While record wise our team has been more than solid (17-8 overall, 7-3 in the NESCAC), I'm really all about the individuals that make up the team. So rather than go into a boring statistical analysis, let's take a personal look at some of the boys in the light blue:
Scott Anderson (PF #52) - "The All American" aka "Pretty Flocko"
Anderson, or as the girls I go to basketball games call him "The boy with pretty hair," has been a staple of Tufts Basketball for the past four years. Since his freshman year he has racked up over 1000 total points, lead the team in scoring, rebounding, and been an all around leader that turned a scrappy bunch of misfits into a 4 seed in the NESCAC. He can play the post, he can shoot the three, and his dedication to maintaining a beautiful head of hear is matched by no one else on the team. Scott, we will miss you next year but Thnks ft th MMrs.
Tom Palleschi (C #32) - "The Freshman Phenom" aka "JaVale Palleschi"
Though Tufts basketball has always been able to hold their own on the court, they have recently been lacking an x-factor to push them to the next level...enter Tom Palleschi, A 6'8'' Freshman from Haverhill, MA. Since Tom took the leap from high school to DIII ball, he has been lighting it up NON STOP. A defensive force in the paint, he has been known to inspire nightmares from opposing centers and point guards alike, as when they step into Cousins Gymnasium or whatever location Tom decides to suit up and play at, they know that he is going to send at least 3 or 4 of their shots into the stand. And while he has been known to handle opponents at will on defense, he also has a mid-range jump shot that is more beautiful than your senior prom date. And please don't give him a break-away because he can and will throw it down in the faces of everybody and their mom on the opposing team. Tom don't play.
Kwame Firempong (PG #12) - "The Fireman" aka "Mamba" aka "The Shot Clock Surgeon" aka "The Cookie Monster" aka "Kwamtun Leap"
By his coach and teammates alike he has been called "The Most Athletic guy on the team" as well as "The Best dressed on the team" but most of us just know Kwam-Kwam as our starting point guard. You can catch him breaking presses with ease, breaking ankles left and right, and swiping the ball from the other team's point guards like it's his job. He is a pass-first point guard, so you might not see him lighting up the scoreboard like some other guards, but he is the glue that holds the team together and runs the offensive like a well oiled machine. And that being said he is probably the best on the team at creating his own shot; when he time is right he will have his way with his defender and if needed knock down a game winner every now and then.
Ben Ferris (SG #5) & Stephen Haladyna (SG #11) - "The Slash Brothers" aka "The Silent Assassins" aka "The Young Guns"
Sophomore Ben Ferris and Freshman Stephen Haladyna are two of the most deadly weapons we Jumbos posses on the court, simple as that. When you look at the future of Tufts basketball, the knowledge that these two boys are on our side helps me sleep and night because over this season they have developed into a deadly combination. Slashers at heart, you can find either of them posting up on the wing, ready to catch a pass and dart to the rim or pull up over their helpless defenders. Both are sharpshooters who have been lighting it up from behind the line all season, Ferris and Haladyna shooting 43.5% and 46.8%, respectively, from behind the arc. These boys are fundamentally sound, team oriented, and humble as anyone; you may not recognize they walking around campus, but opponents dread having to face such a lethal two-pronged attack.
Alex Goldfarb (G #4) - "Downtown Alex Goldfarbrown"
Every team need their J.J. Reddick, their Kyle Korver, their Steve Kerr, and lucky for us here at Tufts, Alex "King Midas" Goldfarb gives us exactly that. Some call him the Robin Hood of Medford, The Snippy Sniper, the Golden Globes but anyway you look at it when Tufts needs a big three they're looking at Downtown Alex Goldfarbrown. Though he has gotten less tick in the past two years due to strong recruiting classes, he still remained a presence on the court; deadly from any distance and stretching out the floor so Kwame can break ankles and Tom can dunk on the entire other team. Somebody ask Goldfarb, he was there.
Head Coach Bob Sheldon leading the team to victory
Well after a very strong regular season and a solid win against Bowdoin in the first round of NESCACs, this weekend Tufts faces #1 ranked Amherst. Last time we faced them we lost 100-89 in a good old fashion shootout, and while we lost by 11 the game was within reach until the last minutes. So while it will be tough, especially as the game will be played in Amheart's home court, Tufts can certainly pull off the upset this weekend if we get things going. Driven by the fact that we are most likely not going to make the DIII March madness unless we win NESCACs, expect our seniors to come out playing harder than ever. Here we go Jumbos, lets get 'em.
#4 Tufts vs. #1 Amherst - 12:00pm Saturday Feb. 23 (@ Amherst)