Stags up Close

Head Basketball Coach Ken Scalmanini reflects on key contributors to a winning season and conference championship. He says

Chris Blees was probably the most competitive player I have ever had. He is a dominant player. Not one player can guard him. He brings an attitude to practice that you should be serious about this, and even though we are having fun, we should try to win. Last year when he got hurt, he was at every game and was almost like an assistant coach. We’re going to miss having Chris around.”

Mani Maceira was a huge part of our success this year. He is no doubt an exceptional player, earning 1st Team All Conference honors even though we asked him to play out of position. (He has always played forward, but we needed him to guard the post this year. He frequently guarded guys 2 inches taller and 30 pounds heavier). He works very hard, leads by example, and was the voice of our defense all season.”

Joey Anderson is one of the best athletes I have ever had in my program. He is a two-sport athlete at CMC who also runs track. He is our defensive stopper. If a kid’s getting hot, we put Joey on him. He stops the best offensive players by taking them out of rhythm. He has a better motor then all the guys in my program. When the ball is shot, he attacks it each and every time. If I had 12 Joey Andersons, I’d win a lot of games.”

Tyler Gaffaney is soft spoken; he is probably the most complete player on the basketball team. He passes well, he handles the ball well, and he often defends the best guards on the other team each and every game. He knocks down open threes, he makes free throws, and he knows how to run the motion offense. It just runs more smoothly when he is in the game.”

“When you talk about discipline, Kevin Sullivan is at the head of the class. He is only the second athlete ever to graduate in three years from CMC. He is an RA as a junior, and has even had a paid internship in New York. Kevin is a tremendous shooter and is a big reason that we were been able to win another SCIAC championship.”

Cody Mivshek is extremely well liked on the basketball team. He is a player that comes off the bench to score points. He is an attacking player who can shoot threes, and provides an excellent off-the-bench scoring threat. He also defends very well. In some programs, he would be starting and playing 30 minutes a night, but on this team, he’s been a role player, and a darn good one.

“Winning the SCIAC was special this year for several reasons. First of all, it was the 4th straight for Joey Anderson, one of the hardest working players I have ever coached. I know it meant a lot to him to complete that goal. Secondly, it was great to see Chris’ hard work pay off. He went through so much to come back from his injury. Third, having Mani back was really special. Lastly, the tremendous effort and attitude of our bench was more than any coach could ask for. This was an extraordinary group and I am just proud of them, bottom line. I am proud to have coached them.”

Ken Scalmanini was one of the 10 finalists for the Glenn Robinson National Coach of the Year Award. He led the 2012 Stags to a team record of 25 wins and their fourth consecutive SCIAC title.

Here is a look back at the 2012 Stags after their 15th consecutive win to start the season.