The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

Forced to get creative, men’s basketball had all the right answers off the bench

George Maddaloni
Quinnipiac junior guard Doug Young prepares for Marist’s offense during his four-steal defensive effort in a 73-64 victory at M&T Bank Arena on Thursday, March 7, 2024.

HAMDEN — Quinnipiac men’s basketball saw itself in a tough situation early Thursday night when just three minutes into the first frame, senior forward Paul Otieno got called for two early fouls. 

Almost instantly, head coach Tom Pecora was forced to go to his bench, which included redshirt senior forwards JJ Riggins and Richie Springs, and junior guard Doug Young 

“It was great to use our depth, to see Richie Springs do what he did in the first half, he’s got such potential,” Pecora said. “When you see the plays, especially the step-through dunk, guys just don’t make that play at this level all the time. To have two bench players step up and really contribute on that level is really important for us.” 

Since the beginning of the season, the Bobcats have seen production from more than just their starters. With Otieno in foul trouble, along with redshirt graduate student guards Matt Balanc and Savion Lewis struggling, it was imperative that the bench role players stepped up in the first half. And they did just that.

“Our three leaders and co-captains were struggling a bit, so to have (sophomore forward) Amarri (Tice) step up, and Richie in the first half, Doug in the second half was key for us,” Pecora said. “That’s our strength. I just told them I believe we’re the deepest team in this league, and I think that can be a huge advantage for us.” 

Springs played 16 minutes off the bench in the win over Marist, and Young played 22. The latter shined not only offensively, but caught some eyes defensively, with a season-high four steals on the night. It was just what Quinnipiac needed to pull away in the second half.

“He competes … JUCO guys are a different breed, they are so talented,” Pecora said. “We’ve sat down with him and said here’s what you need to do to get better. He wants to be great, he can do some things that other guys on the floor can’t do.” 

Springs put on a show of his own, becoming a floor general with Otieno forced to the bench. The UConn transfer had a highlight reel transition dunk in the first half, and shot a solid four-for-six from the field, providing the Bobcats with some answers off the bench.

“My mentality is just always to stay ready whenever my name is called,” Springs said. “I try to be the hardest worker on the team, first one on the court and last one off. I’m always ready to go.” 

With the win, Pecora’s squad clinched a share of the MAAC regular season title and a chance to gain sole possession of the conference with a win at Saint Peters on Saturday. 

The productivity of the team has been a significant reason for success this season for Quinnipiac. And the team has one goal in mind, but it knows it has to work together — starters and depth — to reach the MAAC Championship. 

“There’s not one guy on this team who has a problem with anyone,” Tice said. “(We’re) all family, brothers, we’re so connected, not just on the court but off the court.”

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Quinnipiac Chronicle Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *