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Men's basketball remains focused on postseason goals

by Panagiotis Argitis - Editor-in-Chief
Tue, Nov 19th 2019 09:00 pm
Senior Justin Summers goes after a ball in Brockport's scrimmage against the University of Rochester on Nov. 5. Summers projects to make a huge impact in the 2019-20 season. Summers was voted as a preseason All-American.
Senior Justin Summers goes after a ball in Brockport's scrimmage against the University of Rochester on Nov. 5. Summers projects to make a huge impact in the 2019-20 season. Summers was voted as a preseason All-American.

Within the last 10 years of play, The College at Brockport men’s basketball team has failed to miss a single postseason, placing the program at the top caliber of performers. During its previous campaign, Brockport came six points short of winning the SUNYAC Tournament. As the team refreshes itself for the 2019-20 season and prepares for the first batch of games, it’s ambitions haven’t dropped. 
Following the close of last season, Brockport finished with an overall record of 17—11, while claiming the third seed in the conference with 11 wins and seven losses. While the team flourished during its run to the conference finals where the team eventually lost to SUNY Oswego 55-50, Brockport did not receive a bid for the NCAA Tournament, a competition it has regularly attended in the past. 
Despite not making the NCAA Tournament after a deep run in the SUNYAC Tournament, a large portion of what allowed Brockport to reach that stage was down to its senior performers. Four seniors from the total of five who participated during last season either graduated or left the program, while current graduate student and guard Tyler Collins remains with the team to continue his now five-year collegiate career. 
In similar fashion to past campaigns, the team will need to adjust with the absences of its senior class and learn to adapt its new freshman recruits in order to facilitate its chemistry ahead of the season. Due to preseason injuries, two of the three new prospects have been sidelined for the opening stages of the year. 
Following the conclusion of preseason play, Brockport was faced with its first real test of this year’s schedule on Tuesday, Nov. 12 for its season-opener against Morrisville State College. Brockport’s opposition proved equal competition as both sides fought for the edge until the end of regulation. 
Despite Morrisville’s potent offense to tip-off the contest, Brockport found its transition rhythm early and managed to stay within the distance of the Mustangs. Ahead of a hot shooting display from Brockport’s sophomore guard Jahidi Wallacce, the team secured a 39-31 lead to close out the first half. 
While Brockport held an eight point advantage with seven minutes left in the game, Morrisville’s efficiency from the three point line, in addition to foul trouble for Brockport, allowed it to take a three point lead at the final stretch. Collins’ attempt at a game-winner did not suffice and Brockport was defeated 73-70. 
Opening a season with a loss is mentally difficult for any team. Regardless of the final result against Morrrisville, Brockport aims to build off its mistakes and take shape from the experience it gained. 
“It’s always tough to deal with the hostility of an opener,” Collins said. “We have to buy into the philosophy, it will lead to another successful season.”
As the rest of the new season gradually comes into focus, the team aims to secure a winning chemistry ahead of its future games. 
“Coach Dunne and the team is confident in our plan,” senior forward Justin Summers said. “Struggle is part of the process and coming together as a family is inevitable.” 
While Brockport’s season has only begun, the conference stages are just two weeks away. With three games between now and the start of SUNYAC competition, Brockport will look to bolster its overall efforts in an attempt to be prepared for its return to conference highs.

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