By Michael Levesque, Assistant Editor.
Photo from the UMF Athletic Department
On September 10, 2021, student-athletes and members within the University of Maine Farmington athletics department had the opportunity to listen to alumumnist and National Basketball Association coach, Steve Clifford.
Clifford returned to the college from which he graduated in 1983 to talk about his experience coaching basketball at the highest level. Clifford, who graduated from the university in 1983 with a bachelor’s degree in special education, played basketball for UMF all four years. After graduation, he coached at the high school and college level before accepting a position as an assistant coach for the New York Knicks in 2001. Clifford was an assistant coach in the league for 12 more years before becoming the head coach for the Charlotte Hornets in 2013 and later the Orlando Magic. Today Clifford is a coaching consultant for the Brooklyn Nets.
Clifford first talked to a large group of UMF student athletes, where he touched on values that he believes are not only good for NBA players, but athletes in general. “Work, accountability and togetherness… These are the three main ideas that he focuses on with the NBA teams that he has coached,” said McKenna Brodeur in an email. Brodeur is a captain on the women’s soccer team and a post player on the women’s basketball team. “All three ideas…impact a team’s culture,” she said. “Work requires you to put the effort in. Accountability means having discipline and showing up every day on time, as well as knowing the plays and sets. Lastly, togetherness is the goal of the team,” she said. “You need to be able to play together and have a plan to get better.” Brodeur mentioned that some of the messages she learned, she plans on taking to the soccer field. “I want to bring back what I learned from Coach Clifford back to the team. I think it will be a good reminder on why we cannot just show up to practice and expect greatness. We must work toward our goals and aim to do better every day,” Brodeur said.
Clifford’s visit then transitioned to the basketball court where he conducted a coaching clinic. With UMF men’s basketball players on the court and coaches from around the state in the bleachers, Clifford conducted a few drills and offered coaches advice on running a successful basketball team. “[Clifford] showed us different drills and plays and how they transitioned to success at the NBA level,” said Jack Kane, a center on the men’s basketball team. Kane mentioned how other coaches were there to learn as much from Clifford as they possibly could, including UMF’s own coach Sam Leal. “Coach was taking notes in the stands, listening. He was not ‘coaching’ at all,” said Kane. Kane, like the other members of the team actually completing the drills that day, hopes that what they learned from Clifford can translate to a successful season this winter.
For more photos of Clifford’s visit, check out the athletic department’s instagram page @umfatheltics.
Riley Bartell Contributing Writer
The UMF men’s basketball team had their first game on Saturday, Nov. 9 at Dearborn Gymnasium against the University of Maine at Augusta (UMA). Despite a close first half, UMF pulled away in the second half to win the game 111-81.
Five members of the team scored in double-digits, including Terion Moss with 22 points, Amir Moss, Riley Robinson, and Jack Kane with 14 points each, and Billy Ruby with 12.
Although UMF led for the entire game, UMA stayed with them through the first half, often coming within one or two points. At the end of the half, the score was 50-46. It wasn’t until the second half that UMF began to pull away.
“I think the team did really well sharing the ball and working as a team on offense. We executed really well in the second half after a tough first half,” said Nathan Poulin. “One way we can improve is to play good team defense and not allow for uncontested threes. We can’t take any team for granted. We need to play the game that we know how to play.”
Senior Chase Malloy had a similar opinion about how the team played. “We did well figuring out the team by the second half. We weren’t very happy with how we played in the first half, but we figured it out in the second and were able to really pile onto our lead,” said Malloy. “If we want to be a great team this year we need to play better defense. We also need to get more movement on offense if we want to get better shots and be more efficient.”
A sizable crowd came to watch the game and cheer on the Beavers. Cole Lockhart, a UMF sophomore, was one of the spectators. “It’s exciting to see the same core of guys returning for their senior year with some added flair from rookie Terion Moss,” said Lockhart. “It’s different this year with the depth of the team–they have a very deep bench. They seemed a little flat in the first half but came out flying in the second.”
Riley Bartell Contributing Writer
The 2019-20 college basketball season is revving up, and UMF’s team has a lot of potential in both returning players and new. This year’s team is dominated by upperclassmen mixed in with some younger talent. Four starters are returning from last year’s team as well as several others who have contributed significantly off the bench.
The 2018-19 season ended with a one-point loss to Thomas College in a closely contested semifinal playoff game, finishing off the season with a 16-10 overall record, 11-4 in conference play. The team hopes to come back strong this year and win the NAC championship.
Chase Malloy, a UMF senior, is rejoining the team this year after a two-season hiatus. “This year’s team is unique because there is a large group of seniors who have experience and great chemistry,” said Malloy, “Any starter can score twenty plus on any given night.”
Malloy decided to play this year because the UMF team offers the opportunity to play competitively at a high level for a great coaching staff. He has high hopes for the team this year. “With the team we have this year, we could win the conference, host the tournament, and hopefully make a run in the NCAA tournament,” said Malloy. “Having a winning record against schools in Maine is also a goal of ours every year.”
Nathan Poulin, a UMF sophomore, is one of the younger players on the team. “This team is unique because we have a lot of seniors who are very experienced. They take a lot of us younger guys under their wings and help us develop as players,” said Poulin. “The ultimate goal would be to bring the NAC championship home.”
Games begin on Saturday, November 9, at 1:00 with a home game versus University of Maine Augusta.
By Kaitlyn York Contributing Writer
UMF Senior Milani Hicks (22) looks to make a lay-up between two defenders (Photo by Jeff Lamb Photography)
Dearborn Gymnasium buzzed with excitement as dozens of fans piled into the bleachers to support the men’s basketball team during their home opening game against the University of Maine at Machias (UMM) Clippers. Months of preparation for the new season paid off as the Beavers pulled off their first win of the season.
Riley Robinson, a junior on the team, came ready to play with an positive attitude. “I felt confident. We expected a challenge,” said Robinson. “We knew they were a good team, but I was confident in my guys.”
Anthony Owens, also a junior on the team, entered the gymnasium with confidence. “I felt great about what we were going to do, and that’s all that we can control.”
As the team ran onto the court sporting their new uniforms, the crowd roared with enthusiasm. Just twenty seconds into the game, Robinson scored the first two points for the Beavers. For the first seven minutes of the first half the teams were scoring back and forth until the Beavers began to take over both offensively and defensively.
Head Coach, Richard Meader, said that he was very pleased with the way that the Beavers played. “We really played well defensively and got a lot of fast breaks,” said Meader. “We played the way we had hoped to play.”
Coming into the second half of the game the Beavers were up 46-27 over the Clippers. “I felt confident, but I knew there was still a lot of game left and we needed to execute,” said Robinson. Execute they did, the Beavers checked back into the game stronger than before. They continued to secure their lead as they scored repeatedly throughout the half.
The team managed to pull off their first win of the 2018-2019 season with a score of 96-64 over the Clippers giving them a 1-0 record.
Though they won the game, the team recognizes that they have some work to do during their practices leading up to their next games. “We can always become better on the defensive end, though we do play solid defense,” said Meader. “Any team can always shoot better. We need consistency with the shooting. You gotta make shots to win.”
Robinson was the leading scorer for the Beavers with 24 personal points in the game. Robinson was followed in points by Milani Hicks, a senior, who scored a total of 15 points. Overall, the Beavers made 41 out of the 76 shots they attempted during the game, creating a 53.9% average.
Meader has been coaching for UMF for 26 years and has found this years team to be exceptionally special. “They practice well, they listen in practice and try to do what you ask them to do,” said Meader. “They are a good group of guys who are excellent students and they have skills.”
As they look forward to the rest of the season, they have high hopes for their team. “We got a great group of guys and if we keep working together, the goal has to be a NAC championship,” said Owens.
The teams next home game will be Tuesday Nov. 27th at 7:30 p.m. in Dearborn Gymnasium against the Polar Bears of Bowdoin College.
By Kaitlyn York Contributing Writer
Paige Carter (40) goes up for a jump ball to start off the game. (Photo by Jeff Lamb Photography)The Women’s Basketball team at UMF, buzzing with excitement and aspiration, has been working hard to prepare this year’s team for the upcoming season.
Head Coach Jamie Beaudoin shares his enthusiasm about a new year and new challenges. Beaudoin has always enjoyed the aspect of teaching the game of basketball to his players, with the ultimate goal of seeing their growth throughout the season.
Beaudoin recognizes that every year is different, though, and this year there are some major changes to the North Atlantic Conference (NAC).
“Our conference will be a little bit different,” said Beaudoin. “We lost four schools from a year ago, but we gained two others so our schedule will be much different, both conference and non-conference, because we’ve had to find some additional games.” He believes that the changes will make the team face unexpected, but exciting experiences.
“I think this season will be a lot better than last year. Last year we won 7 games,” said Sara Lamb, a junior on the team. “Overall I’m excited and I am hopeful to have a good season.”
Paige Carter, a senior at UMF and fourth year member of the team, believes that the new additions to the conference will be interesting, but she is excited to see what the future holds. “I am most looking forward to playing against and traveling to several different schools that we have never faced before, in my four years here,” said Carter.
This year, Carter also has the unique experience of balancing student teaching and playing basketball. It can be a struggle at times because of late night practices and early school days.
“Both are major time commitments but being a student-athlete at UMF has been a very rewarding experience that I wouldn’t ever change,” said Carter. “I have a lot of support from my coach, team, mentor and my students.”
Carter began playing for the Women’s Basketball team her freshman year at UMF, and though she is excited for her future career as a teacher, she will miss playing for the Lady Beavers.
“It sounds very cliche but these past four years have really flown by. I am so excited to see what the future holds for me, but will be sad to be leaving UMF and the family I have made here,” said Carter, “Being a part of the women’s basketball team has allowed me to be a part of something greater than myself.”
The Women’s Basketball team is also focuses on helping outside organizations through fundraisers during season. They will be participating in games for breast cancer awareness, as well as participating in We Back Pat, which is in memory of Pat Summitt, the University of Tennessee women’s basketball team head coach, who suffered from Alzheimer’s disease. The Lady Beavers also participate in Go Red for Women, which raises awareness about heart disease in women.
As well as fundraising for outside organizations, they will be selling their Finals Survival Kits and Beaver Socks. The money from these fundraisers will go towards for the teams t-shirts, for 3-point give ways, practice gear, equipment and the software to break down game film.
The teams first home game of the season will be Nov. 13th at 5:30 p.m., followed by the Men’s Basketball team at 7:30 p.m. against the University of Maine at Machias in Dearborn Gymnasium.