The orange pill has found its way back to the Bradley Center as the men’s basketball team begins their 2015-2016 season. Posting a 13-12 overall record last season, the Roadrunners will look to use their experience and new talent to make a statement in the tough NJAC conference.
Entering his 18th season at Ramapo, Head Coach Chuck McBreen, who earned his 300th career win last season, looks to lead his team to the NJAC and ECAC playoffs like he has done in the past. He has led his teams to six regular season titles as well as two NJAC Championships and one ECAC championship.
McBreen’s coaching style is like no other: his signature vocal approach while on the sidelines clearly shows the intensity and passion he wants his players to have each and every game.
“The way I coach is the way I was coached when I was younger and it just works,” said McBreen. “It all comes down to what works with you and it has worked for me and my guys. Silent and saying nothing isn’t going to work with us.”
The Roadrunners return with seven of eight key contributors from last season including captains Frank Nock, Tom Bonacum and Jimbo Long. Nock is the only senior on the squad, but the amount of young talent on the team has McBreen optimistic as he leads the team into the season.
“I think we are going to go as far as Frank Nock and Tom Bonacum take us,” said McBreen. “I really think these guys can be all-conference players this year.”
Leading by example is what the Roadrunner captains aim to do and it shows on the court. For last year’s squad, Nock led the team with 15.8 points a game, Bonacum was the team leader in rebounds with 8.7 a game and Long was the leader in the assists department with three a game.
“We look to lead by using maturity and experience to help the new guys fit in and help our team win some games,” said Bonacum. “The goal is to keep everyone calm and focused and take on each game one at a time.”
Experience is also found in players like Josh Ford, Chris Moseley and Nick Stanek who play a key role on the team as well. McBreen praised Ford’s “motor” and his drive while on the court, and he hopes it is “contagious” for his other players as the season furthers. With Moseley’s scoring ability and Stanek’s solid play down low, look out for these three players to make a major impact on the floor.
The team will also find contribution from its freshmen class that shows a lot of promise for the Roadrunners in years to come. Salomon Pierre, who McBreen says “has a lot of upside,” is a tall shooting guard who can be a threat on both sides of the ball. Noah Basket who is “lightning quick” and big man JC Beaubrun, whose size and athleticism create a down low threat, will also see significant time.
With any team, talent can only go as far as the chemistry that the players have with each other. According to McBreen, this is the “best chemistry I’ve ever had on a team” and cooperation on the court is key for any team to be a contender. The Roadrunners will have to be in sync, as the veterans know the NJAC is no easy conference.
“We’re looking forward to playing Rutgers-Newark, Stockton and William Paterson who are three of the top teams in the NJAC,” said Bonacum. “They will all be tough games but you have to beat the best to be the best.”
The competitive nature of both the coaches and players will be put to the test this season as they will take on York College in their home opener Monday at 7 p.m. in the Bradley Center.