The Converse University men’s basketball team has continued to show improvement in year one under new head coach Nick Pasqua. The Valkyries got another home win on Tuesday night by knocking off Lees-McCrae 75-68. They are now 7-10 overall and 5-4 in Conference Carolinas play. They have already set single season school records for both conference and overall wins.
What has been impressive for this year’s team is the overall depth of the roster. Even with players missing time due to injuries, it has been a “next man up” mentality for them all season. They are second in the conference in scoring at 72.3 points per game, despite not having any players averaging more than 13.5 points per game. The Valkyries had 41 points off the bench in their most recent win. By utilizing the transfer portal, the Valkyries have built a nice mix of both young and veteran players. Grad transfer Bosko Bojovic has added both experience and size (6’7″, 260 lbs) in the post, and has seen his production and minutes go up in recent weeks. He’s averaging 12.1 points and a team high 8.7 rebounds on the year.
Converse plays an up-tempo, exciting brand of basketball and the depth has been a big part of their success this year. They also have several local area players who have played big minutes this season. Uzziah Dawkins (Spartanburg) leads the team in scoring and assists. Trey Smith (Landrum) has topped 20 points in two of the last four games, and Earl Burgess (Dorman) has been a defensive force down low for much of the season.
Coach Pasqua has done an excellent job in his first season, but there are still areas to improve. They have yet to win a game away from home and will need to win a few road games to be considered a conference title contender. Things are looking up and I wouldn’t be surprised if this team continues to get better as the season progresses.
Converse’s next game is Monday January 16th at Mount Olive.