Will Darley doesn’t want to close the book on his college basketball career just yet.
“The next game is not guaranteed,” Said the UMBC forward. “You got to go out there every night and really fight. For me, this is sort of the end of my career.”
Darley is the only senior starter on a Retrievers team that continues to scratch and claw their way through March. The Dogs have reached this weekend’s quarterfinals of the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament (C.I.T.). It’s a 26 team tourney made up of mid-major schools not invited to the NCAA Tournament or N.I.T. For first-year head coach Ryan Odom, the experience his players are getting is invaluable.
“I think it’s setting an expectation of we want to compete for postseason play,” said Odom. “There are so few teams left playing and able to continue this journey. The life of a season only lasts but so long and we’re still able to compete. I think it’s a great opportunity for us.”
“We’re just building a foundation for more years to come,” said UMBC junior guard K.J. Maura. “We have a lot of freshmen, we have a lot of talent. They’re going to keep playing in postseason tournament, postseason action.”
This is truly historic ground the Retrievers are running on now. Playing in their first postseason tournament since the NCAA Tourney in 2008, they’ve secured their first two postseason victories in program history
“It think really it just sets the precedent going forward,” added Darley. “This program is really something that we can look back to as a foundation of success and where we want to see it go.”
UMBC hosts Liberty this Sunday in the C.I.T. quarterfinals. Tip time at The RAC is 2pm.