Men’s basketball hopes to return to NCAAs

With the excitement of the upcoming season, the Geneseo men’s basketball team has been hard at work in hopes of furthering its success in the NCAA Tournament this season. “I think now that this group of guys have been a part of that … they want to strive and reach for that again,” head coach Steve Minton said. “You get that taste in your mouth—which they had—and know what it was like to sit around on selection day and wait and see if Geneseo came up on the board.”

Along with the Knights’ rigorous practices—at least 14 hours per week—the team has coupled on-court responsibility with making strides off the court toward a renewed sense of the authority each player holds in a game.

“Whether it’s, ‘I’m going to be responsible for stopping this guy from getting to the basket’ or … making good decisions and being responsible for one another and what we’re doing away from the basketball court,” Minton said.

This understanding of one player being responsible for the other four on and off the court is of great importance. Minton emphasized that this is a vital part of the team’s success.

“We want to make sure that we make that part of our culture and meet that criteria,” Minton said. “That will help us to have some success in the future.”

The team is confident that the season will be a good one. Since the 2012-2013 season, the Knights have been rapidly improving their game and getting farther and farther in the postseason.

The main goal, however, is to not only win the SUNYAC Tournament, but also to be successful at the NCAA Tournament.

“To win the SUNYAC Tournament and to get to the NCAA Tournament would be a big deal and obviously the biggest goal,” Minton said. “But we also want to keep improving so that our ultimate goal of winning the SUNYAC Tournament and getting to the NCAA Tournament can be seen for us down the road.”

Success for the Knights will go beyond teamwork and preparation.

“We want to get more shots than our opponent,” Minton said. “When you take away shot opportunities for them and create more shot opportunities for [us] … [we] can get better shots.”

Although key players in last season’s success graduated, Minton still has hope that the team can go above and beyond.

“I am very confident,” Minton said. “I like our group of guys, we’ve got a veteran group of seniors and I think that our strengths are our inside play and our perimeter shooting.”

The Knights still have a vast array of very seasoned players like senior forwards Gordon Lyons, Devon Anderson and James McKenna––all who racked up a lot of minutes in last season’s games.

Over the years, the Knights have improved incrementally in every aspect. A new and improved system of responsibility should do well in furthering their past successes.