Column: Owls say final farewell until next basketball season
Aaron Johnson – Sports Editor
Well even though it did not quite end like most in Blue Crew nation may have liked, boy was the ride fun. The men’s basketball season came to an end over the break in the NCAA Tournament Regional final against Southern New Hampshire. The Owls finished the season 24-8 and a game away from getting back to the Elite Eight in back-to-back years for the first time in school history.
The Owls started off the season ranked No. 2 in the preseason poll and I remember interviewing team co-captain Luke Houston around that time and he told me that having that ranking is going to put a big target on the team’s back. Well he was definitely right about that. Each game Southern got the best from their opponents, but something I learned covering the team this year; they would not have had it any other way.
The team was tough, veteran and overall pretty doggone good. Coach Mike Donnelly has been able to not only turn the Southern basketball program around, but he’s been able to make them a powerhouse in the NE-10 and in the East region. In the last two seasons, the Owls are 54-11. When people think of Southern Connecticut State University, people think of the basketball team.
The hardest part of the season ending however is definitely going to be saying goodbye to seniors Tylon Smith, Jose Cruz, and of course Houston. The trio that will go down as probably the most successful class in program history when it’s all said and done, has brought not only great memories to Southern, but they will be the class that won the NE-10 tournament and back-to-back division titles.
This season may have come to an end, but the journey has been one to remember.
Photo Credit: Derek Torrellas