“If you had asked me how many wins I had, I would just say not enough,” said Rowan men’s basketball head coach, Joe Crispin.
On Wednesday, Jan. 4, Coach Joe Crispin secured his centennial victory as the Rowan men’s basketball head coach with an 82-73 win over New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) rival New Jersey City University (NJCU).
This started the new year off for the Profs exactly as they had hoped, remaining unbeaten in conference competition. This latest win followed a brief winter migration south to Virginia for the Radolph-Macon Tournament.
The scrappy game against NJCU was riddled with turnovers and fouls. It featured impressive scoring performances from Connor Dickerson and Ja’Zere Noel who dropped 22 and 20 points, respectively. Marcellus Ross and Josh Wright each had double-digit contributions as well, Ross with 15 points and Wright with 14 points. This abundance of scoring talent has created season-long success for the Profs.
“A lot of teams, they only have one option, we have a lot of options,” Coach Crispin said. “I think it makes us more dangerous in general.”
This mindset is threaded throughout the whole team, not just the coaching staff.
“This year is different,” Ross said. “We’re all scoring from different angles. Last year it was a couple guys, you know they’re going to score tonight. This year, on a given night anybody can be the superman scorer.”
Ross spent the first half of this 2022-2023 season shifting from being one of those “couple of guys” to a veteran leader and encouraging team ball.
“We’re winning games, I can’t be mad about it. I’m just trying to get into my role, and get back to where I used to be. I feel like tonight was a good step in the right direction in the new year,” Ross said.
A big help in winning these games has been the consistent sixth man, sophomore Josh Wright. Wright scored all but two of Rowan’s 16 bench points against NJCU.
“He’s some serious firepower off the bench, you just know he’s going to figure out a way to score,” Coach Crispin said.
Wright’s energetic play and consistent hustle makes him a stand-out name in opposing film sessions, but he is not one to back down to menacing defenses.
“[NJCU] started clamping down on me, at one point in the game I started getting doubled, but I can adjust,” Wright said. “I’m not just a shooter, I’m a scorer… If you take away my jump shot? Okay, I’m going right to the rim.”
Driving to the net worked well for Wright and the Profs in this one, generating 31 trips to the line for the team and registering 24 made foul shots. Wright himself ended the game a perfect 8-8 from the line, a season high.
With the win on Wednesday, Rowan improves to 10-3 overall and a pristine 6-0 in the NJAC.
“If you get a win on a Wednesday night on a quiet night in January I gotta be happy enough about it,” Coach Crispin said. “We didn’t play our best, we still won, move on, let’s get to the next game. We got a big one on Saturday.”
On Saturday, the Profs will face off against the Cougars of Kean University at 3 p.m, the first of a dozen more NJAC matchups for The Profs.
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