Welcomed Taste Of Success For Swarthmore Hoops
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- The 2015-16 season has been one to remember so far for the Division III Swarthmore College men's basketball team.
The Garnet are 14-3 after beating Gettysburg on the road on Monday night. That's impressive in its own right, but when you consider Swarthmore's last winning season came back in 1996-97, it makes this campaign a really special journey.
"It's been a lot of fun," Swarthmore head coach Landry Kosmalski tells KYW Newsradio. "It's definitely a lot better than the first three years (as head coach) which was a bit of a struggle. But I think from those experiences, we learned a lot and it's paying off this year."
Listen to the entire interview with Swarthmore's Landry Kosmalski:
Swarthmore went 11-14 last season. But the Garnet started this campaign 9-0, and equaled last season's win total on January 14th when they beat Dickinson.
"We did think we'd be better (than last year)," Kosmalski says. "We're still relatively young. We play mostly sophomores and juniors and a few freshman."
While it has been a great ride so far, the season hasn't been without adversity. The Garnet lost
leading scorer Chris Bourne to a season-ending injury a few games ago.
"We miss Chris," Kosmalski says. "He's a captain for us, a great leader. But we have had guys just step up. We've been saying, 'Next man up,' and it's been someone different every game. We're still able to play nine or ten guys. I think losing Chris was a big blow, but at the same time, it's kind of evened out where everyone's playing a little bit more of a role and everyone has stepped up so far and done a good job."
Bourne was averaging 14.3 points before he got hurt. Sophomore guard Zack Yonda is pouring in 13.7 a night while another sophomore guard, Matt Brennan, checks in at 12.6 points per game.
Swarthmore is 8-2 in the always tough Centennial Conference. That's good for a tie for second place in the league, one game behind pace setter Franklin & Marshall. The Garnet have eight games left in the regular season.
"I think we're going to keep trying to do what we've done the whole season," Kosmalski says. "Really just take it day-by-day. We talk a lot about just winning the next game. If you win a game, try to win the next game. If you lose a game, try to win the next game. Our guys are going to come in, I think they are happy about the road victory (Monday night) at Gettysburg. But I know when we come into practice later (Tuesday), I think they're going to be pretty focused on getting better today and getting prepared for Haverford tomorrow."
That game at Haverford on Wednesday will tip-off at 8:00pm
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