Coach Petosa looks to lead his team to another CUNYAC title
By Frank Costagliola
After losing 78-69 to Brooklyn College in the CUNYAC semifinals, the CSI men’s basketball team looks to capture CUNYAC title this season.
While last year’s team might have fallen short of their expectations, this year’s team has potential to make a deep run into the postseason. As always, Head Coach Tony Petosa will be back for another season and will look to improve on last season.
Coach Petosa has produced nothing but success for the Dolphins since taking the job over two decades ago and always preached discipline on and off the court for his players.
With five CUNYAC titles under his belt, and over 400 regular season victories, Coach Petosa doesn’t have anything to prove. However, capturing a sixth CUNYAC title would further solidify his coaching legacy as an all time great.
What has made Coach Petosa so successful during his 20 plus year tender as head coach, has been his ability to get the most out of his players. Coach Petosa has always been a players’ coach, and his attitude on and off the court is what makes him one of the best in the business.
However this year’s roster will be missing some key players on offensive side of the ball who helped make the Dolphins so successful over the past few years. The most notable and obvious player who will be missing from this year’s roster is Will Fonseca.
There aren’t enough words to describe how much Fonseca will be missed by the Dolphins. After joining the team during the 2012 season, Fonseca immediately established himself as one of the best players, if not the best player in all of CUNY.
During last season Fonseca averaged video game like stats, while averaging a double-double. In 28 games, Fonseca averaged 26.1 points per game and 12.5 rebounds. That level of production will definitely be missed by the Dolphins this season and will not be easy to replace.
One player who will try to replace Fonseca’s production is Senior guard Frank Schettino. The former Rookie of the Year averaged 15.4 points, 5.5 rebounds and 5.6 assists per game last season and will have to continue to produce at a high level if the Dolphins plan on winning a CUNYAC title this season.
In addition to Schettino, other returning and now more experienced players such as Khaleeq Baum, Edin Bracic and Vincent Dacunto need to play bigger roles to fill the holes left by Fonseca on offense.
The Dolphins’ one area of weakness last season was the unnecessary turnovers. CSI turned the ball over 14 times a game last season, which left opposing teams with too many free possessions. If the Dolphins continue to carelessly turnover the ball this season, they will be hurting themselves on offense.
Although the Dolphins struggled with turnovers at times last season, the defense was still solid. They averaged nearly 40 rebounds, 6.7 steals and 3.8 blocks per game. If the Dolphins can continue to out rebound their opponents and create turnovers as effectively as they did last season, they can expect to win many games.
The Dolphins will kick off the 2016-2017 season on November 18 at the Salisbury University Optimist Tournament. The tournament will be held in Salisbury, MD where CSI will play the tournament host’s in Salisbury University in the first round.
Just three days later, the Dolphins will play their first home game of the season against Yeshiva University. Furthermore, CSI will play its first division game on November 29 against John Jay College at the Sports and Recreation Center.
The Dolphins were 2-0 against the John Jay College last season and will look to have the same success this season against them, as they did last year.
The Dolphins will conclude the season with eight straight division games. These stretch of games can make or break the Dolphins’ season, and will have many implications on the postseason standings. Fortunately for the Dolphins, four of those eight games will be played at home, where CSI typically plays their best games.
The upcoming season looks bright for the Dolphins. While Fonseca’s production will be greatly missed, you can expect Coach Petosa to get his team ready for another championship run this year.