2011-2012 Men’s Basketball Season Preview
Last year’s record: 15-13, (7-5 NEWMAC)
Leading scorer: Matt Cavalieri (’11), 17.4 points per game
Season Outcome: Lost to MIT in NEWMAC Semifinals
Season Opener: Tuesday, vs. Castleton State at 7 p.m. in Blake Arena
Losing four out of five starters at the end of the season isn’t a situation a coach dreams of. For Charlie Brock, head coach of the men’s basketball team, however, it isn’t one you can control.
“You know we lost Matt [Cavalieri] and Billy [Harkins] to graduation, but we also lost Darvis [Rankins] and Trevor DiMicco,” said Brock.
The Pride enter the 2011-2012 season with Ryan Coburn as the only true returning starter. Coburn, a 6-foot-8-inch senior, has been a key component for Springfield since stepping on the floor his freshman year.
Coburn was the second leading scorer behind Cavalieri last year with 10.6 points per game. Coburn also averaged six rebounds per game and was a force down low on the defensive end, blocking 70 shots throughout the season.
Along with Coburn, Evan Christener, Jordan Rote, Matt Pascuzzo, Justin Best, George Adams and Pat Rossi all return this season. Rote came into his own late last season and provided an outside threat from three-point range.
Pascuzzo provides pace at the point guard position, while Christener and Adams should provide bodies to go to down low on both ends. Best and Rossi should be more competitive this year and add depth to the roster.
Alex Berthiaume (St. Michaels) and Robbie Burke (Colby-Sawyer) are recent transfers and should see significant time, according to Brock. Berthiaume will add to the core of guards, while Burke will help at the three and four positions.
Josh Altman and Nick Sienkiewicz, two freshmen, will also contend at the guard position and should make an impact early on in the season.
Although Brock realizes his team might not be as tough on the interior this year, he’s excited about the potential at the guard position.
“Our guards are at times outstanding. All of them can score. Two of them are freshmen and new to the program, but they’re learning. We’re all learning,” said Brock.
Through the first two scrimmages, Brock has seen some “bright spots” and has been impressed with his team’s ability to adjust to teams on the fly, something they’ll have to do in their season opener against Castleton State on Tuesday.
“They got us last year. It’s the first game out, and we don’t have any scout on them at all, but that’s all right; we did the same thing with the first scrimmages we played,” said Brock. “We have to make adjustments on the fly and that’s a good thing. And it’s home, so that’s good.”
Corey Hanlon may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org