A retelling of the rise & fall of men’s basketball

Marist vs. Wagner, 1986 (courtesy  of Marist Athletic Department)

Marist vs. Wagner, 1986 (courtesy of Marist Athletic Department)

When Marist first successfully transitioned their sports programs to the Division I level in 1981, total student enrollment hovered around 2,000 students, the then-McCann Center was four years old, and a young executive named Dennis Murray prepared himself to begin his third year as President of the up and coming college. Yet of the many sports teams the Marist Athletic Department prepared in response to the new competitive landscape, a focus was placed on the men’s basketball program.

In order to actively contend for the championship in what was then a very competitive league, the Marist men’s basketball coaching staff had to become creative in their pursuit for talent. Led by head coach Mike Perry, the coaching staff was one of the first college programs in NCAA history to recruit international players. By the 1984 season, the roster featured six players who were not American.

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Mens Basketball 2014: What To Watch For

The Marist men’s basketball team has not finished the season with a winning record since the 2007-2008 season when they went 18-14. Despite losing their first game of the season the Red Foxes showed that they are a competitive team ready to take Marist back into the hunt and continue the success of new Head Coach Mike Maker. Coach Maker is known for his winning and with him taking over the team here is a list of things to look for during the 2014-2015 season.

• Khallid Hart
Although Marist lost their first game to Bucknell 75-72, red-shirt sophomore Hart had a great game scoring a career-high 33 points. Last year he averaged 14.7 points a game under Coach Jeff Bower. Hart is really taking control of the team after winning the MAAC Rookie of the Year last season. He is a very exciting player offensively and plans on focusing more on defense this year to become a threat on both sides of the ball. As the season progresses people should watch what Hart does on the court to help lead the Red Foxes to a winning season.

• Coach Maker

Coach Maker (left) after signing to be Head Coach of the Marist Men's Basketball Team

Coach Maker (left) after signing to be Head Coach of the Marist Men’s Basketball Team

Head Coach Mike Maker is in his first season with Marist after spending six years at Williams College. While there he had a record of 147-32 and made it on College Insiders list of the top 25 non Division-1 head coaches. “He’s a really gifted coach. He’s a teacher, and players will develop and get better. He’s someone that I think is very professional, and people at the school will enjoy working with him” said Oregon Head Coach Dana Altman who was assisted by Coach Maker during his time at Creighton. Maker is excited to be at the Divison-1 level and the players are excited to have him. “There’s been receptiveness to the new coaching style. “The whole coaching staff has been great, being demanding with us and bonding with us and creating trust from us” said senior Chavaughn Lewis who is the 7th all-time scorer in Marist history.

• Chavaughn Lewis
Lewis is the 7th all-time scores in Marist history and is 537 points away from being first. Lewis is a senior and Maker is happy to have him on his team. “When you look at our senior class, certainly Chavaughn Lewis is an All-MAAC player. I’ve been totally impressed with his ability, his toughness, his competitiveness. He’s lightning in a bottle” said Maker. “We feel so blessed to have him. I wish I had him for more than one year” he added. Being a senior Lewis is ready to win “I’m just ready to get out after it with those guys” he said, with those guys referencing his teammates. While 537 points is no easy feat, with another great season it is possible for Chavaughn Lewis to become Marist’s all-time leading point scorer after having 544 points last season.

Marist’s home opener is this Saturday, November 22nd, against Army at 7 p.m. The first 1,000 students to attend will receive a free Marist T-Shirt. Make sure to watch Hart and Lewis as they are looking to be a top five team under Coach Maker in what is sure to be an exciting season.

This Week in the News

As everyone was bundling up trying to keep warm on this early week in November there was some news that I’m sure you college students missed. This week’s news includes breaking stories on the downed Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 and Humankind’s first landing on a comet to a big upset in college football. News that will keep you updated on what you missed.

Investigation of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 begins

Wreckage of MH17.  Courtesy of NBC News.

Wreckage of MH17. Courtesy of NBC News.

This story dates back to this summer, July 17th, when a scheduled international passenger flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was presumed to have been shot down, killing all 283 passengers and 15 crew on board. The plane lost contact when it was about 30 miles from the Ukraine-Russian boarder and crashed near Torez in Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine, just 25 miles from the border over territory controlled by pro-Russian separatists. The tricky situation here is that this crash occurred at the wrong time. The plane crashed during the Battle in Shakhtarsk Raion, which is part of an on-going war in Donbass. According to American and German intelligence sources, the plane was shot down by the pro Russian separatists using a surface-to-air missile in territory in which they controlled. Continue reading

Marist Singers Hold Annual Benefit Concert for Broadway Cares.

 Screen Shot 2014-11-17 at 2.33.39 PMStudents, families and friends all came to the Nelly Goletti theater this past weekend the Marist College Singers held their annual benefit concert, A Night on Broadway. All proceeds from the concert go to Broadway Cares/Equality Fights AIDS. The singers performed the show three times in one weekend after rehearsing for about six weeks.

Broadway Cares/Equality Fights Aids is a non-profit organization that raises money and awareness to fight AIDS. Since 1988 they have raised more than $225 million thanks to the generosity and resources of the American theater community and school groups like Marist’s Singers.

For the past 10 years the Marist College Singers have been putting on this show to help raise money for this organization. The show is different from the other various singers concerts performed throughout the year. The singers break into small groups or solos to do different Broadway numbers. There were large group numbers as well as dance and some light acting.

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Game on: Games Week at Marist College

 

The past week at Marist College was filled with events all relating to video games. Starting on Friday, Nov. 7 to Saturday Nov. 15 Marist played host to a number of events targeted at gamers, students interested in game design and even those in the game development industry.

The first event was the first annual Hudson Valley Undergraduate Games Conference on Friday, Nov. 7. This event, hosted by Marist Play Innovation Lab, was a showcase of students from Marist and other local colleges as well as some local game developers. The students made presentations, showed off their projects, and listened to talks from developers about various topics. “This is the first time we’ve tried this, but we hope it becomes a tradition… We aim to expand the presence of games and the gaming community here at Marist, as well as get students excited about working in the field of game development. We are also very excited to see other colleges get involved as well as people in the industry,” says professor Karen Schrier, the head of Play Innovation Lab and the conference as well. The conference was held in Lowell Thomas and featured talks by Joshua DeBonis, the founder of independent studio Sortasoft, Nik Mikros, the creative director of  games Smashworx and Tiny Mantis,  and Chris Garrett, CEO and founder of Z Workbench and creator of Qat Qi. Other panels included presentations by students about many topics relevant in the gaming community, and demos of student developed games.

Other events held during the week included a development workshop led by Marist alumni Liz Jasko, and a talk held by John Zurhellen of Nickelodeon Games.

By far the largest event, however, was Game Day. Hosted with a collaborative effort by three clubs — Marist Game Society; Marist Anime Society; and Chess club — this event is an all day gaming event held in the Cabaret in which students and alumni get together to play games, participate in tournaments, earn prizes and have fun. The event features hundreds of games and consoles that are running many different games, as well as card and board games and a PC gaming area. “We do this event every semester, and every semester it seems to get bigger and better,” says Gregory Cremins, president of the Marist Game Society, “It wouldn’t be possible without help and equipment donations from students, but after all the hard work is done, the event is always a blast, and our biggest event. This year we had over 200 people come and play some games with us.” Game Day this semester included several student-hosted tournaments including a Magic: The Gathering trading card game tournament, and several different versions of Super Smash Bros. tournaments. “the tournaments are always the most exciting part of this day. We usually have great prizes and lots of students want to participate every semester.” said Marist Anime Society Vice President Kristin Casey about the tournaments at Game Day.

Marist Games Week is looking to become an annual occurrence here at Marist College, and based on the first run this semester, I imagine that that will be the case for a long time to come.

Recruitment cap slows sorority growth

Earlier this fall a recruitment cap was placed on the two largest Greek organizations at Marist. Both Sigma Sigma Sigma (ΣΣΣ) and Kappa Kappa Gamma (ΚΚΓ) were unable to recruit members for their respective sororities this fall, which has stifled their membership expansion.

“A mix between too many female students interested in joining and not enough physical space here at Marist has made it impossible for us to hold recruitment this fall,” says the President of Kappa Kappa Gamma Lauren Garner. “According to the National PanHellenic Committee, the cap for Marist’s size is 75 and we have about 85 members, so we simply could not recruit anymore.”

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Moore Than Just an Athlete

In the wake of a disappointing season fCaylin 1or Marist’s football team, there is still one light that shines bright. Caylin Moore surpassed the odds of growing up with family and domestic problems in Los Angeles, CA to become a recipient of the Fulbright Award Scholarship and do something that no other Marist undergraduate student has ever done.

His past may be dark and scary, but his future is bright. Moore has beaten the odds of getting off the tough streets of Los Angeles, and going to a prestigious college. With a football scholarship, he majors in business with a degree in economics. At first glance, everything might seem smooth and joyful for Moore on the outside, but what his past holds is anything but that. People who don’t know what he has been through might think he’s your typical student athlete, but the obstacles he’s had to face will change anyone’s perspective on him completely. “Caylin has been through a lot and he is a soldier,” Jim Parady, coach of the Marist football team said. Parady said how he really researched Moore and recruited him for being a great athlete, and most importantly, a good human being. Continue reading

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Behind the scenes look at what it takes to produce Bonnie & Clyde the musical

MCCTA, the Marist College Club of Theatre Arts, debuted its fall musical Bonnie & Clyde this past weekend. As smooth as it went, there was plenty of behind the scenes work to get to that point prior to opening night November 6.

“You don’t want to know,” was all Molly Judge and Kim Kenny had to say in terms of the hours they spent on the show each week, claiming they “basically live in the theater.”

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Player Profile: Madeline Blais

Marist Women’s basketball season opener is right around the corner, and they will be looking to get the production they have come to expect out of junior Madeline Blais this season. Blais is a 6’1 small forward from Exeter, New Hampshire. She attended New Hampton high school and now is going into her third year playing under head coach Brian Giorgis, and her second year as a starter.

Coming out of high school Blais was the top-ranked player in the state of New Hampshire. In her junior year Blais averaged 18.9 points, 6.7 rebounds, 2.5 blocks, and four assists per game. As a senior she was the captain of her team and was named the team’s MVP after a 23-2 season for New Hampton. In both her junior and senior seasons she was selected to the First Team All- NEPSAC. Not only was she a star on the court, but also off the court as she was awarded a place in the cum laude society upon graduation.

Blais did not get very many minutes in her freshman year at Marist, only averaging 7.8 minutes per game. She did make the most of her minutes, however, averaging 2.8 points and 1.2 rebounds per game in 32 appearances. She was very efficient from the field shooting it at .419 on 31-74 shots. she also shot .375 from three-point land making 15 of 40 three-pointers. Her high game in the points column of her freshman year came on the big stage, in the MAAC Quarter Finals against Manhattan College.

In her sophomore year, Blais started 32 of 34 games and proved her worth. Her minute per game average jumped up to 28.5 per game and she led her team with 63 three-pointers made. She averaged 12.9 points per game and shot 53.8 percent from the field. She also shot a tremendous 48.1 percent from the three-point line and 85 percent from the charity stripe. Her career high in points came on December 14 at Boston University, and then she tied it onJanuary 17 at Niagra with 27 points. Last year was a great year for Blais, but coach Giorgis thinks this season will be a breakout year for her in her junior year.

“Maddy is a great player,” said Giorgis. “She can shoot the lights out and we need her to do what I know she can do if we want to be successful. She’s a leader on this team and I think it is going to be an even better year for her than last year.”

This team only has four returning seniors and one of them, center Tori Jarosz, is currently injured. With Jarosz to miss at least a few weeks and only three other seniors on the roster, some of the younger girls will need to step up, which puts Blais in a leadership role for this squad. She will most likely start at power forward and will be relied on to score points from behind the three-point line. Blaisunderstands her role and has the utmost confidence in her team to be successful this season.

“I think we have a great team this year,” Blais remarked. “Even though we only have four seniors, we have some freshman and sophomores with a lot of talent and it all seems to be clicking well at practice so far.”

Blais is the only returning starter on this year’s team and she will surely need to carry most of the load offensively for the team, and she has proven to be capable of that. Look for Madeline Blais to have a great season and make sure you get out to some games to support Marist Women’s Basketball this year. They open up on Sunday November 16, at Delaware. Their Home opener is on November 24 against St. John’s at 7:00 pm.maddy blais