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Men’s basketball shoots for SUNYAC Championship title

By Andrew Hyman - Staff Writer
On December 5, 2016

Photos courtesy of the Brockport Athletic Communications via 
IN IT TO WIN IT Senior Matthew Smith (above) and the rest of the men’s basketball team are sporting great potential this year with underclassmen and returning players all coming into the season ready to take home the SUNYAC Championship.

Unless you have been living under a rock, you would know that The College at Brockport men’s basketball team is owning the early part of the season. Through this past Saturday, the Golden Eagles are a perfect 6-0, their first undefeated six-game start since Head Coach Greg Dunne joined the program in 2007.

Not to bore you with numbers, but we’d be foolish not to point out the impressive stats put up by the Golden Eagles. Brockport has been outscoring their opponents with 86.2 points a game, to just a measly 68.8 percent.

The Golden Eagles also do a great job at holding onto the ball as they have only committed 16.8 turnovers a game, whereas a staunch Brockport defense is forcing opponents to turn the ball over 27.2 times a game. 

The statistics do not lie; the Golden Eagles have looked like one of the better teams in the country. We notice, and so does Dunne.

In his 10th season at the helm, Dunne is seeing a remarkable effort out of his players, both old and young.

“We got a group of older guys that have been playing with each other for awhile,” Dunne said. “It’s been having a group that feels comfortable with one another to have that chemistry.”

More established veteran players like senior forwards Clifton Lyerly and Marcus Blythers as well as senior guard Devonn Gavin and junior guard Hamed Shamseldin have come up huge for the Golden Eagles. All four of the aforementioned players are in the top five on the team in scoring with Blythers and Lyerly dominating on both sides of the ball in particular.

Not to be outdone, those younger guys have been doing well themselves. As we told you in our season preview, Dunne was ecstatic to show the world his incoming class of players and so far, his guarantee has held up quite nicely.

Players like freshman forward Jacob Peterson, freshman guard Malick Sylla, sophomore and Central Florida transfer Dwayne Daniel and sophomore transfer Mike O’Hara have all seen meaningful minutes and have contributed well.

With solid contributions from all over, it is not surprising that the Golden Eagles may not truly have a set starting five. You may have guaranteed starters like Lyerly, Shamseldin and Blythers, but as Dunne says, the roster depth has been one of their biggest assets. 

“We got about 10 guys that we think could be better players on almost any other team in our area,” Dunne said.  

Dunne made it a point of reference to mention Gavin who, while earning All-Conference nods last season, is not a starter.

Even with the great start, Dunne is wise enough to know things could change at any minute.

“You know how college basketball goes,” Dunne said. “Nobody goes undefeated and we gotta make sure that we bring it every single night.”

At the end of the day, Dunne and his squad are remaining focused on their main goals, grab a SUNYAC championship and break into the NCAA tournament for the first time since that dominant 2013 season which still stands as one of Dunne’s best as a head coach here in Brockport.

Until then, Brockport still has many more games to play. 

The Golden Eagles will not return home in this calendar year as they begin a four-game road trip. Brockport will return to the confines of the Jim and John Vlogianitis Gym on January 6 when they take on St. Lawrence University.

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