Last week, Penn State Wilkes-Barre's Men's Basketball season came to an end in the USCAA National Basketball Championship Tournament. The men lost to Vermont Tech 69-57 in the opening round of the tournament. They then lost to Penn State Fayette in a consolation game, 96-83. The team finished with an 18-11 overall record, going 12-4 in conference play. This was the first year that the team made the USCAA tournament since 2010, and the first appearance under Head Coach Leshawn Hammett. Coach Hammett also lead the team to his first appearance in the PSUAC Championship game this year, where they lost to Penn State Brandywine, 72-63.
The team had a lot of strong performers this year on the court. Freshman Forward Levaugn Soules had a breakout season in his first year on the team. He led the team with 11.6 PPG, 7.6 RPG and 1.6 BPG. He was also an Honorable Mention on the PSUAC All-Conference teams, and an Honorable Mention All-American in the USCAA. He ranked 2nd in the PSUAC in BPG and 3rd in FG % (58.1). Junior Center Jordan Williams also had a great season. He finished with 10.0 PPG and 5.6 RPG. He was named 2nd team PSUAC All-Conference, and his play on the court was a huge reason for the team's success. Sophomore Guard Tomir Gibbs was a force on the court, as well. He averaged 11.1 PPG, while also being active on defense with 2.3 SPG. He ranked T-2nd in the PSUAC in SPG.
Looking forward, the team will only lose two seniors from this year. They are Forward DeAndre Monroe and Point Guard Shakur Jackson. Jackson has had quite the career at PSU Wilkes-Barre. He finished his career with 684 points, 354 rebounds, 279 assists and 141 steals. His leadership on and off the court will be dearly missed next year.
Coach Hammett has to be pleased with the progress his team made this year. They have a lot to build off of for next year, with their eyes on a PSUAC Championship and another appearance in the USCAA tournament.