The Suffolk Journal

Young Rams here to reside

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Brooke Patterson / Sports Editor

Brooke Patterson / Sports Editor

Brooke Patterson / Sports Editor

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The Suffolk University men’s basketball team reached new heights during the 2017-18 regular season, as they achieved a milestone that had not been touched for more than 15 years.

With a 15-11 record, the Rams notched their best regular season record since the 2001-02 season and also managed to pull out nine wins within the Great Northeast Atlantic Conference (GNAC), the most since their 2005-06 campaign.

As a result of their success in the regular season, the Rams scored sixth in the overall seedings for the GNAC, which meant they would have to travel to play Saint Joseph’s College of Maine in the GNAC quarterfinals.

In a nail-biter finish that came down to the final seconds, the Rams edged out St. Joe’s 69-65. This would be the first time the Rams were able to advance as far as the GNAC semifinal since 2007 and fourth time ever in the program’s history.

Junior guard and captain Michael Hagopian led the way with 25 points for the Rams. Sophomore guard Thomas Duffy also surpassed 20 points for the 10th time this season.

The core of the Rams roster will be back for at least one more season. The Rams achieved a strong record with a young team overall, as the group does not contain one senior.

The young talent mainly stems from players such as Duffy, who leads the team in points with just more than 16, as well as freshman guard and forward Brendan Mulson who has won several GNAC Rookie of the Week awards, while averaging 12 points per game.

Head coach Jeff Juron had strong words in regards to the overall play of both Duffy and Mulson. He noted they both had strong seasons and spoke on how they have helped the team overall.

“[Mulson and Duffy] have impacted the game in multiple ways,” said Juron in a recent interview with The Suffolk Journal. “That versatility can serve both well.”

Brooke Patterson / Sports Editor

Sophomore guard George Grillakis said the overall youth of the team has given young players valuable experience throughout the past two seasons.

“Last year we lost quite a few close games,” said Grillakis in a recent interview with The Journal. “This year, we have won quite a few close games because of the experience we now have in these situations.”

Juron had similar comments in regards to the tough times leading to better paths for the following season.

“Our group shared some painful experiences last season. We competed hard but came up short more often than not,” said Juron. “I think that experience continues to motivate the group.”

One major point of the season came against Albertus Magnus College on the Rams’ home court. The Rams went up against the GNAC’s best team and battled until the very end until they came within a fingernails distance of victory, as they were edged  out 88-84.

Hagopian believes the game helped the team overall in terms of confidence.

“Competing with Albertus Magnus and almost beating them was huge for us. Of course, we weren’t satisfied with the outcome,” said Hagopian in a recent interview with The Journal. “However, it did prove to us that we could be really good. It shows that we are capable of beating anyone. We were proud of our efforts but next time we want to come out on top.”

Duffy and Hagopian led the way for the Rams, both nailing down 27 points for the team.

Hagopian, a third-year starter, is one of the Rams oldest players as a junior. He has started a total of 76 out of a possible 77 games in his collegiate career. The standout guard has 15 points per game this season while maintaining a steady field-goal percentage at nearly 45.

Hagopian has been through the ups and downs of the Suffolk men’s basketball program and is exhilarated with how the Rams have become resurgent as of late.

This program had struggled for a little while and it feels amazing to be a contributor to its success”

— Michael Hagopian

“This program had struggled for a little while and it feels amazing to be a contributor to its success,” said Hagopian. “It definitely wasn’t easy, and we’re nowhere close to being done. We haven’t reached all of our goals.”

Hagopian added that the overall goal for this team as they continue their season into the GNAC tournament will be to win the league and make it to the NCAA tournament.

The Rams have now won four games in a row, proving they are gelling at the perfect time. They will now play Johnson and Wales University on Thursday for the GNAC semifinal.

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About the Writer
Joe Rice, Assistant Sports Editor

As an Assistant Sports Editor for The Suffolk Journal, Joe Rice aspires to have his own sports radio show someday. As a junior who is currently seeking a degree in Broadcast Journalism, he devotedly follows the Boston Bruins, but is also always keeping up with the sports realm as a whole. Rice has found a life in the city of Boston and plans to continue his future in journalism there. If you are trying to find him, he is likely the individual in the crowd with a Red Sox cap on, unless he is fresh of a haircut.

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Young Rams here to reside