By Isaiah Rosario, Staff Writer
Jaspers basketball has officially released its 2022-23 schedule. Despite the difficult finish to their last season with the men losing in the first round of the MAAC against Rider and the women’s tough loss in the championship game of the MAAC tournament against Fairfield, the Jaspers look for a fresh start this season.
Head women’s basketball Coach Heather Vulin gave The Quadrangle a statement about the adversity that this team had to face over the last year.
“Last year we had to deal with five tremendous seniors graduating and bringing in eight new players,” Vulin wrote. “It was a huge learning curve in an incredibly competitive MAAC conference. I was so proud of how the team grew and matured over the season and fought through adversity with injuries and missed time due to COVID.”
There are some marquee match-ups on the women’s schedule this year. The Jaspers’ first game is Nov. 7 against Wagner, but their first eye-opening matchup of the season is Nov. 19 as they play Howard for the first time since 2007. The Jaspers will also be attending the GCU Thanksgiving Classic in Phoenix, AZ with games against Lindenwood and North Dakota on the weekend of Nov. 25.
The women’s team will participate in the Battle of the Bronx this year, with a matchup against Fordham on Dec. 3 at 2:00 p.m. Once the new year crosses, Manhattan will look to get revenge against Fairfield on Jan. 7 for their loss in the championships.
Looking ahead to the winter, Vulin is eager to see what this season will bring after a very successful season last year.
“We return four starters and some of the most dynamic players in the MAAC with Dee Dee Davis and Brazil Harvey-Carr,” Vulin wrote. “I love being in the gym with this group and I know they are hungry and willing to put in the time and effort it will take to win the championship this year. Plus, this season would be the 20th anniversary of our last MAAC title and NCAA bid. It would be extra special if we could do it this season.”
Starting point guard Dee Dee Davis has high expectations for this season with how the roster is currently built.
“Despite the ups and downs of last season, with a fresh start, we’re looking to improve upon everything we’ve built and done thus far,” Davis wrote in a statement. “Last year was truly a fun ride but we didn’t end up where we wanted to. We won’t hang our heads anymore, we’ve done enough of that. We know what’s expected of ourselves and the kinds of targets other teams will place on our backs. Throughout the years, everything our coaching staff has done, all of the adjustments and puzzle pieces they’ve added, will all be worth it. We plan on putting all of those pieces together for something spectacular this upcoming season.”
Jumping to some marquee matchups for the men’s team this season is Manhattan at VCU on Nov. 7, Manhattan vs. Northeastern, and the possibility of Army or Princeton in London on the weekend of Nov. 24th. With the recent departure of Monmouth University from the MAAC, the Shadows make a return to the Bronx on Dec 4.
The men’s team hopes to get back at Rider on Jan. 22 in Lawrenceville, N.J. for their first round loss in the MAAC Tournament, and a matchup with the Cinderella story of 2022 March Madness, St. Peter’s at home on Feb. 12.
Head Coach Steven Masiello, spoke with GoJaspers about his excitement about non-conference games this season.
“I am extremely excited about this year’s non-conference schedule,” Masiello said. “It will prepare for a rigorous MAAC schedule. We will face many different styles of play, great players, and terrific coaching. There will be no nights off, and the schedule will require us to bring our best every day.”