Ryan Glavey

Sports Editor


On the heels of several big wins, the Keene State College men’s basketball team turned a lot of sports fans’ heads and garnered national attention.

The Owls went on a nine-game winning streak with big victories over Eastern Connecticut State, Rhode Island College, and former number one ranked Middlebury College.

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At one point D3hoops.com ranked Keene State College as high as 21st in the country for Division III.

This team shows some resemblance to the 2006-2007 KSC Owls who made a run to the NCAA tournament’s Sweet-16.

The run included a 76-75 win over Salem State in the second round of the tournament.

Tyler Kathan led those 06-07 Owls with his 16 points and 8.5 rebounds per game average.

However, KSC men’s basketball head coach Rob Colbert said the teams are similar in more ways then just on the court.

“You need to have chemistry and be able to play together and trust each other,” Colbert said. “And the guys genuinely trust each other this year.”

Colbert said the attention KSC has gotten from beating top-ranked Middlebury College and becoming ranked has put the team in touch with the same caliber of recruits as the Sweet-16 run in 06-07 did.

“No question we get a lot of play for beating the Number One team and being ranked 21,” Colbert said. “The more exposure the team gets, the more attractive it is to the potential recruits, especially the difference-makers.”

However, Colbert said what’s really critical is the substance behind the recruiting; getting the player to KSC, having him fall in love with the college, and coming in and performing.

In addition, Colbert noted the excitement this team is creating with the fans.

Colbert said a lot of the credit for that belongs to Casey Wilson and the Owl Nation organization, which has been working to get students more involved and excited about home games.

“The students have been great, and we need them to continue to be great,” Colbert said.

Colbert said the crowd might be the most comparable attribute to the 06-07.

“You want to make comparisons to the past, well there’s your comparison, in the past our crowds were like that every night,” Colbert said.

KSC Athletic director John Ratliff said the most important characteristic this year’s team shares with the 06-07 team is how they play together.

Ratliff said the team is playing as one, passing the ball, playing defense, and the overall chemistry have found.

“Our work ethic has been great this year,” junior forward Nicco DeMasco said. “We realize we have good team this year, but no is going to give it to us.”

Demasco said all great teams need to have comradery on and off the court, and that’s what the Owls have this year.

“You can say you need to have chemistry on the court, but don’t have to off it, but you can’t.” DeMasco said. “You need to have chemistry off the court as well.”

DeMasco said the team takes every practice seriously.

DeMasco said the team knows what is expected of them, and when they’re in the gym they go as hard as they can.

He said it’s important not to overlook any opponent, and that’s how they were able to build their nine-game win streak.

“Like coach says, we take games one step at a time and the only game that matters is the next one,” DeMasco said.


Ryan Glavey can be contacted at rglavey@keene-equinox.com

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