The Red Hawks are gearing up for the coming season with lofty goals and aspirations. The men’s basketball team is looking to take the next step and become national contenders.
Last season, Coach Marlon Sears’ squad finished 13-13 and saw their year cut short in the first round of the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) Tournament. It was the team’s first appearance since 2014. The players are not satisfied with it and they want to win the tournament this year.
“The team goal is to win the NJAC championship,” said junior finance major and forward Jordan Roberson. “And make it to the NCAA tournament and see how far we can get.”
Roberson also said that the player to watch this season is senior Jarrett Bogus, a forward from Middlesex, New Jersey.
“[Bogus] can shoot threes,” said Roberson. “He’s nice and strong, can post up, he can do everything.”
Bogus averaged 7.8 points and 4.1 rebounds per game last year, but when talking about his personal goals for the season, he turned his attention to the classroom.
“I want to get all A’s this semester, get a 4.0 [GPA] and make my family proud,” said Bogus.
Bogus said the team is looking to play fast this season and that Sears wants a shot in the first seven seconds of the 30-second shot clock.
Sears is entering his third season at Montclair State. He brings a great basketball pedigree to the program, having spent more than a decade as a Division I assistant coach at various schools.
He spent his last five years before coming to Montclair State as the recruiting coordinator for Cornell University’s basketball team. He also played four seasons of professional basketball in Europe. In addition to his impressive resume, Sears got a glowing endorsement from his players.
“He’s a monster — he wants the best out of each and every player on and off the court, and that’s what builds winning programs,” said sophomore guard Justin Porter. “His attention to detail, his care and passion for each individual and for the game.”
Porter, who is from Ewing, New Jersey, is looking to improve during his freshman year and increase his role on the floor.
“We come in here with a chip on our shoulder, and just know that we have to get better each and every day,” Porter said. “That’s what keeps us hungry, keeps us motivated.”