Men’s basketball faces first NJAC challenge with Rutgers-Camden on Tuesday night

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The Italian Saint Francis of Assisi once said:

“Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.”

For the Rowan men’s basketball team, this seems surprisingly fitting.

The Profs started their season off on a high note, compiling a 3-0 record by doing what’s necessary. They were led by skilled freshmen guard Connor Dickerson’s 17 points in each of their opening two contests before leaning on junior forward Austin Kearney’s 19 to defeat Neumann University on the road last Wednesday night.

“My teammates were looking for me a lot,” Kearney said. “It was just the energy of the game. The crowd was into it; all of our guys were into it… I finally played my game.”

It’s clear early that this team does whatever is necessary to win and as conference play begins, the Brown and Gold look to continue to reel off wins in pursuit of the ultimate goal:

A New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) title.

This Tuesday’s challenge comes on the road against win-less NJAC opponent Rutgers-Camden.

Statistically, Rowan has the edge over their opponent in almost every major category. The Brown and Gold average 101.7 points per game compared to Rutgers-Camden’s 65.3. Rowan has displayed proficient ball movement, averaging 20.7 assists per game, dwarfing Rutgers-Camden’s 9.3.

The biggest difference between these two teams is the massive disparity at the charity stripe. The Profs have attempted 36 free throws a contest, while the Scarlet Raptors have only attempted 29 through the first three games.

Even though Rutgers-Camden has yet to win a game, the Profs have to approach this game just like any other.

“It’s sometimes harder to play disciplined when I have three or four guys looking at the guy in front of him saying ‘I should take him [one on one] right now,’” said head coach Joe Crispin. “In particular, defensively, we’re working on just being a little smarter. What we do defensively in the full-court is really difficult to get good at.”

Rutgers-Camden features the second-highest scorer in the NJAC in senior guard Trai Greer, who is averaging 20.7 points per contest.

For senior guard Rob DePersia, he says it’s up to the Profs to keep doing what they’ve been doing so far in the early season and not changing the game plan when it comes to certain opponents.

“Just playing the way we do all year,” DePersia said. “Keep the pace going and just being disruptive. Throwing double teams… make them think a little more than they’re used to.”

Tipoff is at 8:00 p.m. in Camden.

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