Men’s Basketball Mid-Season

Mens Basketball Mid-Season

Ben Whelan

Following the first half of the year that junior point guard A.J. Titus characterized as “disappointing,” the Beacons are now ready to put that behind them and get ready for the stretch leading up to the conference playoffs. After a promising 3-2 start, the team lost four straight and never really recovered, currently sixth in the conference with a record of 7-11.

Last season’s team was arguably the best in school history, winning the conference tournament and advancing to the Division III national tournament for the first time in almost two decades. This year’s edition returned most of the key players from last year’s squad, but was not able to match last year’s success up to this point.

“Last year we came in under the radar and we were able to do are own thing,” Titus said. “This year we came in with a bulls-eye on our back and it’s been really tough.”

“We won a lot of close games last year,” junior forward Mark Doran said. “This year we lost those games. It all comes down to mental focus, and there were some games where we just didn’t have it, it’s as simple as that. It is harder getting every team’s ‘A’ game every night, but we’re still kind of a young team and we just need to get it together and concentrate more”.

Another factor has been the lack of stability in the lineup, which constantly changed as Coach Charlie Titus tried to find the right rotation of players. Coach Titus also forced the team to play out of their comfort zone in order to prepare them for the rigors of the post-season, such as employing a zone defense that was not always successful in some situations, so that it could be present in the team’s defensive arsenal should it become necessary down the road.

Doran and A.J. Titus both believe that the team is now in a much more stable place, with roles more clearly defined and a more set rotation that involves Doran, a starter earlier in the season, giving the team an infusion of energy and hustle off the bench. “You really need a good eight or nine man rotation”, said Doran, “and now with the development of some of the younger guys we really have that.”

“We’re still the champions until we lose it, and that hasn’t happened yet,” concluded Titus on his way to the locker room. “We’ve seen all of these teams [that we will face in the conference tournament] during the regular season, so we’re ready to go.”