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Griffs learning through busy stretch

As the men’s basketball team sits over halfway through its six game, 13 day stretch and in the midst of a three-game losing streak, the team is using this to learn more about themselves and to get ready for the final few weeks of the season.

On Tuesday afternoon, the Griffs lost 65-57 on the road to St. Peter’s in its third and final game of the current road trip that dropped them to 1-5 in MAAC play and 5-12 overall before a home series this weekend.

“It’s been a rough stretch, obviously” head coach Reggie Witherspoon said Wednesday. “We just have to try to find a way to persevere and get through it. And hopefully we’re learning.”

The Griffs will see St. Peter’s again this Sunday as the Peacocks visit the Koessler Athletic Center for the second game between the two teams in six days.

The team is still looking for more consistent options on offense. Malek Green still leads the team in scoring at 13.8 points per game and shoots at a 49% clip. Witherspoon mentioned that players such as Armon Harried, Jordan Henderson, Ahamadou Fofana and Scott Hitchon have all had moments of playing well. However, the Griffs still have not found someone who will be the solid second option each game.

Injuries have also played a role. Harried, Henderson and Akrum Ahemed are the only players on the roster who have played in all 17 games this season.

“You don’t know who’s available and then you have guys who haven’t been playing a lot who, in one case, have to play the entire game. Then when the guys come back who were sitting, you have a whole new situation with your team in terms of trying to integrate those guys back to your team,” Witherspoon said. “What about the guys who just helped you win? You have to work on that.”

One player who is currently being integrated back in is Siem Uijtendaal, who has played just 21 minutes since the team’s loss to Youngstown State on December 11. He did not play in the win against Quinnipiac on January 11 nor the loss to Niagara on January 13. Witherspoon said he cannot recall the last time Uijtendaal has had a full practice.

As for the conference tournament, the MAAC is in the final year of a three-year deal with Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J. MAAC commissioner Rich Ensor said that it is “50-50” whether the conference will return to Atlantic City in 2023. He mentioned MVP Arena in Albany, the former host of the tournament as well as UBS Arena on Long Island as potential future hosts.

Witherspoon said that he doesn’t allow himself to think about where the tournament is held, but “the closer, the better.”

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