The men’s basketball season is starting up and it is looking bright for the 2021-2022 Lions squad. On Nov. 12 the Lions played the in-state Division I Rider Broncos in a non-counting scrimmage. The College lost this contest 87-50. The Lions looked to bounce back as they played their first regular season game on Nov. 15. They traveled to Collegeville, PA to play against Ursinus College, the Lions lost 99-72.
The Lions are currently 2-2 in the season with losses against Ursinus and Neumann University and wins over Rutgers-Camden and Pratt Institute. They are looking to improve their record season record with their first home NJAC season game which will be played against Rowan University. Winning this would be a good step forward for the lions. Their next 4 opponents will all be against NJAC teams; Rowan University, New Jersey City University, Kean University and Montclair University. These next four games could have huge impacts on the rest of the season and could determine how this team plays out.
“I feel a sense of excitement and nervousness. I’m excited to play my collegiate games, but also nervous because I have to start off on the right track and make the least amount of errors possible,” said Nick Koch, a freshman guard and finance major. Koch tallied two rebounds in the game against Rider University.
Other freshmen are ready to play their first collegiate regular season of their careers.
“My thoughts going into my first games are doing anything to make the team better,” Freshman forward and marketing major Matthew Solomon said. “I can do that in a bunch of different ways, but however the coach wants me to help, I am willing and excited to help the team in any way I can.”
The Lions are trying to improve from their 10-14 season last year.
“As a team, we want to take step by step and compete hard in practice and win every game, but our ultimate goal is to win the NJAC conference, and then eventually win the National Championship.” Koch said.
The Lions have 19 regular season games listed on their schedule with six other games which are a part of Tournaments and the Jay Bilas Small College Classic. The Lions have a couple of games highlighted on their schedule.
“One specific game circled on my schedule is Ramapo College,” Koch explained. “I’m circling that game because my brother goes to Ramapo, and to beat his school would be great.”
The College is going into this season with a tough and hard-working mindset.
“The team is taking a pretty common approach.” Solomon said. “We want to leave it all out there every night we play, regardless of our opponent. We want to play as a selfless team and play together to win games. Every game is a team approach, never an individual one.”
The Lions’ first tournament game at home was on Nov. 18 against Pratt Institute for the College’s Tipoff Tournament. They won this contest 84-40.
“I am equally excited for every game,” Solomon said. “It is super fun preparing each week to play against different teams. As a freshman, I do not have any rivalries or teams I enjoy playing the most yet.”
Solomon recorded a rebound, assist, and steal in their game. The Lions look to continue their solid start to the season and have heads turn toward them.