DOYLESTOWN, Pa. (CBS) – It’s been a season for the ages for the Division III Delaware Valley College men’s basketball team. They have already have won a school-record 16 games, and if they win their 17th on Saturday in the Freedom Conference Championship game against DeSales University, they will earn their first-ever NCAA Tournament berth.
All this success comes just three seasons after a 3-22 campaign which saw the Aggies go winless in the conference.
Head coach Casey Stitzel, who took over the program after that awful campaign, says everyone is enjoying the ride.
“It’s been great,” he told KYW Newsradio. “The support from the school — students, faculty, from the president down, athletic department, my staff — it’s just been unbelievable support.”
Hear Matt Leon’s entire interview with Casey Stitzel in this CBS Philly SportsPod…
While it’s been a dream season for the Aggies, it hasn’t been without its adversity. Del Val lost four straight in late January and early February, but Stitzel says that’s when he learned what his team was really made of.
“We (had) to go to Wilkes, who was really hot at that time, a very good basketball team. Go on their home court. On senior night,” he recalls. “That’s not an easy task when you are on a four-game losing streak.”
But the Aggies answered the bell and pulled out a hard-fought 82-81 win. They haven’t lost since.
As for this Freedom Conference title tilt, Stitzel says it won’t be easy against a very good DeSales squad with whom they split two games during the regular season: “First of all, they are very well coached. They play very well together. They have a very good player in Brian Hunter, a guard that kind of dictates everything they do. And they’ve got a lot of guys that can make shots.”
Tip-off on Saturday, in Doylestown, is set for 2:00 PM.
Reported by Matt Leon, KYW Newsradio 1060.