Men’s team finishes up strong 2010 campaign

The Suffolk University men’s basketball team wrapped up their 2010 season with a 96-63 loss to eventual-GNAC conference champion Johnson & Wales.  The Rams finished with an 8-18 record overall, which included a 6-12 conference record.  The team qualified for the GNAC tournament for the first time since the 2006 season.

In their quarterfinal matchup against Johnson & Wales, sophomore Colin Halpin poured in 19 points and eight rebounds, while Matt Pepdjonovic added 13 points and 9 rebounds. Those contributions were not enough to stave off an impressive shooting performance from J&W, who shot 53.7 percent from the field en route to 96-63 shellacking. The starting five for J&W all scored in double digits, making it almost impossible for the men’s team to make a significant run.

The team started out strong, with three wins in their first four games, including a nail-biting 85-84 overtime win against Lasell on Nov. 23.  The team struggled, however, to keep up their early season momentum, going 5-17 in their final 22 games, finishing in eighth place out of 10 teams in the GNAC conference.

Sophomore Colin Halpin showed the biggest improvement this season, upping his scoring average from 9.3 points per game during the 2009 campaign, to 17.2 points per game this season, which led the team.  He also averaged 6.3 rebounds per game, and he should continue to improve over the next two years and be counted on as a valuable asset to the team.

Fellow sophomore Matt Pepdjonovic had another extremely impressive season, and improved both his rebounding totals and his scoring totals.  His 17.0 points per game ranked second on the team (behind Halpin), and his 13.3 rebounds per game led the entire GNAC conference, while also ranking third among all Division III teams. That is pretty impressive feat, seeing as he also has two more seasons to go at Suffolk.  He also averaged 2.1 blocks per game and recorded 17 double doubles, which was 10th most in the nation.  For his efforts, Pepdjonovic was chosen to the first-team All-Conference team by the GNAC.

While the Rams graduate two seniors, Allan Ray (6.2 points per game) and Mike Fleming (7.0 points per game), the team will return 13 players next year who saw time this season, including both Halpin and Pepdjonovic.  With such a young nucleus, featuring nine freshmen and sophomores, the Rams should continue to improve their win totals and potentially finish in the upper echelon of the GNAC next season.