Montgomery College mens basketball team huddling up during a time out
Montgomery College men’s basketball team huddling up during a time out
Kyle Meister

Men’s Basketball Team Looking to Turn Around Early Season Struggles

Heading into the 2023-2024 basketball season with an improved roster and more off-season preparation time, the Montgomery College Men’s Raptors team held high expectations of going further than last season’s Region 20 Championship game finish.

Despite the optimism, the Raptors kicked off their season with two losses to Sulivan County and Monroe College.

In the first game against Sulivan County, the Raptors maintained a lead for the majority of the game but ultimately folded after allowing Sulivan County to force overtime.

When asked about the struggles Head Coach Jamaal Wise pointed to mistakes during the final stretch that ultimately cost the game against Sullivan, stating, “We had 21 [turnovers] in the first game and we made countless errors in time to score situations where we had the lead against Sulivan.”

The second game did not produce a favorable result either, with the Raptors suffering a nail-biting 75-72 loss to Monroe College.

Wise continued his comments on the team’s early struggles, adding “And then same thing against Monroe, but that game we went 18 for 29 from the free throw line and we lost by 3.”

Even with the early season struggles, the team remains confident in their ability to achieve the goals they had coming into the season.

Montgomery College men’s basketball team huddle in the 2nd half. (Kyle Meister)

While praising the talent on his team, Wise stated “We played against two very good teams, one was top ten in the country and we lost to overtime to them – so we’re not a team that we feel, talent-wise, we’re outmatched – we’ll be able to compete with everybody, we have that type of talent.”

It is worth noting that the Raptors are currently short-handed with only nine players being eligible to play. Even with this adversity, the team has seen major contributions from the players eligible to suit up.

Some of the players Coach Wise credited as focal points of the team included forward Will Tchatchoua who contributed 50 points and 23 rebounds through the two games, center Sebastian Dokum who posted double-doubles in both games, wing Ibrahim Abdulmateen-Robinson who provided stellar contributions on both ends of the floor, guard Christian Martin who was a true floor general, and guard Thomas Loughry who provided a major spark plug off of the bench.

Freshman wing Ibrahim Abdulmateen-Robinson reinforced his coach’s statements stating “I think if we lock in mentally, trust coach’s game plan and trust each other it’s going to be real hard to stop the 9 players playing right now.”

Clearly, the team has the mindset and talent to turn their season around. Will they put it together on time?

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About the Contributor
Temwa Chisanga, Podcast Editor
Looking to grow his skills as a journalist, Temwa Chisanga has been a contributing writer for the Advocate since 2022. He is currently studying Communications and Sociology with the hope of one day entering the sports media field to promote player empowerment across all sports. When he is not writing or editing, Temwa enjoys watching basketball, listening to music, and learning history.

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