The St. Mary’s College of Maryland (SMCM) men’s basketball team is concluding another regular season. As of Friday, Feb. 7 they hold a record of 7-15. The Seahawks are led by 15th year head coach, Chris Harney (‘97).
After a slow start to the season, the Seahawks have not given up in their quest for a Capital Athletic Conference (CAC) championship. Most recently, the team gained Dee Barnes (‘22) who transferred in from Division I Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, Maryland. Since arriving on campus, Barnes has left a great impact on the court. In his six games with the Seahawks, he is averaging 15.2 points per game according to SMCMathletics. While Barnes may be new to SMCM, he is no stranger to St. Mary’s county as he played his high school career at Great Mills High School. In his time at Great Mills, Barnes was named St. Mary’s County player of the year and was a two-time conference player of the year. The addition of Barnes is an important piece to a Seahawks playoff run in the CAC tournament.
Another player who has been key this season is first-year Gary Grant. This season Grant has been awarded numerous accolades for his play. Grant has twice been awarded the CAC player of the week as well as being named SMCM December student-athlete of the month. He is averaging 16 points per game in over twenty-two games. Grant said on his honors: “I am honored to receive such awards with so many talented players in our conference and with so many talented student athletes that we have here. I am truly honored and these awards make me want to work harder and be better.”
When going on to ask Grant what his first year on the team has been like, he remarked “My first year on the team has been a learning experience. The coaching staff and the players teach me something new every day and I have been loving it so far.” When speaking of the season thus far and being asked of the impact the seniors have left on him, he stated: “The seniors have played a huge role in my development. They help me on and off the court with anything I need. I appreciate all the seniors for all the times they have helped me.”
One of the seniors who has left a significant on the program during his time here is Justin Milstead (‘20). This season Milstead is averaging 8.8 points per game in twenty two games played. When asking Milstead the goal of the team for the rest of the season, he stated: “Our goal right now is to be fully prepared for the playoffs and to spoil somebody’s tournament hopes.”
With those goals in mind, Milstead realizes how important the first-year players are going to be in their playoff run. When asking him the impact they have left, he remarked, “A huge impact, it was not for them, some of the games we won and the games that went down to the final seconds would not have happened if the freshmen did not step up to the challenge.”
As the season is coming to a close, the Seahawks have two games left in the regular season. Both games are on the road as they will face off versus Southern Virginia University on Feb. 15 and York College on Feb. 19. The team is focused and ready, as Milstead states, “Our mentality for the final stretch of the season is competing hard for every second on the court, even in practice. Also, striving to be the best in every category… that will help us win games.”