Men’s Basketball Head Coach Tom Ryan and his team held off Embry-Riddle 82-74 on Senior Night on March 2. This win earned the Tritons a fourth seed in the Sunshine State Conference tournament, letting them host a first-round game.
“Coach Ryan is passionate in anything he does,” senior Marco Behori said. Behori played 997 minutes during the regular sea- son and had 144 assists with 66 steals. “No matter what it is, [Ryan] wants to go 100 percent. He expects a lot out of himself and others around him, and I think that’s why he’s had such good success.”
President Donald Eastman and Dean of Students James Annarelli presented Ryan with an award for service and 23-year career as the Men’s Basketball Head Coach. After the season is over, Ryan will continue as Eckerd’s director of athletics.
“As crazy as he is, he keeps us together and drives us,” senior Drushaun McLaurn said about Ryan. “He was a mentor to me. He never held me back. The reason why I came to college was for him. He’s always been a strong person and been a good leader to us. I’ll always and forever appreciate him.”
McLaurn scored 453 points during the regular season and holds the highest scoring average of the season with 16.8 points per game.
Seniors Admir Radoncic and Armin Radoncic opened the game against Embry-Riddle, combining for seven points in their 9-0 start. Admir sunk two back-to-back baskets that helped the lead grow to 11.
Armin scored a career-high 12 points in 19 minutes during Senior Night, includ- ing two 3-pointers that helped the Tritons secure a win over the Eagles. This was his first-ever start as a Triton.
Senior Gianni Dailey had a season-high 6 rebounds against Embry-Riddle and scored a crucial 3-pointer to help Eckerd take the lead against them going into half-time. He also scored 33 3-pointers during the regular season.
Previous and current players joined Ryan on the court to help him celebrate. Ryan holds the title for most wins in a coaching career of any sport at Eckerd with 246 games.
“Whatever he does, we have to root for him,” Dailey said. “We all pour our blood, sweat and tears for him.”