Chartiers Valley grad Noszka stepping into leadership role at Point Park |
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Matt Noszka is the top returning scorer for the Point Park men's basketball team.

Coming into the 2014-15 season, the Point Park men’s basketball team returned only two starters and is welcoming in nine new combined players between transfers and freshmen.

The high turnover is what makes Matt Noszka’s role with the Pioneers so important.

The Charters Valley grad is entering his redshirt junior season at Point Park as the team’s top returning scorer (14.3 points per game) and rebounder (8.6 per game).

“We have pretty much a whole new team coming in,” Noszka said. “We have a whole group of new starters.

“It is a new season and we have a new outlook.”

After initially going to Seton Hill out of high school, Noszka transferred to Point Park during his freshman season and sat out the remainder of the year. While he didn’t get any playing time that season, the time in practice helped Noszka grasp the Pioneers system early.

“I was fortunate to go from just being on the bench and practicing to playing more than 30 minutes per game,” Noszka said. “The system isn’t too hard to learn. It is basically a run and gun.”

That style of play has helped Noszka become one of Point Park’s top offensive threats. Noszka has shown a scoring touch, finishing last season with a shooting percentage of 47 and making 54 3-pointers.

“Being a shooter opens up lanes for you,” Noszka said. “But when other teams respect your ability to drive to the basket, it opens up holes for shooting.”

Noszka uses his size on defense as only four players stand taller than Noszka’s 6-foot-3 frame. The junior guard/forward uses his length as the middle of the back line in the team’s 2-3 defense.

The Pioneers opened the season at the Ohio Christian Tournament, going 2-1. In a 143-70 season-opening win over Great Lakes, Noszka scored 21 points with five rebounds, six assists and four steals.

On day two, Point Park downed Boyce College, 116-75. Noszka finished with eight points, four rebounds, three assists and three steals. The Pioneers fell to the host team, 82-76, in the final game of the tournament.

Playing in the early-season tournament should help Point Park continue working on what Noszka says is the important thing with so many new faces – building chemistry.

“I remember in high school, the teams at Charters Valley had the most amazing chemistry on and off the court,” Noszka said. “I really think that has been the downfall of some of our seasons here. It can be a tremendous improvement if we can continue working on it.”

If the team can continue to build its chemistry, Noszka said the Pioneers can strive for big things.

“I want us to compete for a conference championship,” Noszka said. “I then want to take our talents to the national tournament to see what we can do.”

Other local grads on the Pioneers roster include Miles Bennett from Carlynton and Jerrad Tuite from Charters Valley.

Nathan Smith is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at [email protected] or via Twitter @NSmith_Trib.

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