Man…It Really Is Over

By Barak Swarttz // March 22, 2018 //

Just like that. Four years. Four LONG years of college basketball. I do not even know where to begin to compress the past four years into a few paragraphs.

The most recent memory I have is my senior day from this past season. A lot of people came to the game, for both teams. It was a high-energy game, which made it that much better for me because I feed off of energy and always have since I picked up a basketball. Dead basketball gyms are the worst environments to play in. Period.

The gym was loud, the fans were involved and the game was chippy. It’s funny actually…my entire life I have never gotten a technical foul. Ever. Not in travel leagues, camps, clinics, when I played in Israel, AAU, high school or college. Never. I always wondered if I was ever going to get one and my last college basketball game would have been an ironic time to.

During the first half, I forced the player I was guarding to travel and the crowd started going nuts. I proceeded to look at him and scream in his face because I was amped up – that’s just how I am; a very, very emotional player.

Right after, the referee sprinted up to me, got close to my face and said, “Don’t do that again, none of that. That’s where things get messy.”

I walked away with a huge grin on my face and thought to myself, “Man…that would have been the perfect time,” but I did want to preserve my clean record at the same time. After that, I was convinced that I was going to go the rest of my life without ever receiving a technical foul…but two weeks later, guess what?

In just my second men’s league game, I got T’d up for saying, “Man I think that was a terrible call,” under my breath; what a warm welcome to the league. Life is funny, man.

Continue reading “Man…It Really Is Over”

Men’s Basketball Drops Opening Conference Matchup

BY JASON POMBO // Nov. 30, 2017 //

The Curry College Colonels began their Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) schedule yesterday, as they fell in a tough matchup to the Wentworth Leopards, 58-49, after their offense disappeared in the final minutes.

The Leopards began the game on fire, going on an early 8-2 run. However, the
Colonels quickly started to hit their stride, and went on a run of their own. The Colonels scored seven unanswered points to take a 9-8 lead.

Both teams went back and forth for much of the first half, but at halftime Wentworth lead the Colonels 26-25, though the game was very much in reach for Curry.

The beginning of the second half was very similar to the first with both teams going back and forth, not being able to separate from each other. However, Wentworth ended the game on a 9-0 run, and hung on to beat the Colonels with a final score of 58-49.

Sophomore forward Kieran Carroll led the Colonels in scoring with 15 points on 35 minutes, and he also added in 9 rebounds.  Sophomore guard Spencer Feng also gave Curry a spark off the bench, providing 11 points on 28 minutes.

Despite Carroll’s efforts, senior forward Jason Ganley was too much to handle. Ganley poured in a game high 20 points with a team-high 8 rebounds.

Despite the defeat and not being able to close out at the very end, Colonels Coach Matt LeVangie was very pleased with his teams’ effort and fight.

“We battled at a very high level, we could have tucked our tails two minutes in when things weren’t going our way… it was a huge step for us character wise,” said LeVangie.

With the loss, the Colonels drop to 1-5 on the young season, while Wentworth improves to 3-2.

The Colonels return to action on Saturday, December 2, as they take on another conference opponent, at Endicott College. The Colonels will be seeking to end their 4-game losing skid, as they begin a two-game road trip. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

Men’s Hoops Gearing Up For New Season

BY BRANDON WILFORE // Nov. 16, 2017 //

Curry College men’s basketball is back and looking to build some continuity along with a culture for the 2017-2018 season.

Coming off of a 1-24 campaign in the previous season, the Colonels averaged just under 64 points a game. Which is fine as long as you hold down the fort on the other end of the court.

That wasn’t the case as they allowed 90+ points six times last season, averaging 84.8 points allowed on the season.

Head coach Matt LeVangie took over the team in 2015 and they have been 1-49 since, losing by an average of 41.5 points a game.

The Colonels have also struggled to keep a team in tact.  They have only had a combined six seniors in the past two years and only have two for the 2017-2018 campaign.   In addition, only seven players from last year’s squad will return this season.

But the team hopes that this year they will be able to find some continuity.

Barak Swarttz is a senior from Newton, MA who transferred last season from Elmira College in New York but he was injured and couldn’t play the entire last season.

“I think being in the leadership position as a captain, my leadership has been able to set the tone for the team academically and on the court, which has been lacking in the past in this program.” Swarttz said.

The Colonels are led by Swarttz, co-captain Louis Stein and center John Coleman as their three upperclassmen.

Another year, another young team.

Curry will again try to attack teams with an inexperienced bunch for the second year in a row as five freshman and six sophomores made the roster. All are going to be tasked with playing very important minutes down the stretch.

That sophomore class was dwindled down to six from 10 last season when they were freshman.

“With such a big sophomore class, those guys need to understand the impact they are going to have.” Swarttz mentioned when asked about how important the youth will play if they want to string some wins together this season.

The lack of on-court experience makes it an uphill battle for the Colonels in the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC).

But on top of that, they get some added salt poured on the wound with a lack of size.

The Colonels will roll out a fourteen-man roster with only four players 6’4” or above.

Conference rival and perineal powerhouse Nichols will come prepared with eight guys above 6’3”.

Without enough size, Curry will be forced to shoot more from three point range, something sophomore Jared Thorpe-Johnson excelled at last season by shooting 98 times from behind the arc and burying 42% of those shots.

Curry has some good pieces to hopefully improve upon the past two abysmal seasons.

The starting five is looking like it’s going to be Stein at the point, Swarttz at the shooting guard position, Johnson at small forward, Kieran Carroll at power forward and Coleman rounding it out at the center position.

Their first game comes this Saturday Nov. 17, at the UMass Dartmouth Tournament.

Their first opponent will be Castleton University who beat the Colonels by 14 points last season, but will be without their three top contributors from a season ago.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Men’s Basketball Drops Conference Contest to Western New England

BY BRANDON WILFORE // Feb. 12, 2017 //

As the gloomy weather lingered around Curry College, it was almost a preview of what was to come for the 1-22 Colonels.

The 6-17 Golden Bears came in only two games up in the Commonwealth Coast Conference with a 4-12 conference record.

The scoreboard read 7-0 early in the game, and the seven was in favor of the hometown team, believe it or not.

However, it did not last long when Western New England changed into a full-court press defensively. The Golden Bears kept the pressure on and halfway through the first half pushed their lead to 17 and owned all the momentum.

Curry began to show the signs of bad teams; coaches virtually stopped coaching, players stopped producing quality chances and on the other side, WNE seemingly couldn’t miss.

mens-basketball

The horn sounded for halftime and the Colonels, once again, found themselves trailing, this time by a 50-25 score. Freshman Dashawn Williams was on the forefront of the offensive attack with nine first-half points.

The intermission is always a fresh start for teams; they can recollect themselves, make adjustments and play as if there was no score. The only thing is that strategy hasn’t helped a whole lot this season.

With nine minutes left in the game, the Golden Bears made a three to push their total to 75 points. It popped into everyone’s mind; ‘Can they put up 100?’

It wouldn’t be new territory for Curry, who has let up over 100 four different times this season.

Instead of piling it on, WNE decided to spread the love and had 13 different players check in. The Colonels weren’t done trying yet, though.

Freshmen Jared Thorpe-Johnson and Spencer Feng along with sophomore Ryan Beatty kept shooting and finished 5-12 from behind the arc. It wouldn’t add up to be enough as Curry dropped its 22nd game of the year by a score of 86-54.

The Colonels have two more shots at earning their second (or third) win(s) of the season at Wentworth Feb. 15, and home against Eastern Nazarene on Feb. 18.

Rematch-In their first meetings with their next two opponents, Curry has lost by an average of 24.5 ppg.

Walking Wounded-The Colonels started as a 21-man squad for their active roster. Saturday, only eight players logged minutes.

Turnovers…and not the apple kind-Curry continues to be plagued with turnovers; this time they gave up the ball 28 times, allowing the Golden Bears to convert 39 extra points.

Colonels battle Fighting Scots to final minutes

BY BRANDON WILFORE // Dec. 7, 2016 //

A college basketball game is 40 minutes. Curry outplayed visiting Gordon College for 35 minutes. The game came down to those five minutes.

“We as a team are getting better each day, despite us losing. We will keep working. I believe in this team. We gotta keep going hard,” said freshman Jaelen Bellitti after Tuesday’s tough loss. Jaelen added 15 points for the Colonels.

The Curry Colonels men’s basketball team dropped to 0-7 on the year after a close loss to the visiting Gordon Fighting Scots, by a score of 76-71.

If you look on paper, the Scots seemed to have the upper hand; last year’s contest also went to Gordon, but that margin of victory was 39 points. This time, they came into the Eleanor Katz Gymnasium 4-2.

But this didn’t scare the Colonels; they came out guns blazing, not backing down to anyone. They were driving to the rim and finishing. On three straight possessions, they scored a basket and earned a foul to get the whole crowd into the game. That run led to a 15-8 lead for Curry, with almost everyone on their feet.

The problem for the Colonels this year has been turnovers, but not Tuesday night. Using high-intensity defense and taking good care of the ball, they extended their lead to double digits with nine minutes to play until the half.

Curry players were trapping in the corners, swatting layups and even laying out for loose balls; was this the night they got their first win in two years?

At the half, the Colonels led 41-29 and everything was clicking. They committed only four turnovers in the first half…FOUR. Before Tuesday night, the Colonels averaged a Commonwealth Coast Conference-high 18.4 turnovers a game. The Scots racked up 15 of their own.

The beginning of the second half was, weird, to say the least.

A family member of a Curry player got warned by the college’s Public Safety officers to back away from the court. The man took that as an insult and talked back, leading to Public Safety asking him to leave. While being escorted out, the guy decided to sprint out of the gym like he was on Cops, and the whole gym erupted in laughter.

After all the dust settled, there was still a basketball game going on. The Colonels were holding on to an 11-point lead with 10 minutes left in the game.

A win was just ten minutes away…if they can close it out.

With the help of Garrisson Duvivier and Eric Demers, Gordon got back into the game and worked to trail by only a pair of points with seven minutes to play.

But Curry has some scorers too, including Jaelen Bellitti and Paul Preziosi, who both had productive second halves to fuel a run that would extend the lead to five with just under three minutes to go.

The Colonels needed a stop, leading 71-66 with 1:28 left in the game. They got one when senior James Pina blocked Sam Johnson, seemingly ending the battle that had been going on all night. Pina emphasized his play with a lion-like roar to force the Scots called a timeout.

After their conference, Gordon got some key defensive stops and tied the game at 71 with under a minute left.

Now, winning doesn’t just come to a team. Believe it or not, you have to learn how to win, and there were some learning curves for Curry.

The Colonels had the ball looking for the go-ahead basket and got a three-point attempt from the corner by James Gibson. It failed to fall and the Scots rushed down the court and laid the ball in to take the lead with 29 seconds left.

After a few offensive rebounds by Gordon, and fouls by Curry, the Purple and White dropped their 32nd contest in a row, this time by a 76-71 final score.

“The way we played tonight says a lot about our toughness and heart as a team after a tough loss the game before,” said Preziosi after the game. He added that this is definitely “a game we can improve on [so we can] learn how to finish.”

3 Points (No Pun Intended, Pun Intended)

  • Bench?: Curry’s bench only contributed 12 of its 71 points.
  • Bellitti Backcourt: The twins combined for 27 points, 8 rebounds, and 4 assists
  • Road Trip: The Colonels travel north to Maine for their next two games over the holiday break. They resume conference play Jan. 3, at home against Salve Regina.
    Can the New Year bring the Colonels their first win?