As many students start shifting their focus to the first wave of finals this academic year, another group of students on campus have been balancing the ever-painful finals season with another type of season — a sports season.
As Queens College’s student-athletes competing in Winter sports are now hearing their numbers being called either on the track or the hardwood, I want to provide the student body with some information on how we can best support our athletes.
Pulling information from the QC Athletics page (https://queensknights.com/) and the East Coast Conference (ECC) page (https://www.eccsports.org/), let me guide you into the world of Queens College athletics!
Please note that all statistics and weekly awards are as of Wednesday, November 29th at 5pm.
Indoor Track and Field:
ECC Preseason Poll Ranking: Eighth out of 10 (men’s) and tenth out of 12 (women’s)
ECC Preseason Poll Notes: None
Last Year’s ECC Finish: Seventh out of eight (men’s) and tied for eighth out of 10 (women’s)
Last Year’s Honorees: Khareena Primus (Second Team All-Conference in the women’s 200m dash) and Myles Jackson (Second Team All-Conference in the men’s 500m dash)
Key Returning Athletes: Senior sprinter Daniel Fuzailof, junior jumper/sprinter Hakeem Griffiths, senior sprinter Khareena Primus, senior mid-distance runner Fatima Morrobel, sophomore distance runner Rachel Mow, and senior thrower Madelyn McMath
Key New Additions: Freshman Daniel DeGregori, junior Peter Hoffmann, sophomore Andrea Rivera, and sophomore Shivangi Sharma
Upcoming Meets: The Wagner College Shootout on Fri. December 8th at noon at the Ocean Breeze Complex, the Wagner College Invitational on Fri. January 5th at noon at the Ocean Breeze Complex, and the St. Thomas Aquinas College Spartan Invitational on Fri. January 12th at noon at the Ocean Breeze Complex
Blurb: Composed of student-athletes that compete together year round, Head Coach Greg Welch’s squad is used to adversity. Whether it be a sprinter waiting for the cross country season to end, or fighting through the bitter cold the team is about to endure this winter season, this squad will always find a way to compete.
Returning key athletes on both the men’s and women’s teams will greatly help Coach Welch; as well as having cross country runners already warm from the previous season. While the distances set to be run will not be as extreme, the challenges are only shifting. Throwers are tying their shoes for the first time this year while sprinters are stretching out their hamstrings and shins.
Aside from the return of past award winners in Primus, Fuzailof, and Griffiths, Coach Welch will be joined by cross country standouts Mow and DeGregori. We will have to wait until Friday to see how this team meshes together in the first of two track and field seasons this year.
ECC Preseason Poll Ranking: Fifth out of nine
ECC Preseason Poll Notes: Predicted playoff berth
Last Year’s Record: 8-20 (5-11 ECC), finished seventh, missed playoffs
Last Year’s Honorees: Tyler Carey (ECC Defensive Player of the Year, All-Met Second Team, and Second Team All-Conference) and Sunnie Diamond (Third Team All-Conference)
Key Returning Players: Senior guard Sunnie Diamond, senior forward Jayden Seraphin, senior forward Malik Bentinck, junior point guard Shamar Chester, and sophomore forward Eric Tynes
Key New Additions: Junior forward/center Omar Nkonde, junior point guard Dante Griffin, and junior forward Zyeir Lawrence
Upcoming Home Games: Caldwell University on Tue. December 5th at 6pm, D’Youville University (ECC) on Fri. December 8th at 7:30pm, Daemen University (ECC) on Sun. December 10th at 1pm, and Wilmington University of Delaware on Wed. December 13th at 7:30pm
Home Game Location: South Gym
Blurb: Injuries devastated the men’s basketball team last season as Head Coach Matthew Collier’s squad never really got a fair chance to get a groove going. However, that gave others an opportunity to step up and show out; these players (Chester, Tynes, and Bentinck) are now focal points of this team — and their gained opportunities last year are reaping rewards.
The heart of this team, though, is Diamond who earned Third Team All-Conference honors last year despite missing 11 games. This year, though, he’s moving like a steam engine down the tracks towards the rest of the conference at full speed. His 24 points per game average is second in the ECC and he is amongst the top eight in steals, rebounds, and assists per game.
However, probably the nicest not-so-unexpected surprise thus far has been how Bentinck has stepped up in the absence of Tyler Carey who is now playing professionally overseas after solidifying himself as the program’s leading shot blocker last season. Bentinck trails only Diamond in points per game on the team (12) and is top four in the conference in rebounds and blocks per game.
The nicest surprise thus far has been the play of transfer Griffin who can quite literally do a little bit of everything. As the point guard, Griffin is averaging seven points, 4.2 rebounds, 5.4 assists, and two steals per game on solid 42/46/71 shooting splits. He leads the conference in assists per game.
Coach Collier’s team, who took the #24 nationally-ranked Pace University Settlers into double overtime in the season opener, seem primed for a bounce back year with legitimate depth across the board.
ECC Preseason Poll Ranking: Sixth out of nine
ECC Preseason Poll Notes: Predicted playoff berth
Last Year’s Record: 9-20 (5-11 ECC), finished sixth, lost in the conference semifinals
Last Year’s Honorees: Brianna Davis (ECC Rookie of the Year and Third Team All-Conference), Raven Pitt (Third Team All-Conference), and Chelsea Reeves (Third Team All-Conference)
Key Returning Players: Sophomore guard Brianna Davis, junior guard Chelsea Reeves, and sophomore center Gianna Henriques
Key New Additions: Freshman forward Nkiru Awaka, freshman guard Jalea Abrams, junior forward Lateisha Willis, and freshman point guard Jordis Tautalatasi
Upcoming Home Games: D’Youville University (ECC) on Fri. December 8th at 5:30pm, Daemen University (ECC) on Sun. December 10th at 3pm, Wilmington University of Delaware on Wed. December 13th at 5:30pm, and American International College on Tue. December 19th at 7pm
Home Game Location: South Gym
Blurb: The women’s basketball team is unique from other collegiate teams in the sense that they will always have a constant culture. Head Coach Elizabeth “Bet” Naumovski has been with the program for 13 years and is already the winningest coach in women’s basketball history with multiple conference championships and NCAA tournament appearances under her belt.
This showed when the Knights bested the third overall seed in last year’s playoffs to advance to the conference semifinal for the first time since the 2016-17 season.
However, this is an entirely new team this year. Only players from that playoff squad last season returned, and of the seven new players this year, five of them are freshmen. Purely statistically speaking, though, that does give the Knights an advantage in grabbing the ECC’s weekly Rookie of the Week award — which Awaka has done all three weeks to this point.
This team is still led by the backcourt duo of Davis and Reeves; both of whom grabbed all-conference honors last season, including ECC Rookie of the Year and All-Met Second Team recognition from the former.
Davis has had the reins of the team thus far, leading the team in total points and steals while Reeves has been out. Davis earned both the defensive and player of the week honors in the second week of competition in mid-November. That was done only once the entirety of last season from any player in the conference — which came from Erin Leary of St. Thomas Aquinas College who made the First Team All-Conference squad last year. Not too bad of a precedent for Davis to follow.