Setting the Scene... The USMMA men's basketball team kicks-off the New Year Wednesday afternoon in Hartford, CT against Trinity in a non-conference contest. The Mariners are coming off of a 1-1 performance at the Land of Magic Classic and have won four of their last five games. The Bantams are 5-6 on the year and also had a 1-1 weekend during the holiday break.
Bang for your "Buck"... Reed Buck (Lawrenceville, GA) has found his grove as of late and was named the Landmark Conference Player of the Week on Monday. The junior forward exploded for over 25 points in back-to-back games, including a season high 31 against Embry-Riddle. Buck leads the league in scoring, averaging 18.7 points per game.
"Hatz" Off... Freshman George Hatzioannides (Oakland Gardens, NY) has now made four straight starts for USMMA, averaging 7.5 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 2.5 assists per game during that stretch. Last time out he posted career highs with 12 points and six rebounds versus Elmira.
About to Get Serious... After Merchant Marine's tilt with Trinity the team will have just two more non-conference games remaining on the schedule. The Mariners will play 11 of their last 13 games against Landmark Conference rivals as the race to earn a spot in the playoffs kicks into high gear. All of USMMA's six remaining home games will be against Landmark Conference opposition.
Up Next... Merchant Marine will take to the road again on January 5 for a showdown against nationally ranked Catholic.