(photo courtesy: Binghamton athletics)

Tommy Dempsey Hopes Binghamton Can Finish Strong

This season has hardly gone the way that Binghamton head coach Tommy Dempsey hoped his fourth season would.

After season ending injuries to Yosef Yacob and Romello Walker, the Bearcats have struggled to improve off of last season’s five conference wins.

“We’re not where we hoped we’d be and that can get a little frustrating at times, but I do think we’ve done a good job of just trying to block out the frustration on what our record might be,” Dempsey said. “We’ve had some tough breaks, but it’s not a group that feels sorry for themselves, its just a group that has faith in each other and faith in the process and that you just have to believe that success is right around the corner.”

Even through a 2-8 start, the Bearcats have hardly clicked yet offensively. Sophomore Dusan Perovic has struggled to come back from an ACL tear that he suffered in January, but on Monday he showed his most promise in a year with a season-high 24 points in their loss to Albany. Dempsey said the lack of an offseason to help his development when he had to rehab from his ACL surgery hurt the 6’9” sophomore, who has averaged 6.0 ppg, but he has started to turn it around.

“He’s just not finishing not shooting it the way that he’s capable, but I think he has a chance to do some things good things here in the last month,” Dempsey said. “More than anything he just needs to get to that offseason, back in that weight room just get that confidence back through a ton of individual workouts, put this season behind him and keep moving forward.”

“I do think he has a chance to be a really good big kid in our league and just it’s been a tough year for him, but I still believe in him.”

Yacob, Walker and Bucknell transfer J.C. Show are on the bench every night for the Bearcats for the rest of this season, but next year they should provide three guards that will help an offense that has produced just 0.86 points per possession, second to last in the country.

“We thought we’d be a little further along but between injuries the last couple of years and a couple of transfers we’re not where we’d hoped we’d be in year four, but the overall construction of the roster I still feel like will put us in a position to be a successful team in this league over the next couple of years,” Dempsey said. “When you have guys that are in street clothes now who can help you that are already in the program, I think that our kids can see that we’re going to be a good basketball team and as you sit here right now, you just talk everyday about finishing strong.”

Ryan Restivo wrote the America East conference preview for the 2015-16 Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook. He covers the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, the America East conference among others for Big Apple Buckets. You can follow Ryan on Twitter @ryanarestivo or contact Ryan at rrestivo[at]nycbuckets.com.