First-year coach Rob Krimmel is charged with the task of turning St. Francis men's basketball into a winner.
That's no easy task considering the Red Flash have just one winning season in the past 34 years and only one NCAA Tournament appearance to its credit, which came in 1991. A large number of the current Red Flash players weren’t born when that happened.
Krimmel certainly knows St. Francis.
He was a three-year starter and two-time captain for the Red Flash. He led the Northeast Conference in three-point field goal percentage (43.5) during the 1999-2000 season, and Krimmel spent the previous 12 years as an assistant coach at St. Francis, where his father, Bob Krimmel, is the athletic director.
He was hired to replace Don Friday one day after Friday was forced out after four lackluster seasons.
St. Francis went 6-23 last season with a 5-13 mark in the NEC.
The Red Flash aren’t expected to be much better in 2012-13. Conference coaches picked them to finish 12th out of 12 teams.
The return of junior guard Umar Shannon should boost the Red Flash offense.
Shannon, an Atlantic City, N.J. native, played in just one game last year when he suffered a season-ending knee injury.
He scored 26 points in that game and he averaged 15.8 in 2010-11.
Ronnie Drinnon, a 6-6 freshman forward, is expected to contribute immediately.
The nonconference schedule, which opens tonight at Penn State, is daunting. Besides the Nittany Lions, St. Francis plays Notre Dame, Bucknell and Kent State - all regular visitors to the NCAA Tournament.
The Red Flash’s first game at DeGol Arena is Nov 21 against Colgate. The conference opener is Jan. 3 against Central Connecticut State, also at home.