Hopes raised for men’s basketball

Yang Chen, Sports Editor

Pitt-Johnstown men’s basketball team is to have their first regular season game Friday against Concord University. 

Bob Rukavina, the Pitt-Johnstown men’s basketball head coach, said he had high expectations for this season.

According to Rukavina, the team has been projected to finish third in their division in a preseason coaches’ conference poll.

“They have competitive training every day, and it helps with their intensity in the preseason.

“Last year was a good year, and I did not expect for them to go into the playoffs, because they were  the youngest team that I have ever seen in my past 30 years coaching at Pitt-Johnstown, I didn’t know how they were going to be in the beginning of last year.

“But they did good job. They are going to have more challenges this season. They had many games last year and became stronger and more experienced, so I don’t need to teach them what they should do.

“The whole team is unselfish, and many upperclassmen who are able to score will give chances to the freshmen. 

“Senior Josh Wise is the best guard in the conference, and he made my team better.I hope there will be more students coming to support us, and it will mean a lot for us,” Rukavina said.

Wise, the Pitt-Johnstown men’s basketball co-captain, said the preseason training was good.

“The new incoming freshmen are doing a good job. 

“We had good freshmen last year, and I knew the new freshmen would do their jobs well.

“In this season, I want to win every game, whether it’s home games, away games, playoff games and even a national championship.

“It’s time for us to play. We put time into basketball and need it to pay off,” Wise said.

Sophomore John Kromka, the Conference West Division freshman of the year last season and co-captain of the team this year, said they trained hard in preseason, and he became  a better player.

“Last year is history, and I’ll focus on working hard this season to keep a better standing than last year.

“Basketball is still basketball for me. I’m on my way to open the field up and let more players score. I’m excited for this season,” Kromka said.

Junior Marcin Wiszomirski, the Pitt-Johnstown center player, said he is ready for this season.

“I became stronger and better than last year. My whole team is getting more chemistry with each other, and we have more communication.

“We know each other more, and there is chemistry within our team. We want to move further in this season, and I can’t wait for this season to start,” Wiszomirski said.

Sophomore Fred Mulbah, who earned the most assists in last year, said this is going to be a great year.

“We are consistent in working hard every day, and it will translate to our coming season performance. I want to help my team go to the national championship, and it’s our goal,” Mulbah said.

Sophomore Caiden Landis said they had productive preseason training.

“If there is something that needs to improve. We are working on it to fix it every day. Every game is a game, and every day is a day for us to improve. 

“We are better and can achieve our goal,” Landis said.