Dolphins Look to Rebound After Falling to York in Last Season’s Finals
By Andrew Liberatore
As the new basketball season approaches, the men’s basketball team will look to build off of a historic 2013 season. The Dolphins finished last season undefeated in conference play and were also able to finish in first place in the regular season standings.
The Dolphins also went on a historic run, winning over 20 straight games in a row at one point. They also would finish the regular season undefeated at home with a perfect 16-0 record, making CSI the toughest place in the conference for opposing teams to come in and play.
After a historic regular season, the Dolphins were one of the favorites going into the CUNY Conference Tournament.
They would make a run all the way to the conference championship, dominating in their first two opening games before losing a heartbreaker to York College, 87-84.
The season would ultimately end there for the Dolphins as they were not picked to play in to the NCAA Division III Tournament after having such an outstanding year where they proved over the course of the regular season that they were the best team in the conference.
“We would’ve made it to the NCAA tournament,” said Petosa. “If it wasn’t for self -inflicted wounds and lack of respect for the conference.”
Unfortunately for the team, there is only one way to get into the NCAA Tournament.
“We couldn’t have done anymore than what we did. The only way to get in is to win the conference tournament.”
Coach Petosa and the Dolphins were obviously disappointed with the result of their season, not being picked for the NCAA tournament, and rightfully so after the way they dominated teams at many points last season.
Looking ahead for the 2014 season the Dolphins will have to try to adjust to some core players leaving the team due to graduation including some that were part of the team’s starting five.
“It is a lot different situations this season, very few kids are returning, my expectation is to find six or seven kids that will be with us for the next four years that will try and help us establish a foundation.”
If the Dolphins are able to find those players they could do something special over the next couple of seasons with a core group of guys. The Dolphins would love to repeat last season’s success and be in contention to get into the NCAA Tournament again, but Coach Petosa also understands how tough reaching those expectations would be.
Coach Petosa was asked if it would be a disappointment if they didn’t win the conference this upcoming season and get into the NCAA Tournament.
“No, absolutely not. We’re going to try to establish a foundation and try to be fortunate enough to repeat last year and build that foundation over the next couple of years which is something that rarely happens to coaches in their tenure.”
The Dolphins could have something special in point guard Frank Schettino who could be a big part in helping Coach Petosa establish the foundation of this team for years to come and will be going into his sophomore campaign after winning the CUNY Rookie of the Year award and being selected for the All Nation Rookie Team. Schettino will undoubtedly be a player to watch for this season and will be a key for the Dolphins success.
“The goal for this season is to try and do what it takes to compete and win as many games as we can,” said Schettino. “Play good team basketball, offensively and defensively, and hopefully that will lead us to the same spot as last year. Then hopefully we can win it all.”
The sophomore sounds very confident in his teammates and coach. For Coach Petosa, this upcoming season is all about looking for that foundation of core players to have success. For the players that Petosa has recruited, what they did in the past means nothing. It is all about how they perform in practice and games from here on out.
“The kids that are walking in here are recruited last moment. They might have never played a minute in high school and might not have been well coached, but we’re going to try and put together the best six or seven kids talent wise to build on a foundation.”