The Ursinus College men’s basketball team took their season-opening tournament, The Dutch Burch Tip-Off, into their own hands by defeating Lycoming College 85-76 this past Saturday. This feat, which had not been accomplished since 2016, is a big deal for this men’s team.
The Bears knew the game was not going to be an easy win, so they made sure to do their homework before the tournament. “They have talent on their roster, so going into the game we knew we were going to have competition. We prepared for their talent and we did a great job making sure we got the win,” states senior Ryan McTamney. Being a captain on this team, and not having seen a win in this tournament since he has been here, this is one that McTamney will not forget.
Sophomore Luke Olshevski also talked about how he knew, coming into the tournament, that Lycoming would be tough. “Personally I was most worried about playing Lycoming because they have some great talent and are now being coached by Mike McGarvey who has his jersey retired in our gym. We knew that they were going to show up ready to compete, and they did just that.”
McTamney, now in his senior season, has been able to see this team grow and become closer and closer as a team each year. “As a senior, I would say this year has been the greatest year in terms of a connected team. Everyone has a team-first mentality and everyone just wants to work and get better,” states McTamney. Olshevski also was in agreement with McTamney, stating, “The chemistry this group has is incredible. We have been a close team in past years, but there is something particularly special about this group. With a smaller roster, everyone has a very important role that is needed to help us win a championship.” Now, being that the team’s energy is the best that it has ever been, McTamney is glad to see the team coming together for the rest of the season. “We have a real family and everyone loves playing with one another. Our team is fired up for the season because of the talent we have and we understand that we are one of the best teams in the league.”
With the season up and running, there are high hopes for the future. “Our future goals are to lead the offensive categories in the league like field goal percentage and free throw percentage. We want to lead many defensive categories and prove to people we are a two-way team,” states McTamney. He also has hopes looking even further down the road to the end of the season. “We also want to win a Centennial Conference championship and continue to play in February in the NCAA tournament.”
In order to make these goals happen when it comes to game time, McTamney states that, “it starts by coming to practice and working on these things. We need to have the mental focus in practice to learn from mistakes and correct them.” Olshevski also explains the depth that they go through and the preparation that goes into working towards some goals. “We work backwards from winning a centennial championship. To do so, we prepare by scheduling tough games early in the season. We play nationally ranked Randolph Macon this weekend. Playing tough tournament games now will prepare us for tough playoff games in February.”
With the main goal of winning a Centennial Championship, these players are excited to show what they have been working towards. In addition, with the rest of these goals in mind, and the energy of the team on a constant incline, the UC men’s basketball team has high hopes for the rest of their season. Go Bears!