The men’s basketball team is looking forward to taking the court for the first time in nearly two years. Since their last game, there has been a lot of turnover with new players coming in and older players leaving. For some players, they have seen the shut down of their sports as freshmen and are now seeing the light at the end of the tunnel as juniors. One of these players is communication studies junior forward Erik Salo. Salo started 21 of his 22 games and averaged 7.8 points per game shooting 69% from the field.
Salo used the time away from the team due to the pandemic to work on his game and get better.
“I felt like if I wanted to continue being a forward, I’m kind of undersized for the position at the college level,” Salo said. “I’m only 6’4”, so I felt like I had to play faster to continue playing that position.I couldn’t slow down and be an inside guy because those guys are like 6’7” 6’8”. I expanded my moves to slash and have a bit of a midrange and am still working on playing inside.”
Salo started playing sports when he was really young and played almost every sport at some level. And even from his earliest memories of basketball he always soared above the competition.
“I was in second grade and I was playing with the fourth graders in my local basketball club and they kicked me out of the game because they found out I was in second grade even though I was the tallest and I was scoring the most points,” Salo said.
Plattsburgh gave Salo the opportunity to compete on a team and contribute while still enjoying the pluses of going away and having the “college experience”
“I knew that if I wanted to play basketball and actually contribute to the team at a high level I probably shouldn’t be playing D1 or D2,” Salo said. “I like the idea of being able to go somewhere and play and actually getting time and enjoying myself and still having a college atmosphere.”
When watching Salo play this upcoming season,shades of Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love may be seen. Someone he compares his game to pretty closely.
“I’m not nearly as good a shooter as he is but he out works guys and is always going after guys who are taller than him but he works harder than everyone else. Especially on the rebounding side which is something I pride myself on.” Salo said.
Salo loves the energy college basketball brings especially when it comes to the commitment of his team.
“Once you get to this level, it’s just a different ball park. Everyone has a common goal to win and get better,” he said
On what to expect this season Salo says to expect growth all throughout the season.
“I’m excited to see how much we can grow,” Salo said. “We weren’t bringing back a lot of guys that played my freshman year in the first place, I didn’t even know what our team was going to look like until a couple days ago.” Salo said. “I’m just excited to see what we look like days and months from now.”
Salo and the Plattsburgh Cardinals take on Western Connecticut state Nov. 6, and they make their home opener Nov. 17 versus Skidmore College.