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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

2-26-24 PDF
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

Titus Looking For Men’s Basketball Team to Rebound This Season.

The men’s basketball team is looking for a fresh start and better times when Fitchburg State comes to the Clark Athletic Center Tuesday November 20. Back at the helm will be Charlie Titus, the long time men’s basketball coach and athletic director of UMass Boston.

A rough season can weigh on the heads of the players and coaches alike. Last season was one of those that Charlie Titus would soon as forget.

“It wasn’t a good season,” Titus said bluntly. “We started 7-2 and we ended up 9-16. We lost some people academically and we had some character issues. There were a number of reasons why we lost people, but it was a tough season.”

Titus was quick to point out that not all was lost from last season, because sports are more than wins and losses.

“I think the players who survived last season, Jake Luhn, Kamau Pritchard, Paul Kemp, Joe Guertin, Lester Robinson, learned a lot of good lessons about being a part of an organization, what happens when an organization encounters adversity. So I think those five are better people for that and I expect that they’ll lead what’s going to be a young team this year.”

Titus’s prime expectation of the team is that they practice hard every single day, and that progress is made in the development of the team. He knows that it won’t be an overnight process.

“We have twelve freshman on this year’s group. We think they’re a talented group, that they have a lot of skill and athleticism. However fundamentals are an issue and understanding how to play at this level. I think those things will take some time. When trying to build the fundamentals of a player, the first thing you have to do is break the old habits that are not good and then try to rebuild new habits that are good.”

Basketball is a sport of instinct and quick decision-making. Titus stresses patience as an important element in the process of developing good basketball skills.

“In the sport of basketball, players have a tendency to lose patience and revert to with what they’re comfortable. That’s not necessarily going to lead us to success.”

The Little East Conference is expected to field some good teams this year. With the youth factor of the Beacon squad, Titus knows that some tough times are ahead for the team.

“At the top of the conference, Western Connecticut is going to be very good. They have two senior guards that are very good. And at this level, guard play really determines a lot of what a team does. Our guards are for the most part freshman, so that’s a major issue for us right there. UMass Dartmouth has a junior point guard that is really good. Keene State has some guards, one really good freshman guard. But I really don’t know at this point where will be.”

Success is measured in more than wins and losses at UMass Boston. Titus focuses on establishing goals that have to do with the individual as well as the team. Building cohesion and retention as an athletic program would go a long way in helping to achieve some of those goals.

Players dictate whether a system will work or not. Titus believes that the whole will work only when the parts are broken down and worked on separately.

“We work on one-on-one skills first, the defensive stance, body position, where the hands should be, how you measure a player up. From there you go to a two-on-two, a player learns to compliment the defensive player off the ball and keeping containment. Then we go to three-on-three so we teach rotations, so when one man gets beat on a trap, another will know how to pick up the ball handler. Then it’s four-on-four, it’s more a team effort to dictate where the ball is going, so the rest of the team has a better chance of playing team defense. So as long as the players understand what it is you’re trying to teach them, it becomes easier.”

Coaching can be a stressful job for many individuals, especially when there are high expectations. But high expectations or not, Titus sees coaching as one of life’s great pleasures.

“We have a great group of young men this year,” said a smiling Titus. “The coaching is almost therapeutic. It’s the part of the day that I look forward to the most. Young people have a certain energy level and it energizes me. When you’re with people who have a thirst for the knowledge that you can convey to them, that is energizing and satisfying. It is a way for me to relieve the stress of the administrative part of this job. It’s also a physical outlet. When you’re out on the court coaching, you’re moving and demonstrating to the players. It is a physical activity that I like and I think it’s healthy for me. Sometimes I feel like you can take the games and have them. I simply enjoy engaging with the players.”

About the Contributor
Jason Campos served as The Mass Media staff for the following years and positions: Editor-in-Chief: 2003-2004; Managing Editor: 2002-2003; and Sports Editor: 2001-2002, 2002-2003, 2003-2004 Disclaimer: Years served is based on online database and may not detail entire service.