The men’s basketball team has continued its incredible conference play yet again this year as reigning Landmark Conference champions. Despite losing to Susquehanna University Wednesday, the team is 17-5 overall and 11-2 in the Landmark Conference. Led by senior captains Ross Danzig and Justin Klingman and junior captain Brendan Boken, the men have been a force to be reckoned with this season.
Since a defeat at rival Catholic University on Jan. 17, the Royals have not looked back, crushing their last five opponents before Susquehanna with a combined margin of victory of 118. The team has seen several players step up, creating great team play that it hopes to carry on into the postseason.
Junior Marcus Thomas praised his teammates’ perseverance and teamwork.
“We’ve battled through a lot of injuries this season and as Coach (Danzig) always says, ‘It’s next man up,’ and we’ve done a good job sticking together,” Thomas said.
Boken has been unstoppable this year, averaging 17.4 points and 6.8 rebounds per game. Ross Danzig has provided even more for his teammates this year, averaging 4.5 assists per game while scoring 13.7 ppg and grabbing 6 boards per game. Meanwhile, Klingman has been lights-out from three-point range, shooting an incredible 48.8 percent and averaging 11.1 ppg.
Boken credits much of his success this year to his teammates.
“It’s really been all my teammates who put me in the position that I am in right now. When everyone does their job, it’s easy to score and rebound because the other guys get you open and trust you with the ball,” Boken said.
He is second in points and rebounds per game, while leading in blocks in the Landmark Conference.
After Wednesday’s loss at home against Susquehanna, the Royals will travel to Goucher College Saturday and Merchant Marine Academy Wednesday before returning home for the season finale against Catholic. This matchup could have an enormous impact on postseason seeding, with Catholic sitting atop the Landmark Conference and the Royals vying for a higher seed. Forcing Catholic to return to Scranton in the postseason would give the Royals some serious confidence, with the team’s outstanding home record this season of 9-1.
Klingman said the team’s hard work off the ball has contributed to its growing success.
“Our confidence level is high right now,” Klingman said. “The reason we’ve won the last five games has been due to rebounding and taking pride on defense, while on the offensive side of the ball I think it is difficult for teams to prepare for us, with so many different ways we break down an opponent.”
FEb. 13, 2015