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Men’s Basketball Optimistic Heading Into New Season

Sharks to play Dutchess Community College in Nov. 9 home opener
Carl Corry
Victor Correa, head coach of Suffolk’s men’s basketball team, provides guidance at practice to his players on Nov. 3. (Compass News/Carl Corry)

Coming off a difficult 2022-2023 season, which ended with a first-round playoff exit, the Suffolk men’s basketball team is heading into a home opener tomorrow against the Dutchess Community College Falcons with a lot of fresh faces and newfound optimism following back-to-back scrimmage victories. 


Led by longtime head coach Victor Correa, the Sharks defeated the Five Towns College Sound and the York College Cardinals. The first game was won by over 30 points while the second game came down to a single possession.


“It was kinda balanced, kinda neck and neck,” Correa said. 


The Sharks rosters consists of 15 players, including 14 first-year players. Correa expressed satisfaction with team’s depth. 


“Having 15 bodies makes it much more competitive on a daily basis in practice,” he said. “It helps us in our preparations but it also helps with guys competing for minutes on the floor, whereas last year we didn’t have that depth. We had guys who knew they were going to play a lot of minutes.” 


Despite dealing with a few injuries, including one to former First Team All-Region point guard Amari Isaacs, the Sharks have plenty of new young talent that are hoping to prove themselves this season. Some standouts include freshman guard Samir Bell, who Correa singled out as an exciting offensive player who will likely start. 

Out of Bellport High School, Bell practices for six-to-seven days a week, including with a trainer. He has shown big expectations for not only his team, but himself as a player. “I do whatever I gotta do to win. I’m trying to get better every day, pushing other guys in practice, pushing myself and expecting nothing but the best from me.”


Another player to watch this year is freshman Rufino Oliva, who wowed Correa in tryouts and scrimmages with his “mature” approach to the game. A shooting guard out of Walt Whitman High School, Oliva expressed confidence in his new teammates. 


“We have a lot of potential, Oliva said. “A lot of players who know how to play. Our bench is really deep. I feel like we have a chance to make some noise in Suffolk.”


A recurring theme among the players is the importance of building chemistry through their practices and their games. 


“We got a good group. We just gotta believe in ourselves, have a lot of confidence in each other, and just stick to our plan,” said freshman center Anthony Osness. 


The Sharks will play 22 games this season, concluding their regular season on Feb. 10 against the Westchester Community College Vikings on the road. 


The home opener will be held at 8 p.m. in the Brookhaven Gym.

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About the Contributor
Sajad Syed
Sajad Syed, Editor-in-Chief
Sajad Syed is a journalism major and the editor-in-chief of the Suffolk student newspaper, the Compass News. An aspiring sports reporter, he will graduate from Suffolk in 2024 to pursue a bachelor’s degree in journalism

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    Ali HassanNov 8, 2023 at 7:06 pm

    I liked the part where they played basketball