The Geneseo men’s basketball team is off to an up and down 3-4 start to the season.
After the season-opening 87-72 win against Marymount University at the 5th Annual Pablo Coto Tip-Off Tournament in Arlington, Va. on Nov. 18, the Knights lost the following day 63-47 to Randolph-Macon College.
Following the tournament, the Knights bounced back in the Nov. 21 home opener against SUNY Morrisville thanks in part to 24 points from junior guard Quinn Carey. Carey was on a roll that night, going 7 for 11 from the three-point range.
After the home opener game, the team embarked on a week of three away games at Alfred University, SUNY Oneonta and SUNY New Paltz.
“For the most part those bus trips are a positive time you get to spend with your teammates bonding,” head coach Steve Minton said. “You’re on the bus, watching a movie, studying … In terms of team chemistry, those road trips are good, but they are very demanding physically.”
Alfred defended their home court on Nov. 28, beating the Knights 86-75. The Saxons shot 15 for 30 from three-point range, a feat only magnified by the Knights’ 3 for 16 shooting from deep.
Senior guard Kevin Crockett made 15 points; sophomore guard Tommy Eastman had 14 points and 9 rebounds, and junior guards Zack Panebianco and Carey gained 13 and 12 points, respectively.
Geneseo was able to pick up a win on Friday Dec. 1 during a close competition with Oneonta. The Knights beat the Red Dragons 67-62 behind Panebianco’s 21 points—14 of which were in the second half—and Eastman’s 8 points and 10 rebounds.
New Paltz, however, proved to be a difficult opponent on Saturday Dec. 2, defeating the Knights 73-60.
“The first few games there were several things we were doing very well,” Minton said. “We were pushing the ball, we were shooting the ball pretty well. We are better defensively this year than we were last year. In the last two games, some of those things have kind of waned a bit.”
Minton went on to say that rebounding was detrimental to the team’s effort against the Hawks and statistics prove that was definitely the case. The Hawks grabbed 52 boards against Geneseo’s 26.
It is the minor skills, like rebounding, that Minton is concerned about.
“Sometimes when you have great success with things and you see that success, you forget about the little things,” Minton said. “You think you can just go do it, when that’s not necessarily the case.”
Geneseo hosted the University of Rochester on Tuesday Dec. 5, where they fell 82-60, adding another loss to their record.
As for conference play, the road to the postseason looks more difficult than in recent years. SUNY Cortland and SUNY Plattsburgh have the most players returning, after maintaining success in the past few seasons. Other opponents such as SUNY Potsdam and New Paltz have found new life with different coaching staffs.
“I think our conference is better this year than it was last year,” Minton said. “And I feel like I say that every year.”u