The Rowan University men’s basketball team started off their season on a positive note as they came out on top of the LaScala’s Fire Tip Off Tournament last Friday night.
The four-team tournament showcased some of the region’s most skilled teams, as the Profs defeated Rosemont College in a 96-87 contest on Thursday night. The Brown and Gold followed up the victory with a strong 121-82 showing in the tournament’s championship game the following night against Penn State Brandywine.
Rowan was led by the tournament’s Most Valuable Player, freshman guard Connor Dickerson, who went for a combined 34-point output in his inaugural tournament performance. Shooting 11-16 from the field, Dickerson put on an emotional display and showcased impressive poise, draining shot after shot, including going 2-2 from beyond the arc and showing discipline at the charity stripe where he went a combined 10-12.
“The way our offense is set up, anybody can go off any day and I just happened to be that one to get lucky those two days,” Dickerson said. “I just hope to continue that as often as possible.”
Senior forward Teirique Robinson pitched in 28 points across the two games while senior guard Nick DePersia had 26 points and fellow senior guard DaRon Curry had 19. Sophomore Ryan Legler added 15 points in Rowan’s victory over Penn State Brandywine including a pivotal stretch to close out the first half where he scored 10 of the team’s 15 last points.
“When [my teammates] catch the ball in the post, they don’t want to be double-teamed from the perimeter,” Legler said. “When I’m in the game, they can’t leave the corner. My guys are going to kick it out and I’m going to shoot it every single time.”
After the impressive start to the season, expectations are understandably high. Head coach Joe Crispin is excited about his team’s prospects moving forward, especially following his staff’s off-season recruiting efforts.
“Excited, but never satisfied,” Crispin said. “We brought in a good group of guys who are ready to play right away.”
When it comes to recruiting, Crispin made it clear he isn’t tied to just one play style. Rather, he believes it is up to him as the coach to make use of the diverse talents his team possesses.
“People think I’m attached to a certain style but that’s not necessarily the case,” Crispin said. “I’m going to play fast no matter who I have. It’s just a matter of how we play. How we play depends on who we have… If I like [a player], I’m going to adjust my style.”
The Profs hope to continue their winning streak when they travel to Aston, Pennsylvania to face off against Neumann University on Wednesday. Tipoff is at 7 p.m.
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