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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

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March 4, 2024
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February 26, 2024
An inside look at Bobby B. Beacon’s insides. Illustrated by Bianca Oppedisano/ Mass Media Staff.
Bobby's Inside Story
February 26, 2024

Men’s Basketball Enjoys Great Start

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Courtesy of Beacons Athletics 

 

 

 

At 5-3, Men’s Basketball is off to their best start in years. A new gym, a new mentality, and some new faces are all coming together at the right time. They started the year winning 87-71 over Fransiscan at the Hoopsville National Invitational Classic in Maryland. Another banner win was a 72-30 trouncing of University of New England in the opener of the campus-hosted Harbor Invitational. The guys have been one of the hottest teams in the Clark Center this winter, and they’re showing no signs of slowing down.

Coach Charlie Titus said, “I think we’ve put in place some of the pieces we were missing last year. I actually thought that last year’s team had talent and some really good players but it was just young. We started four freshmen and had another four coming off the bench. It was just a young team.” He added, “Mike Mitchell’s back, and he’s an experienced back court player. At this level guard play is so critical, so to have someone experienced in the back court is really important.”

Titus also sang the praises of junior forward Rashjeen Benson, who’s averaging 13 points and 11 rebounds per game. He said, “[Benson’s] been a big piece in terms of the passion he brings to the game, and his desire to win. He cannot stand to lose and his experience and skill level is something that we haven’t had. He’s played basketball at a more elite level than our other guys have.” 

Titus, Benson, and the rest of the guys have preached strong defensive play this year and the results have been striking. When asked he realized the team would be competitive, Titus said, “The first inter-squad scrimmage.” He also said, “This team is really focused on the defensive end of the floor and we are trying to get better at fulfilling our defensive assignments.” When asked about a 54-44 loss to number 18 MIT Dec. 4, he said, “We should have won the game. I thought that we were the better defensive team in both halves. We made a halftime adjustment that opened things up a little bit more, and we definitely outplayed them on both ends of the floor in the second half.”

Titus added, “This team is going to compete and play hard all year. There is no doubt in my mind that they will compete and play hard in every single game.”

Along with his veterans, Titus has recruited a strong freshman class that is already making great contributions.

“The freshmen make us so much more athletic as a team.” He added, “Jahleel Moise has been off to the best start so far. He’s had some really good games. He scored in double figures in his first few college games. CJ Dowdell has been away from basketball for a couple years. When he gets where he needs to be I think he’ll surprise a lot of people.” Moise and Dowdell have averaged a combined 11 points and five rebounds per game. 

A major reason for the improvement of this team, who went a measly 3-5 in their first eight games last year, has been the brand new Clark Center Gymnasium, which features better lighting, new seating, and most importantly a new playing surface that is much safer and comfortable than the previous floor. Titus said, “I think that the gym has been a motivating factor for all of the players. It is their space; it is ‘their house’ as they say. It is beautiful, and they want our opponents to come in here and enjoy it, but they want them to leave feeling defeated.” 

With a group as competitive and talented as this one, it’s not surprising that Titus has some great expectations. He said, “My confidence level is up a lot higher than it was last year. I knew last year we were going to struggle. We were just too young.” He added, “I believe we are going to win a lot more games this year. My hope is that we continue to grow and develop as a team and as a unit.” He finished by saying, “As long as we continue to grow in certain areas, I think that there could be a good postseason for this school.”