By Devin Bonine, Part Time Staff Writer
With a fresh season ahead, Saint Vincent College men’s basketball team is off to a hot start after beating Carlow University on Nov. 12, improving their record to 3-0.
Tayler McNeal, junior communication major and guard for the basketball team, had nothing but positive affirmations toward the upcoming season and feels that his experience can be put to use both on the court and alongside teammates.
Their Nov. 10 win over Juniata happened thanks to McNeal’s scoring sending the team into overtime. When asked how he felt about his shooting game, the College of Wooster transfer replied, “I just shoot the ball; I always have a clear mind. Just look into the basket and try to put the ball through the rim. Being 3-0 to start feels great. I feel I can help the younger guys throughout the season. I feel good personally just starting the season off right. This team has a lot of potential, we just must keep working and we can be special.”
Things seem to be coming across differently this year with players and fans. The current 3-0 record in the first at-home series is already overshadowing the 2021-22 season record of three total wins and 22 losses.
Perhaps the new energy and support for the basketball team comes along with returning Head Coach D.P. Harris, who’s looking to make a competitive statement and bring back a winning tradition on and off the court. “Fantastic, proud, humble.” Three words Coach Harris used to describe how he feels about the team’s current position and school atmosphere. “I love our fans and the energy of the students,” said Coach Harris.
The crowd at recent games seems to be livelier and more supportive as well. Even a recent Instagram trend, #cramcarey, has students excited to show up and support fellow Bearcats in the gymnasium.
Joining the men’s basketball team are fresh faces from across the world. Diego Martinez, sophomore biochemistry major from Spain, Julien Vonovier, freshman sports management major from Switzerland, and returning player Matias Bugallo, junior engineering major from Argentina, all add their skills to the team.
“We love our overseas players and what they bring to the team. All of the kids are very good students and I think represent our program and speak to the world class education you can receive here at SVC,” Coach Harris said.
Building team chemistry seems to come easy within the basketball team no matter where each player comes from, according to McNeal. “I like the school atmosphere as a whole, but the team is very close and always around each other. That’s what I say I like most, just being around the guys,” he said.
The men’s team next play at home on Dec. 6 against Penn State-Fayette at 7 p.m.