It was quite a 2022-23 season for the UMass Lowell River Hawks. They finished with a 26-8 overall record and 17-0 at home for the first time as a division one program. They hosted two playoff games for the first time since joining America East and attendance at home games was up. For the second time, they made it to the championship game in Burlington, VT. where they fell to the Vermont Catamounts. All in all, it was a great season for the River Hawks.
Now comes the aftermath of all that was accomplished in 22-23. First, there could be expectations for the program for the first time since joining the league. There has been a bit of an upgrade to the schedule. Road games at Georgia Tech and Arizona State, plus a mid-major tournament in Quebec, Canada for Thanksgiving weekend. The program is on the map in college hoops, now comes the challenges of staying there.
Head coach Pat Duquette mentioned the difficulties of putting the schedule together as he announced the additions of five newcomers to the program. Two freshmen and three transfers will join the team as juniors. Yes, they will miss Allan Blutt who finished his career as a thousand-point scorer, and Everette Hammond, but the core is back looking to take this program a step further this spring. That next step is to win the league tournament and make the field of 68 for the first time in the school’s history.
The two freshman additions are Keenan Bey, a 6-7 forward from Las Vegas, NV. Bishop Gorman High School. He played both basketball and volleyball in high school. In hoops, he was named Nevada Defensive Player of the Year as well as an All-State selection. Anthony Maxwell is a 6-1 guard from Montreal, Quebec Dynastle Prep. He averaged 22 points and four assists during his senior year at Dynastie Prep.
The three transfers are all from the junior college circuit. Andres Fulgencia is a 6-3 guard from Englewood, NJ. Dwight Morrow High School. He played junior college ball at Bloomfield College. He appeared in 66 games and 57 were starts. He shot 47.6% from the field over three years and 41.6% from three-point-line. He averaged 14.5 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 1.7 assists over three seasons. He was named first-team All-CACC and Met as a sophomore.
Jordan Thompson is a 6-1 guard from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Southmoore High School. He went to Northern Oklahoma College. In only one season, he averaged 18 points, six assists, and four rebounds. He was named Region 2 Player of the Year. Xzavier Lina is a 6-6 forward from Phoenix, Arizona Sunnyslope High School. He comes to Lowell from Whitman College where he started all 63 games he played for the school. He averaged 13.8 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 1.5 assists a game. He shot 47.9% from the floor and 39.9% from deep. He also had 43 steals and 23 blocked shots. He was named the Northwest Conference Player of the Year in 2022-23.
The UMass Lowell season gets started on November 6 vs Rivier at Costello Athletic Center in Lowell, MA.
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