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Maryland Jap Shore constructing a tradition of toughness and togetherness


DURHAM, NC — It wasn’t misplaced on Jason Crafton’s Maryland Jap Shore workforce that they had been enjoying in one of many hardest arenas within the MEAC on Monday evening. The’ve been there and finished that.

“We performed towards Duke,” Crafton stated with a smile after his workforce’s comeback win over NC Central on Monday evening. “We performed eight cash video games this 12 months. We’re an HBCU. We have been at Duke, we have been at Virginia, we received at Temple. We have been at Liberty, we have been at USC. Charlotte’s having an amazing season this 12 months, so we performed lots of groups which are going to play within the NCAA Event and we have been in robust environments. These guys aren’t afraid of anybody.”

NCCU held a 16-point lead at one level within the second half at residence in McDougald-McLendon Enviornment the place they’d received ten consecutive video games. Sarcastically, the final workforce to beat NCCU at residence was—Maryland Jap Shore.

That is no coincidence — that is the Hawk means.

“I acquired guys who’re seniors that had been right here enjoying towards Baylor, performed towards Oklahoma,” Crafton stated. “So we’re by no means going to again down. I feel the tradition confirmed to shut that recreation out. That is tradition proper there and that is what we’re constructing. You do not win that recreation off. We’re simply making pictures as a result of we did not make three tonight. We received that recreation simply off of tradition — grit — and staying true to our method to shut the sport out. We by no means gave in.”

The 59-51 win over Central NC gave Jap Shore an 11-8 report — tying the win whole from the 2021-22 season. Extra importantly, it put MDES in a three-way tie for first place within the MEAC together with Howard and Morgan State.

That is no small feat for a program that was one of many handful of Division I applications that did not play throughout the 2020-2021 season and received simply 45 video games the 5 seasons previous to that. A deeper have a look at MDES historical past reveals that the varsity has only one MEAC event title since serving to type the league again in 1970.

Maryland Jap Shore opened some eyes in non-conference, knocking off Temple and Columbia in December. They lead with protection, as they’re holding opponents to 64.8 factors per recreation in MEAC play — second behind NC Central.

“We’re in a tricky league, so all of the groups in our league play a tricky model of basketball,” Crafton stated. “We had been lucky to be a workforce that performed a bit of bit harder, that when it mattered down the stretch. It is nothing particular. It is simply holding children accountable, attempting to herald the precise children. And when the precise children typically do the flawed issues, maintain them accountable. Then typically it isn’t coming from the coach, typically it is coming from the gamers.”

The Hawks got here into the season predicated to complete sixth within the eight-team league. They’re undersized even by MEAC requirements, with 6’8 freshman Victor Naboya because the tallest member of the squad. What they lack in top they make up for in toughness and togetherness. The workforce will be seen locking arms as they stand on the sideline throughout timeouts, and that is by design.

“After we’re locking arms, that is simply not the brotherhood proper there,” Crafton stated. “These guys love one another. Now we have our ups and our downs. We’re a workforce, and that occurs. And we have had moments in that recreation. However these guys discovered a method to keep collectively. So locking arms, that is what we do whatever the scenario. Up, down, no matter, that is simply the usual and that is our tradition. And our tradition received tonight towards a workforce that is acquired lots of tradition.”

MDES is ready to tackle Coppin State and Morgan State this weekend.

Maryland Jap Shore constructing a tradition of toughness and togetherness

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