Barnhill named captain of RPI basketball team

Asa Barnhill (RPI photo)

TROY — Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) head men’s basketball coach Mark Gilbride has announced that Asa Barnhill of Gloversville will serve as the team’s captain for the 2017-18 season. The guard is the lone senior on the Engineers.

Barnhill, a 2014 graduate of Gloversville High School, is a fourth-year performer who has played 69 career games, including all 25 in each of the past two seasons. As a junior, he averaged 5.4 points, 3.4 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 21.8 minutes per contest. He scored in double digits in three games, while registering 35 assists, one block and 13 steals.

A civil engineering major, Barnhill averaged 6.8 points in 2015-16, thanks in part to ranking first on the team in 3-point field goal percentage at 43.4% (25 of 53). He also had 51 rebounds, 26 assists and eight steals with four blocked shots.

The team Barnhill leads includes four freshmen, three sophomores and five juniors. Two of the juniors — Andreas Kontopidis (Sherborn, Mass./Dover-Sherborn) and Tom Horvat (Cranston, R.I./Marianapolis Prep.) — were RPI’s leading scorers a season ago.

Kontopidis played 22 games, starting 19, and averaged a team-high 16.9 points with 5.8 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 28.9 minutes. He had 20+ points nine times, including a season-high 33 points once, with three double-doubles. He was second in rebounding en route to earning All-Liberty League Second Team honors.

Horvat was the team’s leading scorer as a freshman when he averaged 15.3 points per game. He also led the team in steals with 74 and ranked second in assists with 73. Last season he averaged 13.9 points with 39 assists, 32 steals and five blocked shots. He was second on team in steals and third in assists.

Rensselaer begins the campaign at 7 p.m. tonight at SUNY Cobleskill before heading to Roger Williams University for a tournament. The Engineers, who were 14-11 a season ago, were picked to finish in third place in the Liberty League by the conference coaches. They were 8-8 in the league in 2016-17.