The 2018-19 season was a tale of two seasons for the St. Thomas University Tommies men’s basketball team. The team went 0-7 before December but finished the season by going 6-8 while fighting for a playoff spot.
The Tommies technically finished the season with a record of 7-14, thanks to a shuffling of the standings at the hands of a controversy with the Crandall Chargers and in ineligible player. That controversy shuffled up the Atlantic Collegiate Athletic Conference standings and made the playoff future for the Tommies much more difficult.
The season came down to the final week of play, with the Tommies and the Dal AC Rams battling for the final playoff spot. The Tommies needed to finish the week with one more win than the Rams, and they started off the week with a win against UNBSJ, putting the pressure on the Rams. This made the playoff picture much clearer, with the Tommies needing either a win against the MTA Mounties or to hope for a UKC Blue Devils win over the Rams. Their season came to an end with a loss to the Mounties and the Rams win over the Blue Devils.
“The 2018-19 season was a roller coaster,” said head coach Scott MacLeod. “Losing the first seven games put us in a big hole and made making playoffs look unattainable. But with the late first half success we had, we were back in the hunt. Then came the league’s ineligible player issues that shook up the standings and disadvantaged us making it difficult to see the playoffs again.”
Rookie Geoffrey Lavoie was a bright spot for the Tommies, leading the team in scoring with 14.7 points per game, and veteran Michael Otoo finished second in the league in 3-point %, converting on 46.3% of his attempts.
The Tommies will have some key players graduating this year with Travis Valanne, Justin Grant and Brandon Seagrave earning their degrees. However, the finish to the season has the Tommies hopeful for the upcoming season.
“We kept fighting and that put us back in arm’s length of making playoffs,” said MacLeod. “Unfortunately, we suffered our own adversity by losing key players. Never giving up, we still had a chance. We competed right down to the final game.”