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  • Writer's pictureSUTV Writer

SHIPPENSBURG MEN'S BASKETBALL SEASON IN REVIEW

Austin Bryner 4/16/24

(Photo courtesy of Jeremy Perna)


With a team full of new faces, the Shippensburg University men’s basketball team provided many positive moments in what was a down year for the University’s basketball program finishing 8-20.


Coming off a 2022-23 season where the Raiders would finish with a 19-11 record and a stint in the PSAC (Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference) Men’s Basketball Championship playoffs, the team would have high expectations heading into the next season. However, it wouldn’t be easy to continue the same success as the team would lose three star players to graduation in Rashon Johnson, Dom Sleva, and Carlos Carter all of whom would play the 2023-24 professional basketball season internationally.


With losing many big names from previous years of success the Raider team would look a lot younger this year with all but three players on the team being Juniors or younger. The question was, who was going to step up to the plate? One of those men was Redshirt Freshman Marcus Frank. After scoring 495 points on the season, Frank set a Raiders Freshman record for points scored in a season, en route to winning the PSAC Freshman of the Year award. Frank would be a big help for the Raiders being a top-10 scorer in all of the PSAC scoring 17.7 points a game.


At home, the Raiders nearly split the games they had at Heiges Field House with a record of 6-7. One of those games they won at home was one for the history books. Going against a former old rival back in the 50s-80s in Cheyney University the Raiders would break the program's record for most three-pointers made in a game with 20. By the end of the game, the Raiders would go on to score 116 points, tying the record for most points in a game by the program set back in 1976 against Messiah.


To achieve what the team did in that record-breaking game, the team’s confidence played a big role in the offensive explosion they had against Cheyney.


“I think we just had more confidence in that game. When the confidence is up I feel we are capable of anything, and it felt like we were relaxed and finally started just playing to have fun,” said Senior forward, Ty Holsopple.


Seniors on this year's team would also make a big impact with many having important roles within the teams' rotation. Graduate student Guard Andrew Recchia would lead the team this season in assists as the starting point guard of the team. Meanwhile, Seniors Ty Crespo and Holsopple would be key members of the roster, providing a spark off the bench throughout the year. The latter of the two scored his career-high 20 points in the record-breaking victory versus Cheyney University.


            The Raiders offense started to get things going down the late stretch of the season, with Coach Fite emphasizing that the players work hard and stay ready.


“Coach Fite constantly emphasized just hard work and being in the gym getting shots up. I felt the offense really started flowing because we stopped worrying so much about the outcome and started playing to have fun and because we love this game,” said Holsopple who was Captain of the Men’s basketball team this season.

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