Rocky Start for Defending Champs
BY BRANDAN BLOM // NOV. 27, 2013 //
The Curry College men’s basketball team won The Commonwealth Coast Conference championship last season. It was the squad’s first title, and NCAA tournament berth, since 2008.
But the dream season of a year ago has turned into a nightmare. The Colonels are currently 0-4 after losing to Brandeis University, WPI, MIT and Williams College. With the exception of the MIT game, which Curry lost by “only” seven points, the Colonels have lost their other three games by an average of 45 points.
Moreover, the team has failed to score more than 72 points in a game. The Colonels clearly miss TCCC 2013 Player of the Year Sedale Jones, who left Curry this fall after maxing out his eligibility last season. He averaged more than 22 points per game. Curry had five seniors on last year’s championship squad, including big men John Durkin (6-foot-5, 245 pounds) and Ted Amendola (6-foot-7, 230 pounds), who were defensive presences in the paint.
Another big body gone this year is forward A.J. Stephens, a second-team All-TCCC honoree last year after averaging 17 points and 10 rebounds per game. Stevens, who has had a rocky history throughout his basketball career, started the first two games of the season but is no longer even listed on the team’s roster.
Despite all of the changes, some bright spots remain for the Colonels. Senior guard Lambros Papalambros started all 29 games last season, averaging 15.8 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game. He was a first-team All-TCCC honoree. This season, he’s averaging a team-best 16 points per game. Other returning seniors include forward Thomas McLean and guard Carlos Ribeiro. The team has also added a lot of young talent this year with five freshmen.
There is an old saying in sports that “it’s never as bad as it seems, and it’s never as good as it feels.” Sure, the Colonels are 0-4. But the team has yet to play a conference opponent. In addition, Curry started 1-3 last season and ended up in the NCAA tournament.
The Colonels were able to turn things around a year ago, and I think they could do it again. Their next three games are against Western New England (away, on Dec. 4, 7:30 p.m.) and Wentworth (away, on Dec. 7, 3 p.m.).