St. Vincent men seeking milestone victory
The St. Vincent men’s basketball team enters the 2014-15 season with 998 wins in program history, and coach D.P. Harris said he couldn’t be happier to have the opportunity to be a part of such a celebrated milestone.
“I’m always honored to be the coach of St. Vincent because of the men that walked those steps before me,” Harris said. “There have only been five different head coaches at this school since 1928, and they all made their mark in some way to allow us to be where we are today.”
While capturing the program’s 1,000th victory will be an accomplishment, the team has its sights set on making history by securing another goal: winning its third straight PAC conference title.
“We won it the past few years, and I would say that our conference as a whole has become very competitive. With one senior, it will be a difficult road, but we’ll get better as the year goes on, and we’ll have an opportunity to make a run at it,” Harris said. “Our goals never change: We want to win 20 games, we want to win the PAC championship and we want to go on to the NCAA DIII tournament.”
Gone to graduation are the top two scorers from a team that went 22-7: Isaac Turner (22 ppg) and Dillon Stith (19.5). And while Harris acknowledges the duo will be missed, he also thinks the Bearcats’ depth will help to fill the void.
“We’re going to play 12 guys this year. We’re much deeper than we’ve ever been since I’ve been the head coach here, and I think it’s just going to take us a little bit of time,” Harris said. “I think Pat Jones has really had a big summer. He’s a guy we’ll really look to replace the scoring.”
Jones, along with fellow juniors JC Howard and Ben Klimchock, will be in line to see increased minutes at guard in St. Vincent’s fast-paced offense. Harris also will count on more production from senior forward Sean Kett, who averaged 10.5 points and eight rebounds last year.
“We might not have any so-called stars, but we’ll be better by committee,” Harris said. “It’ll be more of a team effort for us.”
St. Vincent opened its season over the weekend with a pair of losses at the Marietta College Classic tournament in Ohio. The Bearcats will compete this weekend at the Wooster College Tournament.
Kevin Lohman is a freelance writer.