After claiming their first Landmark Conference title in team history, the Drew University men’s basketball team has high expectations this season and will try to defend its crown with an experienced team under longstanding Head Coach Keckler.
The Rangers will be bringing back six different players who started last season and 15 total players from last year’s squad. An additional nine Rangers are back to provide outstanding depth.
Drew Gallagher (’22) and Miles Lewis (’22) return as two of the team’s most experienced players, having each played in over 50 games throughout their careers. Rounding out the senior class are Captain Mathew Capozzoli (‘22) and guards Kevin Griffith (‘22) and Dylan Musial (‘22). Both captains, Gallagher and Howard Mcburnie, Jr. (’23), discuss how they feel about the beginning of the season.
Describing himself as a leader, Gallagher stated “a vocal leader. I like to project my voice and tell the team how to go about things…communication is key for both sides of the floor success.”
Regarding McBurnie’s expectations for this season, especially after having such a great season before and even winning his first Landmark Conference title, he said, “Get a ring or bust again… we have the same talent but with another year of experience.”
McBurnie led the team and the Landmark Conference in rebounding with 11.6 boards per game while dropping 12.4 points per game. However, despite their past success, they had a tough loss against their season opener opponents Muhlenberg College on Tuesday, Nov. 9.
Muhlenberg rallied from a nine-point deficit early in the second half to hand the Rangers an 81-76 loss in a packed and noisy Baldwin Gym.
Overall, it was an exciting game throughout the stretch, and a baseline jumper from David Gervase (‘22) made it a one-possession game with only 24 seconds left. The Mules made a pair of free throws five seconds later, and the Rangers turned it over on their final possession.
Lybrant Robinson (G’24) led the Rangers, dropping a game-high 20 points, shooting 4-for-9 from the 3-point line. Gervase scored 13 points at the same time McBurnie notched a double-double of 12 points and 11 rebounds. Malcolm Newman (’24) chipped in with 12 points and seven assists.
The Rangers continue their season this weekend when they compete in the TCNJ Tournament. The Rangers open on Friday, Nov. 11 when they take on York College at 7 p.m in Ewing, NJ.