Adam Hallenbeck – Sports Editor
After a disappointing loss in the quarterfinals of the Great Northeast Athletic
Conference (GNAC) championship tournament last year, the 2019-2020 men’s
basketball team is looking to bounce into a strong new year with a team mixed with
experiences and backgrounds.
“We’re looking good, a lot of new guys trying to come together chemistry-wise, but
exciting because it is a lot more talent than last year,” said Stefan Masciarelli, a senior
member of the team’s leadership council.
The GNAC preseason poll had the men’s team set to finish eighth in the league
with 61 votes, just making the playoff bracket this year. This bracket is constructed by
coaches and league officials’ votes for the strongest teams this year. Albertus Magnus
was voted to finish as the top team in the rankings with 139 votes.
This season has not started on a strong foot for the Lasers. The team has yet to win
a game so far, going 0-7 overall over the last few weeks, their most recent loss coming
from the hands of Brandeis University in overtime 84-81. They have only played one
conference matchup so far, losing to Suffolk University on Nov. 16.
Although they haven’t performed well, the team has faced a difficult schedule in the first two weeks of action. During the course of their season, the men’s squad will face six teams that received votes for the Top 25 preseason poll for Division III teams in the country, according to D3Hoops.com. Head Coach Aaron Galletta’s team has faced two of the top teams in the Northeast already, as #4 Amherst and Babson have traveled to the Lasell athletic center for matchups against the Lasers.
This season, Head Coach Aaron Galletta takes a different approach to player leadership. Instead of electing captains, the team now has a leadership council.
“When it started off, there were three captains. There was me from last year and then [Galletta] named Kevin Nunez and Kevin Vanderhorst captains. About a month or so in, he wanted to do the whole leadership council to feel like there were representatives from every age group,” said Masciarelli.
The members of the leadership council are senior guards Masciarelli and Nunez,
senior forward Vanderhorst, first-year guard Jake Dable, and junior forward Dylan Murray.
The leadership council has done more than help the team mentally and emotionally but has physically contributed as well. Masciarelli (16 ppg), Vanderhorst (14.1 ppg), and Nunez (13 ppg) lead the Lasers in scoring.
With the recent closing of Newbury College and the not-so-recent closing of Mount
Ida College, Lasell now hosts a very diverse unit on the court. “We have two kids from
Newbury, we got a kid from Rivier, a kid from Salve Regina and then obviously all the
Ida kids that came last year…it’s completely different,” said Masciarelli. “I was looking at
[the roster] the other day, I think there were three kids that came in with me on that original team, it’s a different look.”
The newly mixed team looks to break their winless streak with a game against Wheaton College on Dec. 5.