Nobody will deny that last season was a tough one for the Fairfield men’s basketball team, with the squad going 7-25 overall, and 4-16 in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. Despite these disheartening statistics, there is still hope for this upcoming season.
The squad struggled out of the gate last season, dropping eight of its first nine games while averaging only 60.2 points per game (ppg), and allowing an average of 69.1 ppg. Besides winning their opening game, the Stags didn’t win another game until December. To emphasize what a slump the team was in, picture this: the squad went over a month without a single victory, despite eight opportunities to do so. This series of losses would set the tone for the rest of the season, as the team never really got its game together and had a rough time keeping up with its opponents.
Despite winning a few games in December and January, the team would again embark on a losing streak, dropping 10 of 11 games between Jan. 2 and Feb. 3 and getting outscored by an average margin of 64.6 to 60.8. Though the margin of difference between the two averages isn’t much, it is skewed by a few of the games that were very close, and does not accurately represent some of the blowouts that occurred during the string of losses (75-56 to Marist, 83-57 to Manhattan and 84-58 to Canisius, just to name a few).
Entering the final stretch of the season, the team was sitting with a dreadful 4-19 record, and hoped to win a few games in order to make their season look respectable. Unfortunately, this did not go according to plan, as the squad would lose six of its remaining nine games (including a MAAC tournament loss to St. Peter’s in overtime.)
The statistics for the team weren’t very pretty, but they don’t lie. As previously stated, the team lost too many games at home and in the MAAC, and just never really got going. They averaged 63.4 ppg for the entire season, which isn’t that bad, but, when their defense was surrendering an average of 70 ppg to their opponents, it just wasn’t good enough.
One of the most glaring statistics was the differential between steals for the Stags and steals for their opponents. The Stags’ opponents had a whopping 102 steals more than Fairfield, which just shows that the team wasn’t able to keep pace with its opposition.
Furthermore, the team’s shooting percentages weren’t anything to write home about, as they shot .398 from the floor as opposed to their opponents’ .424; the Stags also shot an abysmal .685 from the free throw line as opposed to their opponents’ .711.
However, as bad as these stats may seem, at least there is hope on the horizon.
The team is coming into this season looking to rebound, and some of its better players have last year’s experiences to call upon should they need them. Team Captain Amadou Sidibe ‘16 is one player in particular who seems to have matured and gained more skill over the offseason, and will hope to implement these upgrades to lead the team to victory. He is confident that the team will come together much faster than it did last year, and that they won’t have the early season struggles that plagued them last season. Sidibe expects nothing but the best from his team, and so do we.