The Cabrini College Men’s Basketball team is kicking off their season with a fresh outlook and high hopes for a winning season. Though some may be deceived by their record of 1-2-0, they traveled to Wooster, Ohio to play in the “Al Van Wie” Rotary Classic and have gone up against the number 2 team in the National Collegiate Athletic Association in Division III, College of Wooster. The game ended with a result of 128- 71. However, this has not brought down the confidence of this team at all; it has only made it stronger.
Coach Matthew Macciocca, who is in his second year of being head coach at Cabrini, said, “I think with us playing at Wooster it has established a mentality and has established who we are. Even though we lost, we still played hard every possession with passion and energy and if we do that at every game this year we will be in a position to win. To date, we have scored the most points against all the four teams that Wooster has played. My belief is that if we keep playing with that emotion and that energy, every single day that we step across that line onto the floor the sky is the limit.”
Charles Bush, a sophomore point guard and English and communication major, said, “I think we are at a good spot right now. Our first two games in our off season, even though it was rough, it was a good learning experience. Our chemistry is phenomenal all the guys are on the same page and we just want the team to get better.”
With only five returning players this season, the Cavaliers have a lot of new faces stepping out onto the court. There are also some new editions to the coaching staff that are to be noticed.
Captain Randy Reid, a junior accounting major, said, “This year the chemistry has been great we have an awesome group of guys. We all get along well and there are no little clicks within each together there is no order of hierarchy and everyone is on the same level. As a returning player, the chemistry on the team is a breath of fresh air.”
Reid scored a career-high 31 points at Wooster and also made all-tournament team.
That breath of fresh air was exemplified on Nov. 21 at the Cav’s home opener with a 79-63 win against Penn State Berks. Captain Greg Clifton, a junior wing and marketing major, scored a career-high 26 points. He also made player of the week in the Pennsylvania Athletic Conference. He is the first player on the team this season to be recognized as player of the week.
“The Penn State-Berks game was a confidence builder because it was our first victory. The first win is always the most important and the future is bright for many more victories,” said Chris Blake, a freshman forward, and liberal arts major.
Macciocca said, “I thought the Penn State -Berks we showed that emotion and that energy, it was led by our 3 captains, Randy Reid, Greg Clifton, and Bruce MacClelland. They all played an intrical part of that game and I was really happy with guys who came off the bench and gave us quality minutes no matter how long they played to help us win.
“I think our starting line-up is good. I think we need to improve away from Randy and Bruce and Greg all the way down to Chris and Charles. If we need to mix things up to help the program, then we will. It doesn’t matter if you start it matters how you finish.”
As for the PAC pre-season rankings, the Cavaliers were ranked seven out of a possible ten. However, this has not shaken the confidence of the team.
Clifton said, “When someone says you can’t do something, it is of competitive nature to prove them wrong. If they say that we are going to finish seventh in the PAC then we are all going to take that and channel it into winning.”
“We are winning the PAC this year,” Clifton added.
Matt Betz, a junior wing and business administration major said, We have been extremely motivated by the preseason ranking and we feel like we can make some noise in the conference because ranking don’t mean anything to us. We believe we can be one of the top teams. It just has given us so much motivation to work harder in practice and work harder than the other teams in the conference.”
The Loquitur welcomes your comments on this story. Plese send your comments to: Loquitur@googlegroups.com. The editors will review your points each week and make corrections if warranted.