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Men’s Basketball Continues Skid, Drops Five in a Row

Head coach Rich Micallef spectates the loss against College of New Rochelle. His team has had a hard time playing well thus far, failing to even hold a lead at halftime in the first five games. PHOTO/ Damion Reid
Head coach Rich Micallef spectates the loss against College of New Rochelle. His team has had a hard time playing well thus far, failing to even hold a lead at halftime in the first five games. PHOTO/ Damion Reid

By Adam Zaki

Published: November 29th, 2017 

The Brooklyn College men’s basketball team has now started its season with five consecutive losses, and continues its plunge into irrelevancy. 

After falling in their first three matchups on the road, the Bulldogs looked to finally get a win at home in front of packed stands at the West Quad against the College of New Rochelle (CNR) on Nov. 21.

In their attempt to win in front of their homecoming crowd, the Bulldogs were also looking to break a streak of consecutive home losses. With their 81-86 loss to CNR, the Bulldogs dropped their tenth consecutive match at home that completed a 365-day period in which they have not won at home. 

Despite 16-point performances from Maynard Grant and Michael Tesoriero against CNR, Henry O’Reilly, the Bulldogs’ biggest contributor and focal point on the season, was limited by the Blue Angels. O’Reilly was held to 11 points as he shot 3-of-7 from the field and 3-of-6 from distance. In his first three appearances, O’Reilly carried the Bulldogs with three hefty offensive contributions, including a 21-point performance in the team’s loss to Gwynedd Mercy on Nov. 19.

Newcomer Roki Mendoza finally had a productive game for the Bulldogs, putting up 13 points and seven rebounds. He shot a season best 4-of-5 from the field, earning the start for his fourth consecutive game but only getting 13 minutes of playing time.

Niv Konfino, a team captain and last year’s starting point guard, struggled in the loss. He shot 2-of-4, but matched his field goals with costly turnovers.

After their lackluster homecoming performance, the Bulldogs hosted the New York University (NYU) Violets at home on Monday, falling 74-64 in what was their best effort put forth as a unit this season. The matchup included multiple runs to keep the Bulldogs in the contest, which showed that the team can dig themselves out of this streak if they continue to improve. 

Tesoriero has continued to prove his worth as the Bulldogs go-to point guard by netting 18 points, going 5-of-9 from the field and 4-of-6 from distance against NYU. The sophomore guard was also able to add seven assists and two steals to the stat sheet. However, he was one of the only Bulldogs to have a productive night in the shooting department.

OReilly, Grant, and Ben Batash combined for an abysmal 5-of-30, which includes an 0-of-12 performance from distance as a trio. All the Brooklyn starters had to shoot over towering NYU defenders, as Brooklyn’s height disadvantage was a significant contributor to the loss. Combined with poor shot selection and missed open opportunities, the Bulldogs’ starters put together a combination of errors that proved lethal to the team’s chances of victory.

Markos Plimakis earned his fifth start as a Bulldog in two years and contributed seven points and seven rebounds against the tall NYU team. Although his performance is underwhelming on the stat sheet, Plimakis played extremely well against bigger bodies, showing grit under the basket on both ends of the floor.

Mendoza was a non-factor against the Violets; he attempted no field goals in only ten minutes of play. For the first time this season, Mendoza was out of the starting lineup. Statistically, he is shooting 47.1 percent (8-of-17) from the field, which is a team-best with a minimum of two field goals attempted. It is unclear why Mendoza was taken out of the lineup, because he appeared to be improving in each outing.

Konfino, though, came off the bench and had a decent game. He had nine points in 17 minutes but failed to contribute with assists or steals. With one assist and no steals, Konfino’s shooting was the only way he was able to make a positive mark in the matchup. His effect on the team has changed since last year, when he led the team in assists. 

In six different games last season, Konfino dished out five or more assists. In the first five games this season, he has seven assists, never having more than two in one game. Konfino’s role is still in question, as it is unclear if he will permanently be coming off the bench. If Tesoriero’s play continues to improve, Konfino may have to stick to shooting guard in order to find minutes on the floor. 

The Bulldogs will have their first City University of New York Athletic Conference (CUNYAC) matchup on Friday, on the road against Hunter College. Tip-off is at 8:30 p.m. at the Hunter Sportsplex in Manhattan. BC’s next home game will be on Dec. 5, when it will host Stevens Institute of Technology.

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