Enrique Carrasco, Editor
Before reading this article, I heavily recommend reading my previous article, “Opinion: Why the Athletic Department Made the Wrong Call,” to understand the significance behind the Men’s team’s success.
If any of you are familiar with my work, you will know I am an avid hater of the Men’s Basketball program at La Salle. While I must admit that some of my comments against the team are due to a personal vendetta against the program and the Athletic Department, none of my comments nor my negativity against the basketball team have ever been misplaced. I have seen this team fail to live up to their hype for three years in a row, and I feel confident that the basketball team will continue this downward spiral long after I leave 20th and Olney.
Because of this avid hatred, I never fell for the “Our Men’s team is actually good this year” lies that have been floating around campus all season long. I said from day one the team will continue to disappoint all season long, no matter who they bring in to coach and what second-hand talent from other schools they manage to trick into coming to La Salle. Slowly but surely, the Men’s team has continued to prove me right about my hatred for them, and I would be remiss not to admit that their failure brings me joy.
It is hard to exactly place when the hype train for the basketball team began. Still, I believe it began around January, when the team managed to pull an enormous upset and beat Rhode Island 77-75 in overtime. The team continued to grow this hype when they managed to beat UMASS 78-77 on the road. Considering both schools’ success in previous years, these two wins were significant, and it seemed like the men’s teams might be actual contenders for the A-10 championship. But if we look at the current rankings, Rhode Island is second to last place (we lost to them during our second face off), and UMASS is only one spot above them. After these two wins, the men’s team went on a (I must admit, somewhat impressive) 5 win streak, putting the team at the cusp of being one of the top teams in the conference. The only thing the team had to do was either defeat George Mason, Duquesne, or George Washington. This was when the school started pushing the narrative that the men’s team was good and could compete against big teams. I, however, was not convinced about their ability and told multiple people to “just wait” and assured people that “the team will fail soon enough, you just have to give them time.”
To the surprise of very few people, the team did, in fact, fail. They failed to win against George Mason on the road, stop Duquesne from putting up 91 points at home, and failed to at least stop George Washington from putting up 92 points on them on the road. The Explorers dropped from one of the top contenders in their conference to number ten within the A-10’s, once again proving their talent is nothing more than bottom tier. If you recall the article I mentioned early, you’ll be able to remember that the Athletic Department praised the improvement of the experience for the athletes and team that remained after the Title IX fiasco. Yet, it seems that the athletic department only wanted to make the experience better for the basketball team rather than give actual funding to other teams, and the results of which can be seen in the results from not only the basketball team, but also all of our other sports. No single team that remains on campus had a winning season (none even went above .500), and the teams that are currently active are failing to produce any form of momentum or winning streaks. The men’s team has two regular season games left, one on the road against Dayton (currently ranked 3rd in the A-10s) and their senior night against Loyola Chicago (currently ranked last in the A-10s), meaning the best record the team can finish with is 15-16 in the season, a game short of being .500 . I must admit, I would not be surprised if the men’s team managed to lose both games in the season, pushing themselves even further down in the A-10 rankings.