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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Harris – Basketball’s New Look

So it begins. Winter season marks the start of Basketball, and the University of Massachusetts Boston is back in action. November 14, the Beacons set to the court for their season opener, a rivalry game against Suffolk University.
Even though both teams are familiar with one another, this year’s matchup is much different than ever before. For the first time in the history of the program, the Beacons were not coached by Charlie Titus, a member of the New England Basketball Coaching Hall of Fame. Instead, first-year Coach Jason Harris was on the sidelines, guiding the Beacons to their first win of the 2015-16 basketball season.
While Charlie Titus leaves big shoes to fill, Coach Harris has comfortably stepped into the role as Head Coach. In the first five games of the season, Harris led the Beacons to a 3-2 record. Offensively, the team has been extremely adept in scoring, averaging about 70 points per game and efficiently shooting the three ball. Defensively, the team is making strides, but they need to find a way to lock down the perimeter and low post. If the Beacons want to be a top contender in the LEC they need to force more long-range two-pointers and box-out on the glass.
Having said that, all teams have needs for improvement, but overall, the Beacons are playing good basketball. Harris is exceeding expectations considering this is his first year as a head coach of any program. While Harris doesn’t have immense experience as a head coach, he had a prolific career as a player for Rhode Island College, a Beacon competitor in the LEC. Harris also served as an assistant coach at Long Island University, where he helped the Blackbirds win three-straight Division I conference titles between 2010 and 2013.
Despite his so called “inexperience,” Harris’ resume speaks for itself. While Harris only has a few games under his belt as a head coach, it appears that he is well prepared from his time as an assistant. Before the season started, Harris was enthusiastic about developing the basketball program. “I’m excited to be a part of what’s happening here. It’s going to be a process, but we think we can play some good basketball.”
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December 5 marks the start of the Beacons in conference season play. UMass Boston is set to face off against Western Connecticut State University at home, Clark Gymnasium, at 3 p.m. Neither team is heavily favored, but the Beacons’ momentum should help propel them to a win over Western. UMass Boston has two conference games scheduled prior to December break. Two wins would put the Beacons in a great position moving into the bulk of their LEC matches in January.
It’s too early to definitively say whether the Beacons are Little East Conference championship contenders, but I would still predict them to be a top four team within the LEC. This year, the Beacons look motivated and directed under the guidance of Head Coach Harris. With good health and consistency, Harris is expected to have a breakout season in his first year as the skipper of the Beacons. While this may be considered a rebuilding season for the new man, don’t be surprised to see success ahead of schedule.