Men’s and women’s hoops season preview
City College basketball is kicking into gear, and the Beavers are primed to make a run at winning seasons. After disappointing results in the last three years, both the men’s and the women’s basketball teams have been retooled and reloaded. At this writing, in preseason play this month, the men squeaked out a win, but the women lost.
As the season begins, here’s who to watch for and what to expect on the court:
The Women: Fit and Focused
Last season, the Lady Beavers ended with a disppointing 9 wins, 17 losses. Translation: They played poorly in both CUNY conference and non-CUNY conference games. But they’re determined to make losing a thing of the past with a solid group of returning players and some exciting new faces.
Coach Kevin Clifford says this year’s team is more seasoned and now has the experience necessary to compete against both CUNY and non-CUNY schools.
“We have two new freshmen, a good returning core, and they’ve been doing a good job of teaching the new players and gelling together,” says Clifford. “They’re motivated, they’re inspired, and they’re hungry. So we’re very excited.”
Lady Beavers co-captain, Simone Tharkur, agreed emphasizing the team’s new blood. “Alexis Jackson and Sarida Williams, both from Queens, should be a good addition to the team,” says Tharkur, a junior guard from White Plains. “Sarida’s pretty fierce, and she has a good concept of the game. And Alexis goes hard to the net.”
This year’s crew is motivated, perhaps by their previous record, and concentrating on getting fit. They’re spending extra time in the gym and in the weight room and working on playing together as a team.
“They’re focused, and they’re early to practice. They’ve been doing extra workouts, lifting, running,” says Clifford. “This is my fifth year at City College and this is, I would say, the most motivated I’ve seen our team, which I’m excited about.”
Coach Clifford has set his sights high. “I think the realistic goal right now is to win the CUNY Championships,” he says. That would be a major coup since CCNY will host the semi-finals and final in February.
But it won’t be easy. The Lady Beavers have to get past Baruch first.
“I would say that the best team is Baruch,” says Clifford. “They won the last three out of four championships, so Baruch is the top team we want to challenge. Lehman and CSI [College of Staten Island] are usually at the top also. And we want to knock them off.”
Check out the women’s first home game on November 20 at 5 PM in the Nat Holman gymnasium. For a complete schedule go to… http://www.ccnyathletics.com/schedule.aspx?path=wbball
Women’s Home Games (Nat Holman Gymnasium)
Tue, Nov. 30, 2010, Women’s Basketball vs. Lehman College, 5:00pm
Thu, Dec. 9, 2010, Women’s Basketball vs. USMMA, 6:00pm
Wed, Dec. 29, 2010, Women’s Basketball vs. Centenary College, 3:00pm
Wed, Jan. 5, 2011, Women’s Basketball vs. Hunter College, 5:00pm
Mon, Jan. 10, 2011, Women’s Basketball vs. Rutgers-Camden, 5:00pm
Wed, Jan. 19, 2011, Women’s Basketball vs. Staten Island, 5:00pm
Sat, Jan. 22, 2011, Women’s Basketball vs. Medgars Evers, 3:00pm
Wed, Jan. 26, 2011, Women’s Basketball vs. NY City Tech, 5:00pm
Sat, Jan. 29, 2011, Women’s Basketball vs. Brooklyn College, 3:00pm
Mon, Jan. 31, 2011, Women’s Basketball vs. Mount Saint Vincent, 7:00pm
Sat, Feb. 5, 2011, Women’s Basketball vs. John Jay, 3:00pm
Mon, Feb 7, 2011, Women’s Basketball vs. Baruch College, 5:00pm
The Men: Brand-new and Breaking Out
After a disappointing 7-19 2009-2010 season, men’s basketball coach Andy Stampfel has given his team an extreme makeover. “We revamped the whole program,” says Stampfel. “Out of sixteen players on the roster, we brought in 14 freshmen, with a few transfers.”
What happened last season? “Last year we had a lot of talent, but it was a young team, a new team.” explains Stampfel. “We feel we’re more experienced this year. Everyone from last year played in games, got in minutes and learned what it takes to be successful at this level.”
Stampfel says he’s building a small, fast, rebounding team led by senior guard Xavier Gonzalez. “Xavier is our best player,” he says. “The key for him this year is consistency. He can shot, drive, defence, and rebound. He can do it all. But the other teams know that, so he’s got to use the attention he’ll be getting from the other team to give some guys open looks.”
Stampfel also points to Matas Rascius, the 6’ 7” center. “The last 10 games of the year, he averaged 14 points and 10 rebounds as a freshmen. So we’re hoping he can do that again for us.”
Any freshman to keep an eye on? “This year, there won’t be any high impact freshmen,” he says with a grin, knowing the freshman won’t be happy about his analysis. “We’ve got a lot of sophmores, the three senoirs, and that’s really the jist of our team. We have two transfer juniors who’ll be in the regular rotation.”
Working together as a team will also fuel wins for the Beavers. “It’s all about chemistry,” says Xavier Gonzalez. “If we have that, then we’ll play well.”
The Beavers will also have to play hard to beat back the teams that beat them down last season. “Pretty much Baruch and Hunter are our biggest rivals,” says Stampfel.
As his team heads into the season, Coach Stampfel says he’d like to go all the way, but he’s also a realist. “Like everyone else, you’d like to cut down the nets and win the CUNY championships,” he says. “But at the same time, we’ve had single digit wins over the last three seasons. So my goal this year is to get to 500. But if we peak at the right time, we’ll be okay.”
The men play at home on Monday November 15 at 6 PM. For a complete schedule, go to http://www.ccnyathletics.com/schedule.aspx?path=mbball
Men’s Home Games (Nat Holman Gymnasium)
Mon, Nov. 15, 2010, Men’s Basketball vs. Mitchell College, 6:00pm
Tue, Nov. 30, 2010, Men’s Basketball vs. Lehman College, 7:00pm
Wed, Dec. 29, 2010, Men’s Basketball vs. Clarkson University, 1:00pm
Thu, Dec. 30, 2010, Men’s Basketball vs. William Paterson University, 1:00pm
Wed, Jan. 5, 2011, Men’s Basketball vs. Hunter College, 7:00pm
Fri, Jan. 14, 2011, Men’s Basketball vs. St. Joseph’s, 7:00pm
Wed, Jan. 19, 2011, Men’s Basketball vs. Staten Island, 7:00pm
Sat, Jan. 22, 2011, Men’s Basketball vs. Medgar Evers, 5:00pm
Sat, Jan. 29, 2011, Men’s Basketball vs. Brooklyn College, 5:00pm
Sat, Feb 5, 2011, Men’s Basketball vs. John Jay, 5:00pm
Mon, Feb. 7, 2011, Men’s Basketball vs. Baruch, 7:00pm