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By Dan Beck
The 2010-2011 DeSales men’s basketball team looks to be picking up right where the 2009-2010 team left off.
Coming into the season, the Bulldogs lost prolific scorer and Freedom Conference Player of the Year, Darnell Braswell to graduation. And with the sixth toughest schedule in the region out of 61 teams, according to coach Scott Coval, it would be a taunting task for DeSales.
However, the team’s lone senior, Brian Hunter, along with the rest of the relatively young Bulldogs have rose to the occasion. DeSales has four players averaging in double figures. Hunter, in particular, has become the team’s star, leading the team in points per game (15.7) and assists. In fact, his 132 assists is tops in the Freedom Conference. Junior Bob Zanneo and sophomores Brett Moyer and Brian Kerwin are also providing sparks for the team. Moyer was twice named Freedom Conference Player of the Week this season.
“We have been getting contributions from all 14 players on our team,” Coval said. He praised his bench for supplying quality minutes.
At 15-5 (6-3 in conference), the men are ready to head into the Freedom Conference playoffs. They are hitting their stride at the right time, winning seven straight, including close wins over Freedom Conference foes King’s, Eastern, Manhattanville, and Delaware Valley. However, quite possibly their most impressive win came way back in November when Brian Hunter’s heroic half court shot defeated MAC Commonwealth Conference leader, Alvernia, which won the Alvernia Tip-Off Tournament for DeSales.
The Bulldogs suffered some tough defeats early in the season to Freedom Conference opponents Manhattanville, Deleware Valley, and Misericordia but has rebounded nicely and turned their season around.
“We have had the opportunity to face good competition, which has challenged us. Those challenges have made us a better team,” Coval said. “Hopefully our biggest victories have not happened yet.”
DeSales has improved in multiple areas on the court. The freshmen Bulldogs are quickly coming of age, as they have seen solid play from the likes of Mike Coleman and Paul Pammer. In addition, the men are improving their ball movement.
“We are starting to really pass the ball well, which leads to us taking good shots and shooting a high percentage,” Coval added.
“We want to continue to improve as individuals and as a team,” Coval said. ”We want to make the playoffs and compete for the conference championship and the NCAA berth that goes with it.”