The Spartans men’s basketball team scored a huge upset Sunday against Rhode Island College to secure their second Little East Conference victory by a score of 73-61.
Castleton was led by Remy Brown’s 21-point showing in Glenbrook Gymnasium.
Heading into the game, head coach Paul Culpo drilled the point home that the team’s preparation wouldn’t change.
“Our preparation never changes. We will have scouting reports, show some film and talk about both offensive and defensive concepts. My message is pretty consistent: just get better every day,” he said.
Senior guard Casey Belade said that Culpo always tries to get the team to, “compete and work harder.”
Although the Spartans haven’t had a successful year according to the win-loss column, players and coaches believe that there has been plenty of upside. Culpo believes that the team has improved drastically since last season.
“We didn’t have any league wins a year ago and really only had one competitive game. This has a much different feel to it,” he said.
Last season, the Spartans finished the year with 20 consecutive losses. The team averaged 61.8 points per game while allowing 77.1.
This year, the team secured its first ever LEC victory against Western Connecticut State.
Their second was on Sunday night.
While the season hasn’t gone the way that the players may have envisioned going in, Culpo has continued to motivate his team to show up and play to compete.
Senior guard Demauriaye Smith appreciates the work ethic Culpo tries to instill in him and his teammates. Smith said that Culpo want them to, “learn how to work hard, be tough and be competitive on the court, and it will translate off the court,” in their everyday lives.
Smith was asked prior to Sunday’s game against the Anchormen of Rhode Island College how he felt the season was going.
“Not the way we wanted it to go…on the bright side it’s only up from here,” he said.
With just four games left in the regular season and the LEC tournament seemingly out of reach for the Spartans, Belade remains optimistic for the end of the season.
“Hopefully we finish strong and could potentially make a push for the playoffs,” he said.
No matter what the outcome of the last stretch of games, seniors are trying to motivate the returning players to keep preparing in the offseason.
“Honestly, just keep working hard. It’s been a tough year…we have a great coaching staff and great players that I know will mesh and gel better together next year,” Smith said.
Culpo had some words of encouragement for the returning players, as well as incoming players next season.
“We need to compete better all the time,” he said. “The weight room will be a huge factor in our development coming into next season.”