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On Campus with Men’s Basketball

Updated: Feb 1, 2023

By: Audrey Kough, Red & Black Campus Sports Writer

Kyran Mitchell driving up the halfcourt. (Photo Courtesy W&J College)

JAN.27 - The men's basketball team stayed on campus over most of the holiday break, while most students left campus. While the campus was looking like a ghost town, the men’s team was here practicing and having games. Before the team was able to leave campus, they played a game on Saturday, Dec. 17 against the Franciscan Barons. W&J won that game with a score of 99-81. The men quickly returned to campus, after their break, as they headed across the state to play in Albright College’s Holiday Tournament in Reading, PA. The team played in the opening round of the tournament against Albright College, and they took the win in this game with a narrow margin of 90-88, which sealed the men’s position in the championship game. The team put up a good fight but ultimately lost the game to Salisbury University with a score of 63-78. The team had a full schedule of games to go into 2023. As of 1/18/23, the men had a conference record of 9-3 and an overall record of 12-5.

With how much time the team spent together over break, the men of the team were able to grow as teammates and friends. There were quite a few incoming freshmen, so the team had to create and bond quickly off of the court to be able to communicate and excel while on the court. That is exactly what they did. J.R. Mazza, a junior and recognized PAC player of the week, talk about the chemistry on the team. He says, “We have all been very close since freshman year and the freshmen this year fit right in, we all get along well. It translates [on the court] because we’re all close enough to stay on each other while we’re playing, along with having more trust in each other while we’re out there.” Matt Seidl, a freshman and recognized PAC Rookie of the week, backs up what Mazza said, but gives his intake on the team bond from a first-year perspective. Seidl gives an inside scoop on the team dynamic specifically while they were here over the winter break. Seidl states, “The team dynamic was great. We were the only ones on campus and saw each other all the time but never got tired of each other. I definitely feel it made us closer with how much we were together.” When a team bond has been created it makes playing the sport of basketball easier to be successful.

“The team dynamic was great. We were the only ones on campus and saw each other all the time but never got tired of each other. I definitely feel it made us closer with how much we were together.” - Matt Seidl

Another big factor that contributes to the success of the team is gameplay. Mazza responds on what the team’s gameplay is and how they handle playing different teams with different playing styles. Mazza says, “We have a different scout for every team we play. We just try and keep the ball moving and whoever has the hot hand or a matchup usually get a good look.” With the end of the season on the horizon, the men look to hopefully repeat what they accomplished last year: winning the PAC Championships. Seidl, being a first-year member, explains what he hopes to accomplish for the rest of the season for himself and the rest of the team. He says, “Practices and games have been great so far. I’m just trying to keep working hard and pushing our team to be better. For our upcoming games, I’m hoping as a team we can keep our intensity up and continue to keep winning.” Mazza has the same goal for the team for the rest of the season. When asked the question, “What do you hope to see for the rest of the season from yourself and the team?” He responded, “Just to keep winning games and get back to the NCAA tournament.” No doubt the men’s basketball team has been able to create a strong bond that helps them on the court. Their love for basketball and the will to succeed for themselves and their teammates drives them to keep performing well and winning games.
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