“There’s a big upward trajectory going on with Montclair State Men’s Basketball,” said Head Coach Marlon Sears. “I’m really excited, I can’t stop smiling.”
The Red Hawks are off to a fast, 5-2 start and Coach Sears can’t help but show his excitement and optimism for the team.
The catalyst for the start the season? Defense.
“Our defense has been tremendous, were really sitting down in the half court and doing a terrific job in transition” said Coach Sears. “That’s why I’m so excited about this team, were good defensively but I think we can be awesome defensively.”
Opponents are shooting just 40% from the field against the Red Hawks this season, while the Red Hawks out rebound opponents by over 12 per game.
Although Coach Sears preaches a ‘one game at a time’ mentality to his players, the team has a clear goal for the season.
“The ultimate goal for [the players] is winning a championship,” said Coach Sears. “And it’s showing everyday they show up to practice. How hard they work, how they communicate, and more importantly they’re great student athletes.”
Both loses this season have come at the hands of opponents currently ranked inside the top 20 in the nation.
One of those games was last week in Mahwah against #7 Ramapo College. The game was tied with under 9 minutes to go, but the Red Hawks were done in by turnovers late in the game. That is one area Coach Sears sees room for improvement. The team is currently averaging about 18 turnovers per game. According to Sears, great teams average around 10-12 turnovers per game.
“We’ve gotta get [the turnovers] cleaned up” said Coach Sears.
The key to victory, according to Coach Sears is points in the paint.
“We are going to have to do a really good job pounding the basketball inside,” said Coach Sears. “Our goal every game is to get 40 to 50 points in the paint, if we can do that I think we are going to be right there.”
The Men’s Basketball team lost a hard fought overtime game against William Paterson in Wayne, Wednesday night 84-82.