SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — A simple three word phrase, “leave no doubt,” is the motto for the Le Moyne men’s basketball team heading into the conference tournament on Sunday.
At 19-8, the Dolphins may have already done enough to get into the NCAA tournament, but a conference title would solidify their position.
“We want to win the NE10 tournament, that’s the goal,” Le Moyne Head Coach Nate Champion said. “We don’t come here not to win championships.”
Le Moyne Senior Forward Tom Brown said, “We always want to win championships. It’s a championship mentality, that’s what we’ve had my four years, and we are just trying to continue that right now.”
First year head coach, Nate Champion, has led Le Moyne to the overall number one seed in the NE10 Tournament, and the Dolphins are feeling confident heading into the weekend.
“We feel really confident about our chances honestly,” Le Moyne Senior Guard Ryan Roland said. “One seed going into it, a home-court advantage, we feel like we should take care of business.”
Even with home-court advantage, winning the NE10 Tournament will be no easy task, but the Dolphins say the tough competition has only made them better prepared for the postseason.
“Every game is super challenging. We went to Assumption and we lost by 30, and they didn’t even make the conference tournament, so that in itself just shows how competitive this conference is, how good the players are,” Roland said. “Tournament time you’re definitely going to be playing close games, there’s no if, ands, or buts about that. So, having battle tested close games definitely really helps.”
Le Moyne has a blazing offense averaging over 83 points a game, which is tops in the conference, but in the postseason the focus will be on the other side of the ball.
“We definitely gotta start locking up on defense more,” Roland said. “Last two games here, I think we gave up 85 points and then 107. So, we definitely gotta be better on that end to get it done.”
The Dolphins are flooded with seniors, eight to be exact, and they will use their experience to their advantage.
Brown said, “Last year it was kind of hard, we didn’t have very many people with NCAA experience. I think that combined with last year’s loss, is the perfect combination for this year. It’s lining up to show that we’ve grown from the year before.”
“With the eight seniors we have, all but one of them has been in postseason play, so for us it’s a great opportunity to take that next step as a program,” Champion said.
Every game could be their last, and the seniors don’t want the wild ride to end.
“I never want it to end, just trying to keep this rolling as long as we can,” Brown said. “We’ve grown over the past especially two years, starting last year with all of these same guys. We’re hanging out off the court all the time, so you just never want that experience to end, so hopefully we can make this last as long as possible.”
Le Moyne opens up NE10 Tournament play on Sunday, March 1 against the University of New Haven. Tip-off is scheduled for 4 p.m. at Ted Grant Court at Le Moyne. Fans should be able to live stream the game here.
For more local news, follow Anthony Scott on Twitter @A_Scott17
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