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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

No “I” in Men’s Basketball

A new season brings about new hope for the men’s basketball team. Led by players who have seen the highs, like a conference championship, and the lows, like last year’s difficult campaign, the Beacons will use their experience as a guiding light through the difficult Little East Conference schedule.

The Beacons will rely on a team-first attitude to help provide offense and gel the defense as their season gets underway. Head coach Charlie Titus has liked what he’s seen so far during training camp and believes he has a special group in 2008.

“We don’t have anybody who has the superstar mentality, or the ‘I’m the man’ mentality,” Titus said. “They understand that for us to win, we have to play as a team.”

The team will have to show a balanced attack to replace the scoring lost from last year’s team. Four of the top five scorers from last year’s roster are gone, and the Beacons must look to new players to fill the void. LEC second team All-Conference forward Amigo Paniagua graduated, taking his team-leading 15.7 points per game with him. Also, senior forward Mark Doran’s 9.4 ppg must be replaced. Promising young talents Ernst Jean and Anthony Matlock will also not be with the team this season. However, despite the roster turnover, Titus believes that through spreading the ball around the team will be able to score enough to win.

“It may be one of those situations where you have six or seven guys getting you 8 to 10 points per game,” Titus said. “We’re not going to have someone going off for 30 every night.

Titus’ main focus in training camp was to fortify the Beacons defense, which will lead to scoring opportunities on the other end.

” We’re going to have to score on transition and off defense,” Titus said. “We’ll be running this year.”

The Beacons will be led by their experienced guards this season, with the play of junior Aaron Jones and senior A.J. Titus playing a determining factor in the team’s success. Both players have LEC experience and the rest of the Beacons will look to them for leadership.

“Those guys have been around for a while, so they understand how to play and what it takes to win and succeed in the LEC,” Coach Titus said. “They’ll teach the rest of the guys what it takes to be competitive.”

Both guards will offer a different skill set to lead the Beacons from the perimeter. in addition to the things they can offer based on experience.

“Aaron is clearly one of the most athletic guards in the conference, while A.J. is one of the strongest,” the head coach said. “We’ve set some goals that will allow them to become the best backcourt in the Little East.”

The guard rotation is rounded out by returning sophomore Gaelen McGrail and freshman James St. Fleur Jr. Each player will be counted on to provide productive minutes when Jones or Titus is on the bench.

The forward position will be strong, as leading returning scorer Terrell Maddox will see significant minutes in the front court rotation. Maddox, a 6’5″ junior, averaged 9.5 ppg last season. Joining him in the front court will be the team’s only other senior, Roy Brown Jr., as well as returner Kenneth Hite Jr.

“Ken Hite works and plays hard, so we’re expecting him to teach the younger guys,” Titus said.

The team also features something it didn’t have a lot of last season – size. Julius Byrd, Paul Krol and Robel Ghebremichael will man the center spot this season. Byrd and are Krol are each 6’6″, while Ghebremichael stands 6’9″ and should be able to throw his 280 pound frame around the key.

The Beacons’ rotation will be anchored by a mix of veterans and new players who are all looking to fill a role. Some of the role players don’t fit into a traditional mold in terms of their position or size but will make an impact this season. Coach Titus specifically noted the outstanding abilities of newcomers Pat Joseph and Jose Zayas.

“Joseph is very athletic and we think he’ll cause match-up problems,” Titus said. “And Zayas can play four positions and is one of those players who can just make something happen.”

Making good things happen this season is the early goal for the Beacons in 2008. And with any new season brings the enthusiasm and energy from the head coach as he prepares for a season filled with inevitable highs and lows.

“This is a great time of the year, because we’re still undefeated,” the head coach said with a laugh. The Beacons will put that “undefeated” record on the line in their first game at Fitchburg State Tuesday night.