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Men’s basketball finds hope in freshman class despite losing streak

Dylan Pichnarcik / THE GATEPOST

By Adam Levine

Sports Editor

The Framingham State Rams lost 67-59 to the MCLA Trailblazers Feb. 10 and 92-67 to the Worcester State Lancers Feb. 14, dropping both matchups of the week.

The Rams now hold an overall record of 5-19 and a conference record of 0-11.

Despite their now eight-game losing streak, Head Coach Donald Morris Jr. is optimistic about his freshman class.

“I think our freshmen are great. … They don't see that in two years they'll be better than they are right now,” Morris said.

He said every day this season has been about being “better than the day before - Did you compete better than you did the day before?”

Morris said, “I think we do have good pieces. I just don't think they are pieces that are ready right away to take that step.”

Framingham’s standout freshman, Joshua Saint Jean, ranks second on the team in minutes per game (29.8) and has started all 21 of the games he has played.

Saint Jean said Morris recruited a large freshman class this past summer. “He wanted us freshmen to help build this program for the long run.”

Saint Jean played 39 minutes in the loss against MCLA and recorded a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds.

Korbin Gann, one of the three freshmen who started in the game against MCLA, said playing freshmen means a lot to the program.

Gann said, “When I was talking with Coach [Morris] when I was getting recruited, his big pitch was that he wanted to play freshmen, that he just wanted to change the program and build.

“We have a lot of talent as freshmen and we're trying to use upperclassmen to help us now,” he added.

After the loss to MCLA, Morris said the team has to work on defense at practice.

“We're doing a poor job keeping the ball on one side of the floor. We didn't do a bad job on the helpline at times, but we're so worried about shooters that we're all hugging the weak side and that's where the problems are occurring,” he said.

During Framingham’s loss, MCLA’s star-player, Quentin Gittens, scored a career-high 36 points. Gittens is currently averaging 19.6 points per game, which ranks second in the MASCAC.

Morris said the team practiced for Gittens for over a week. “In the second half, we did a bad job because we let him get a full head of steam coming up the floor.”

The Rams host the Fitchburg State Falcons in a MASCAC matchup for their final game of the regular season Feb. 17.

In their last matchup, the Falcons beat the Rams 61-59 in the final seconds of the game Jan. 24.

Morris said after their loss to the Lancers, the Rams still have a chance of making the playoffs with a win over the Falcons. The Falcons and Rams would be tied with one MASCAC-win each and the final playoff spot would be decided on a tiebreaker between the teams.

Saint Jean, who missed the last matchup against the Falcons due to an injury, said the team will “try to win this game - play as hard as we can because it's our last home game.”



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