common: a strong work ethic.

Beverly, Sheehan and backup guard Supreme Hannah all hail from Rochester, while Coppola and bench contributors Aaron Davis (North Tonawanda) and Troy Nowak (Orchard Park) are all Buffalo natives.

Former University at Buffalo head coach Reggie Witherspoon, whom Silveri has known for many years, has some familiarity with most of Daemen's players from his time on the local recruiting beat. So Silveri asked him to come in and assess the squad's strengths and weaknesses during a recent scrimmage against Erie Community College.

Witherspoon liked what he saw, especially the Wildcats' senior backcourt combo and junior big man Beverly. 

Medaille head coach Mike McDonald echoed Witherspoon's sentiments after a 87-75 defeat in an exhibition game against the Wildcats on Nov. 1.

"They have great guard play and when you have that you're going to be in any game," said McDonald, who coached at Canisius College for nine seasons before taking over the Medaille job six years ago. "Coppola controls the ball as well as anybody — as good as a Division I guard. He keeps it under control. Sheehan can score in a bunch of different ways, and they have Beverly inside who can clean up your misses. I think they really make it difficult for you to guard, and when they make shots on the wing they'll really give you fits."

Coppola has been dominating the local basketball scene for almost a decade. He led Williamsville South to three Section VI Class A finals appearances, including a Class A title in 2009, and finished his high school career second all-time in Section VI history with 683 assists.

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