N.J. -- During the 2009-2010 season, the men's basketball
struggled in the first half of the season, heading into the
winter break with a 5-9 record. The second half of the season
was a different story, as the men embarked on an amazing run
through the end of February, and capped it off with the Region
19 title and trip to the NJCAA Division II National Tournament.
This season, the Vikings are hoping for a repeat story, as
they head into the winter break with a record of 6-9. (The
Vikings closed out 2010 with a 95-86 victory over Salem CC
on Dec. 21.) Head Coach Howard Levy says the team has concentrated
on learning the details of playing - and winning - at the
had some good wins, but we've lost to some teams we could
have beaten," Levy said. While he believes the Vikings
have the talent to win every game, he notes that the squad
is a little undersized. "That means there is no margin
for error. Players must recognize the value of every possession,
including defense, rebounding and taking care of the ball."
that his approach may differ from the way players learned
the game. "I tell them they have to be 100 percent unselfish
for the team and 100 percent selfish as individuals. Each
of them should want to get so good that they play every minute
of every game."
The Vikings' roster features a blend of returning players
and rookies. Sophomores Gary Carthan (Bordentown, NJ/Bordentown
HS) and Anthony Obery (Roselle, NJ/Abraham Clark HS) bring
experience and leadership to the line-up. Philadelphia natives
David Melton (Germantown HS) and Rodney Walters (Frankford
HS), transfer student Jermaine Emanuel (Wilmington, NC/Laney
HS), Jonathan Jernigan (Willingboro, NJ/BCIT-Medford) and
Donovan McCleese (Trenton, NJ/Trenton Central HS) are also
playing key roles. Contributors off the bench include forwards
Esad Kiris (Turkey), Stanley Tuchez (Hightstown, NJ/Hightstown
HS), and Arlington Rowley (Newark, NJ/St. Benedict's Prep),
and guards Robert Fusik (East Windsor, NJ/Hightstown HS),
Justin Roy (Lambertville, NJ/South Hunterdon HS), and Brandin
Youngblood (Trenton, NJ/Bordentown HS).
Offensively, the Vikings have had a balanced scoring attack,
with 6 players averaging double figures. Forward David Melton
leads the Vikings with 11.2 points per game, followed closely
by guards Jernigan and Obery, both averaging 11.1 points.
Also contributing to scoring totals are Carthan, with 10.8
points per game, Emanuel with 10.7 points, and Walters, with
Carthan leads the Vikings in rebounds, with 6 per game, followed
by Melton with 5.4 per game. Jernigan is the assist leader,
with 2.3 per game, followed closely by Carthan with 2.2.
Levy is realistic about the team's chances in the second half
of the season. He observes that the competition is better
than ever, and the Vikings will have to come back fully committed
to practicing hard and playing hard. "We will need to
work to make it happen every single day," he said.
resume play January 8 at the Community College of Rhode Island.
The first home game of the new year is against Ocean on Jan.
11. For the game schedule and scores, click here.