• Brandon Hedley ’16 goes for a basket during the NCAA first-round game against SUNY–Old Westbury on March 4.

April 01, 2016

The 2015-16 men’s basketball season started out with a win. And then another. And another. In fact, the season opened with 15 straight wins, marking the best start in program history.

Fans cheer on men’s basketball during a stellar 2015–16 season.

Susquehanna broke into the national poll for the first time in modern NCAA history on Dec. 15 with a No. 17 ranking in the D3hoops.com poll. Since that time, Susquehanna has risen as high as 12th in the rankings.

The team beat three squads that were nationally ranked at the time of competition, including two Landmark Conference rivals in The Catholic University of America and the University of Scranton. SU’s season-long success helped earn the program the right to host first- and second-round games in the NCAA Tournament. The Crusaders defeated SUNY Old Westbury in first-round action before falling to 16th-ranked Babson College.

Susquehanna went 24-5 overall, finished 13-3 in Landmark play and suffered just two losses at home in Orlando W. Houts Gymnasium.

What might be just as impressive as the number of wins is the fact that Susquehanna spent most of the season winning without a top-five scorer in the conference, and instead with anywhere from two to three players in the top six in assists. But according to junior captain Steven Weidlich, that is precisely why the team is winning.

“It has always been our focus to share the ball as much as possible,” Weidlich says. “It is not easy for guys to go from being the best player on a high school team to taking a back seat on our team. And although it’s hard, our guys have bought into the team-first mentality more this year than I have ever experienced.

“Not only is sharing the ball contagious, but it definitely creates a selfless team-first atmosphere and makes the game more fun for all of us.”