By Kalen Ross
It looks as if Mercy College is in for yet another tough men’s basketball season, as the team fell to 0-7 after two heartbreaking losses last week to Queens and Roberts Wesleyan in overtime.
The team showed little signs of efficiency on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball in the opening games, both blowout losses to St. Rose and St. Anselm in the season-opening St. Rose tournament. Since then, Mercy has lost five games, all by extremely close margins: 85-80 against Caldwell, 67-64 against Nyack, 85-76 against Goldey-Beacom, 72-68 against Queens and 84-79 against Roberts Wesleyan.
Throughout each of Mercy’s first few games, a lack of offensive continuity has been cited as one of the main contributors to the early woes that seem to be ailing the Mavs of Mercy. Even Olajide Keshinro, the Maverick’s effective center, noted their game-playing to be a bit lack lustered in terms of attack.
“We have a lot more talent than we had last year, but we don’t have the chemistry there yet. What we got to do is run our offense and turn up our defense.”
Although showing more signs of both finesse and aggression on the court as opposed to last season, the Mavericks have already dug themselves into an early skid that could potentialyl effect them in the long run. The Mavericks are adjusting to playing without two of their star players from last season, wing guard Lebron Smith and foward Jordan Lee, who are out due to knee and back surgeries.
How might the Mavericks turn around their season in the early going? Well for starters Coach Parmenter could start by allowing some of the bench players to get more playing time to better rest their starting core. The player rotation for the Mavericks isn’t one that provides their starters with enough down time during game play. Another solution would also be to feed the ball off to Foward Joseph Pope more often. Keshinro referred to Pope as their “Go-To Player,” who is noted for his slashing ability and excellent scoring percentage that keeps most games within reach. Aside from that, Pope is also known for his defensive efforts. The aggressive senior, who seems to improve week after week, recorded his third career game with multiple blocks in their loss to Caldwell only weeks earlier. Through some chemistry and adjustments, and how even matched they are against their conference opponents thus far, expect this men’s team to surprise and start closing out some of these conference games with victories.