By Joe Yamulla, Layout Assistant

The air is getting colder, the leaves are falling from the trees, and it all means one thing. Basketball season is right around the corner. The men’s and women’s basketball teams here at F&M are lacing up their sneakers, perfecting their jump shots, and putting in all of the work needed for a successful season on the court.

The men’s basketball team kicks off its season on Saturday, November 15th, when they partake in the Rotary Tip-Off Tournament. Under head coach, Glenn Robinson, the Diplomats are prepared to improve from their already impressive season last year. Last year, they posted an record of 17-9. They were 10-5 at home, and 7-3 on the road. The 2014-2015 team will be relying on some key returning players to make an impact this season. One player to look out for is junior forward, Cedric Moune. Last season, Cedric averaged 9.4 points per game, and 9.6 rebounds. If Cedric is able to slightly improve those already impressive numbers, he will be averaging a double-double this season.

The Diplomats are also relying on sophomore guard Jared Wright to handle the offense at point guard. Last season, Jared’s field goal percentage was 55.2%. His 3-point percentage was 40%. Expect to see those numbers improve as his sophomore season gets under way.

The F&M men’s basketball team is definitely young this year, so leadership from some of the older guys will be crucial to the team’s development. The team has seven freshmen and only one senior, Morgan Lee. In his junior season, guard Morgan Lee averaged 8.5 points per game, and he also grabbed an average of 4.7 rebounds per game. As a senior, he will definitely have to lead his young team in order for them to succeed in 2014-2015. Hard work, obstacles, and adversity are inevitable in any season. This year’s team has its own set of obstacles it will definitely need to work to overcome. However, Glenn Robinson’s team will play hard and give their best effort to have a successful season.

The F&M women’s basketball team is also looking forward to a promising season. The team is led by Coach Kirsten Richter. They will be tipping off over the same weekend at the Terry Greene tip-off tournament. Coach Richter named the captains that will be leading her team this year. They are Kara Bacile, Leslie Bacile. Richter also added that, “both are great competitors and hard workers.” The team also has returning juniors, Emily Wetz, and Carli Studnicky. Emily missed the entire season last year due to injury, and her return is great for the team. Regarding her return to the court, and Carli’s impact, Coach Richter said,

“We are excited about the energy and intensity she brings to the court. And Carli is stepping in to a larger role this season, one which we think she can thrive”.

Sophomores Sarah Haddon and Shannon O’Connor will also be important to the team this year. Richter is optimistic about their play, stating, “Sarah was a regular starter last year as a freshman. Her game has become more multi-faceted and we look forward to counting on her consistent contributions. Shannon made some great strides over the summer. She is going to get regular minutes on the perimeter.” Last season was not up to par for the lady Diplomat hoopers. They finished at 4-21. However, the team is optimistic that they will turn things around, play hard, and win more games this year.

It’s a great time of year to be a fan of the men’s and women’s teams here at F&M.

Both squads show a lot of potential and bring a lot of excitement to campus.

They both are also incredibly optimistic and ready to play and succeed this season. Richter’s team will be tipping off here against McDaniel College, on Wednesday November 19th. Robinson’s team will also play their first home game against McDaniel, and that will be on Saturday November 22nd.

All students are encouraged to come out, cheer, and show their love and support to both Diplomat basketball teams.

First-year Joeseph Yamulla is a layout assistant. His email is