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The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Suffolk men’s basketball overcomes 3-5 record, achieves winning record on season

The Suffolk men’s basketball team had a lackluster start to the season. Here’s how they turned into a competitive playoff squad.
JD Conte

After starting the season 3-5, the Suffolk University’s men’s basketball team has managed to claw back and achieve a winning record on the season.

Suffolk now has a 16-9 record sparked by a hot streak in January where they won six games in a row.

“We’re just such a close group of guys. I guess it sounds bad and it looks bad, but losing five in a row really didn’t phase us,” said graduate student shooting guard Conor Creane. “We were going through growing pains and everyone felt that, it’s not like we were playing horrible.”

Creane recalled the moment when the team knew their season was on the brink of a turnaround.

“The last game we lost we were at Tufts, the first game before Winter Break, they were beating us by 16 in the second half. We came back and tied the game, and then they ended up hitting this crazy three and they beat us,” said Creane. “It just felt like as Jaylen Brown said, the energy was about to shift.”

Part of what helped the team turn their season around was a new scheme put in place by Coach Jeff Juron; a scheme called “Brush,” according to Creane.

“It moves the ball a lot more which obviously leads to open looks, but it includes everybody. So even if you start in the opposite corner when the offense initiates, you know the ball’s going to eventually get to your side,” said Creane.

The increased level of ball movement introduced by this scheme was a key part of not only turning the offense around, but turning the season around.


“Even though there might be high scorers like Keenan, Cole, Will and myself, the ball is moving around and no one cares who scores. I think in the beginning of the season we needed one guy to score, but now we have so many more scorers that people aren’t afraid to give the ball up to make the better play,” said senior point guard Aidan Sullivan. “We have a good to great mentality: if you can give up a good shot for a great one, you’re gonna do it.”

Although the team’s been winning often, not many of those wins have come easy. They consider some of their wins to be “winning ugly.”

“Coach has talked about winning ugly a lot because at the end of the day all that matters is that you win, but we’re not the high-paced scoring team we were last year,” said Sullivan. “This year we have to play offense, defense, rebound and do the whole system that he asked us for, so winning ugly has kind of been our thing this year.”

While “winning ugly” might seem like a bad thing at first, it could possibly be valuable experience that comes in handy when the playoffs roll around.

“It’s those types of wins, the ones where you really get tested at the end that help you when it comes to the playoffs, as opposed to if we were up 20 at half and won by 40. All that shows is that we had a good offensive day. It really is those close games and the comebacks that prepare you for playoff time because every playoff game is going to be close,” said Creane. “You’re not gonna go out there and win every game by 20, so you kind of want to play these gritty games in the regular season.”

By providing a playoff atmosphere throughout the season, nothing’s been more impactful to their game than the home crowd’s support.

“Every game you go to down in the Smith Court is packed because of how small it is, but that’s the best thing for us, just having it be loud in there. We feel so comfortable at home that it’s really tough for opponents to come in here and beat us because we just love playing in that gym. We get good crowds a lot of the time, it’s just a really fun atmosphere,” said Sullivan.

While their season may not have started off ideally, Suffolk will be in the playoffs and the team said they’re ready for the opportunity.

“I’m very excited. This is what I came to look forward to all year, just getting into this tournament and making a little run. I said it the other day at Nichols, ‘we got seven games left, take it one at a time, 7-0.’ We ended up losing that game, but the same message stands: take it day by day,” said Sullivan.

Suffolk is currently the Commonwealth Coast Conference’s fifth seed, meaning they’re set to begin the playoffs on Feb. 21 against the fourth-seeded Wentworth.

Follow Joe on Twitter @JoeDiminoSU

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About the Contributors
Joseph Dimino, Staff Writer | he/him
Joe is a junior journalism major from Revere, Mass. When he has free time, he can be found in Suffolk's VGA room or watching Boston sports. He's particularly a fan of the Celtics, Patriots, and Red Sox! When he graduates, he hopes to become a sports journalist covering Boston sports.
Follow Joe on Twitter: @JoeDiminoSU
JD Conte, Sports Editor | he/him
JD is a senior from Wallingford, Conn. double majoring in political science and broadcast journalism. Aside from writing for the journal, JD can often be found in Studio 73 working on his broadcast skills. Off-campus JD can be found watching all the Boston and UCONN sports teams. He enjoys spending time with his family and friends in various spots around the city, especially in East Boston and the North End. After graduation JD hopes to work in a newsroom full-time or pursue a career in the sports industry. Follow JD on Twitter @jdconte617 Email him at [email protected]

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Suffolk men’s basketball overcomes 3-5 record, achieves winning record on season