The Geneseo men’s basketball team did not live up to expectations after receiving a bye week in the SUNYAC Tournament, losing to SUNY Oswego for the second time in a row by a score of 72-61 in the SUNYAC semifinals. Senior forward Gordon Lyons scored 17 points and pulled down 14 rebounds, while senior guard Andy Drescher tallied 14 points. Despite their efforts, Geneseo was unable to pull the Knights to victory. The Knights kept the score close, even leading the Lakers 47-40 in the second half. They were unable to keep up, however, as Oswego went on an 11-2 run to secure the victory. Head coach Steve Minton said that the team was unable to come and do damage right out of the gate due to in-game circumstances.
“We got a couple of guys in foul trouble, so a few of our guys had to sit,” Minton said. “We had to play different defensively. We had to play a little bit more zone to protect our players in foul trouble. We couldn’t trap, which was what we were doing early in the game.”
Ultimately, the Knights were unable to string a win together. Despite losing the game, Lyons was named SUNYAC Player of the Year, was named to the SUNYAC All-Tournament Team and is a finalist for the Jostens Trophy which honors the most outstanding Division III men’s basketball player. Drescher and senior forward James McKenna were also named to all-conference teams as well.
Despite not winning the SUNYAC title, Minton noted that there were many encouraging signs from the season—especially from the senior members of the squad.
“I think the play of all of our seniors was really key,” Minton said. “[Drescher] and [McKenna] get the next most recognition to Gordon ... Those three seniors’ play stands out but also alongside the play of two other seniors, [forward] Devon Anderson and [guard] Connor Rogers.”
Minton also said that team camaraderie was a strong trait that the seniors portrayed and that was something he hoped would be emulated in the coming seasons after the departure of this group.
“The fact that all these guys really enjoyed each other, were committed to each other and wanted to win for each other showed me that they were the most selfless group of guys I have ever had,” Minton said. “They would sacrifice their individual scoring or rebounding and things like that for us to get a win, or have someone else on the team to have success. That approach to how they played the game was key for us.”
With the departure of the seniors, Minton noted that he is looking forward to the future of the Geneseo basketball program.
“There will definitely be guys that step up,” Minton said. “A group of juniors will be seniors next year and have shown at various times that they’re capable of making plays and helping out.”
All in all, Minton stressed that his reflection on this season is pride-inducing, with a good sign of things to come.
“I thought we had a great season. I thought we were successful with what we had,” Minton said. “It was a fitting way for Lyons, Drescher, McKenna, Anderson and Rogers to finish. I think that those five guys were all amazing leaders for our young guys … I think they learned a lot from them. We wanted them to be able to instill a certain work ethic and learn a little of what goes into being a Geneseo basketball player on the court as well as off the court and how we want to represent ourselves. I’m very proud of our seniors in that aspect.”