There’s no chance that the Castleton men’s basketball team would have been ranked second in the nation with 97.5 points per game last year without the support of Chad Copeland, who led the team in scoring. The NAC player of the year held the team record in scoring last year with 17 points per game, along with 8.5 rebounds per game while also averaging 1.4 blocked shots per game.
By utilizing his unique size and skill Copeland brings a lot to court.
“He has a very dominant presence,” said head men’s basketball coach, Paul Culpo. “He’s got great size, good height, and skilled in the low post, the only thing that can stop him is himself.”
The Spartans successfully made it to the NAC semifinals last year, yet wistfully fell in double overtime against to the current conference champion Colby Sawyer.
“We have the same goal every year, to win the NAC,” Culpo explains
Senior forward Casey McGraw, a good friend of Copeland, said he’s “One of the most talented players I’ve ever played with.” He said the he not only supports his team on the court, but also brings a sense of comic relief to benefit the team.
“When things get tense all he has to do it say something and he’ll make the whole team laugh,” McGraw said with a smile on his face.
With such a dominating force down low it frees up shooters Rob Coloutti and Pavin Parrish.
“This is a group effort, which is going to make it or break it this year,” said a proud Culpo.
The 6’6” athlete has showed constant improvement both physically and mentally since his freshman year according to Culpo.
“He’s physically much bigger, put on a lot more muscle mass,” Culpo stated.
Being one of the most consistent players on the team Copeland’s low post game is virtually unstoppable. Teams often double-team Copeland in order to keep him in check.
“I’ve been guarding him in practice every day for four years, and sometimes when I know what he’s doing it still doesn’t matter,” McGraw said.
Pre-game rituals are important to any athlete and Copeland is no exception. This is why he suits up in his game shorts hours before the game, listening to music to get into his competitive mindset.
Colby Sawyer College, and Husson University look to be Castleton’s biggest competitors on the court this season but the Spartans are confident with the combination of Culpo’s veteran coaching skills and raw talent of McGraw, Parrish, and Coloutti.
Considering basketball has always been a part of Copeland’s life, he plans to continue his basketball career after college hoping of getting a professional contract to play in Europe.
“I play basketball because it’s something I’ve always been surrounded with. It is an outlet for me and my greatest passion,” Copeland said.