Basketball team prepares for season opener

File photo by Jonathan Tan/WSN
File photo by Jonathan Tan/WSN

The NYU men’s basketball team is set to take to the court for the first game of the season this Saturday at 1 p.m. in Coles Sports Center.

The Violets will attempt to make strides this year, improving on last year’s overall record of 15-11. After a hot start where the team posted a record of 12-2, setbacks after beginning conference play, including a few injuries, left the team finishing off the latter part of their season at 3-9 and claiming five wins in the University Athletic Association.

The Violets will miss the efforts of graduated seniors — Kyle and Cory Stockmal, Carl Yaffe, Max Wein and Devin Karch. Wein, Yaffe and Kyle Stockmal were three of the four captains and, combined, averaged 34.1 points per game and averaged a remarkable 40.93 percent shooting from the field. Additionally, Karch’s veteran big-man game will be missed as he averaged 12.9 points per game, 4.8 rebounds and a field goal percentage of 59.8.

Despite parting with crucial players, the team is welcoming a few new faces. LS freshman Romas Marcinkevicius, who joins the team from Pine Crest High School in Florida. Marcinkevicius, who stands at 6’7”, averaged a double-double in his sophomore, junior and senior seasons and eventually helped lead his team to a Florida Class 4A State Championship.

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LS freshman Alec Papesch and SCPS freshman Joe Timmes join the squad from Cleveland, Ohio and Chatham, New Jersey, respectively. Papesch, a 6’6” forward, was selected as Third Team All-State his junior year and played with the The National Basketball Association Elite AAU. Timmes, a 6’4” guard from Chatham High School, was First Team All-Conference, First Team All-County performer, Third Team All-NJ Group Three, Morris County and New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association All-Star.

Additionally, CAS sophomore Brad Lahens will join the team after not playing his freshman year. Lahens was a two-year team member in high school, and he led that team to league championships.

The team will look to lean on the entire spread of experienced sophomores and juniors on the team. Senior captains and CAS seniors Ryan Tana and Jed Borovik will look to increase their roles as leaders in the huddle and on the stat sheet, as they combined for an average of 8.5 points per game last season with a collective field goal percentage of 55.6. The experienced backcourt also includes CAS juniors Iyoha Agho and Conor Smith, who will look to take on bigger roles this season.

“This year we are going to have some challenges just like every year, but we have to stay focused and overcome the obstacles,” Agho said. “We have an amazing group of guys, and I hope that, as a team, we give it all we have and just see where it takes us.”

“This team is filled with some of the hardest working guys I know,” he said. “So I’m sure that as a group we will be able to achieve some great things this year.”

 

A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, Nov. 12 print edition. Sean Billings is a contributing writer. Email him at [email protected]

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