It’s another season with great expectations for Mount St. Joe’s basketball.
“This year is championship or bust,” senior guard Darryl Morsell said. “If we don’t win the championship, this season was a failure.”
The Gaels have a good shot at it. They’re a young team, but led by two of the best players in the area, including recent University of Maryland commit, Morsell and 6-foot-9 junior forward Jalen Smith, who is garnering interest from several high level division one programs.
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“I can pretty much do what you want me to do. I can take somebody off the dribble. I play defense to create my offense. I’m more of a team-oriented guy,” Smith said.
“I like to get downhill. I’m a playmaker. I can defend multiple positions. I’m just a winner,” Morsell said.
Back for a 25th season as Joe’s head coach is Pat Clatchey, who is ready to ride the future Terp Morsell to another championship.
“He just makes plays,” Clatchey said. “He defends, he rebounds, he passes the ball, he attacks the rim. He’s a playmaker that’s not necessarily what you would call a true point guard. He makes plays.”
This weekend Joe’s will take part in the 2nd annual Shirts vs. Skins Classic at St. Frances. The Tournament includes some of the top teams on the East Coast, and it helps to promote diabetes awareness, detection and prevention.
“My parents both have Type 2 diabetes. I thought it would be a great cause to kind of get the education and awareness about diabetes out there. Especially since diabetes is so prevalent in urban communities,” showcase founder Brian O’Shea said.
The Gaels look move to 4-0 on the young season when they face New Jersey’s St. Benedict’s Prep on Saturday night. Tip time is set for 7 p.m. from St. Frances.