Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) -
NJIT: Coach Jim Engles broke in six freshmen in 2013-14, and his only senior sat out the entire season with an injury. So the fact that the Highlanders -- the nation's only Independent team -- still managed to win 13 games is certainly an encouraging sign for their 2014-15 prospects.
NJIT returns each of its top five scorers, led by sophomore guard Damon Lynn (17.2 ppg) and junior forward Terrence Smith (12.2 ppg, 6.0 rpg). That record- setting duo was in the starting lineup for all 29 games last season. Lynn was fourth among all Division I players in 3-pointers made per game (3.69), and his 107 treys stand as the fourth-highest single-season total among freshmen in D-I history. A 78-percent free-throw shooter, Lynn also paced the Highlanders in steals (35) and was second in assists (60). Smith finished third nationally in field goal percentage (.629) as a sophomore.
The Highlanders kick things off Nov. 14 at St. John's in what will be the first of four nationally-televised games on their docket this season. After winning at least 15 games in each of the previous three seasons, the Highlanders have the pieces in place to at least match that win total this time around.