The Plattsburgh State men’s basketball team experienced a spectacular 2015-16 season.
Many goals were reached throughout the winter and in to spring for the Cardinals, as they achieved the top seed in the SUNYAC playoffs, finishing best in the conference with a 16-1 record before falling to the Oswego State Lakers in the second round of the conference playoffs, which ended the Cards’ hope to capture a SUNYAC championship.
Despite the tough loss to the conference rivals Lakers in the SUNYACs, the Cards still received a spot in the Division III NCAA Tournament due to their success this year.
Despite the Cards’ season ending earlier than they had hoped for due to a loss against Fitchburg State University in the first round of the national tournament, the Cards’ success was still nationally recognized.
Senior guard and forward Kyle Richardson received the highest of honors, being named East Region Player of the year by the National Association of Basketball Coaches for his outstanding season in one of the toughest conferences on the east coast. Richardson averaged 19.9 points and 10.5 rebounds per game, but would not have been able to have such a strong performances each night out if it weren’t for his teammates.
“It’s definitely an honor to just even be considered,” Richardson said. “There’s a lot of good guys out there, and to win it is even more rewarding.”
Joining Richardson in receiving All-Conference honors is fellow senior guard Edward Correa, securing All-SUNYAC Second Team, sophomore guard Eli Bryant, capturing All-SUNYAC Third Team and freshman forward Jonathan Patron, achieving Rookie of the Year.
“For Jon and Eli, it just shows how good Plattsburgh is going to be these next few years,” Richardson said in regard to his teammates. “It’s definitely rewarding for them and something to look forward to in the future.”
Next season, Richardson still will be suiting up for PSUC but in a more professional uniform – a suit.
Richardson has been chosen to fulfill a role in a coaching position to work beside head coach Tom Curle, which will benefit the primarily young roster that played with Richardson this year.
“Kyle will give us some stability and somebody that the players can really relate to,” Curle said. “This certainly gives us somebody that brings continuity to the program.”
With the amount of potential on this roster and the allotment of young talent that this program has, Curle knows that their legacies are still up for grabs.
“Ed Correa won 84 games and went to three NCAA tournaments in four years. That’s a pretty good legacy he established as a leader,” Curle said. “These guys are off to a real good start, and we certainly have the pieces in place for some of these individuals to step up and really take a leadership role next year.”
Coming into the season, the Cards lost seven seniors from last year, leaving the team younger than usual in comparison to previous years. The three seniors: Xavier Thomas, Kyle Richardson and Ed Correa, came together for their final season and produced one of the best in school history, finishing the regular season with a record of 21-4 and 16-1 in the conference.
This year was historic for Correa in particular, as he eclipsed 1000 career points, while cementing himself as one of the best 3-point shooters in school history.
“It feels great knowing that I came in and got so many wins as a college basketball player,” Correa said, while emphasizing the fact that leadership is one of the things he learned most while under Curle.
Overall, the season was quite a success, as the Cards finished first in the SUNYAC conference, won 21 of the 25 regular season games and made the NCAA tournament, which leaves positives to build upon next season.
Email Ezra Kachaturian at email@example.com