Photo courtesy of FSC Athletics

Ben Sax

The Florida Southern Men’s Basketball team prepares to start their season.

Florida Southern Men’s Basketball Head Coach Michael Donnelly has  learned a lot about his team, following the last season.

“I learned that our team was extremely resilient. The year we endured last year was very difficult for everyone, but I was very proud of our guys and how they handled all of the very challenging circumstances both on and off the court,” Donnelly said.

One of the biggest differences seen between this year and last year has been FSC’s preseason. 

The coach is thankful that they are back to having a normal preseason compared to last year’s COVID-19 restrictions.

“We have a lot of new faces who we expect to have an immediate impact, so we are still trying to figure out a starting lineup and player rotation,” Donnelly said.

Lots of players have made a point to stand out this season.

“All of our returners have played well in practice, which is to be expected. Our four transfers have stood out as well. We expect EJ Dambreville and Xavier Rhodes to have big years for us, and we also expect our two grad transfers Tarik Mckelphin and Jack Casale to have an immediate impact,” Donnelly said.

One of the players Donnelly mentioned was Tarik Mckelphin. 

He is a fifth-year grad transfer from the University of West Florida and plays the role of a shooting guard. Mckelphin has goals both individually and as a team.

“The goals I want to accomplish this year as a team is to win the conference and make a run for a national championship. The individual goals I have are to make an all conference team and have great shooting percentages,” Mckelpin said.

Coach Donnelly also has his own personal set of goals for the team this year.

“Our primary goal is to be playing at home on Tuesday, March 15 at 7 p.m.,” Donnelly said. “That is the date of the South Regional Championship, and our goal is to be the #1 seed in the NCAA South Regional Tournament. 

We are a very deep team on the perimeter, and we have a very skilled team that we believe has a chance to be a really good shooting team. We will look to play fast and also play five options at the offensive end of the floor.”

Florida Southern Men’s Basketball will open up their season on Nov. 12 against West Alabama.


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