Men’s basketball Head Coach Gary Manchel has been named PSAC West Coach of The Year this season while leading the Lakers to their 11th straight PSAC tournament appearance.
Manchel is in his 17th season with the Lakers and holds a 295-189 record with the team. The Lakers achieved a 20 win record this season, going an impressive 13-2 at home.
Manchel is no stranger to the award, receiving it in both 2011 and 2015 as well. He credits the teams’ willingness to work hard through practice and be team players as a major contribution to the results this season.
“Coach Manchel winning coach of the year was no surprise to us.” junior guard Zach McIntire said.
“We see on a daily basis how hard he works and how much of his time he dedicates to this team. We know how much he cares about us so when we see something like this happen for him we couldn’t be happier,” sophomore guard Miykah McIntosh said.
He spoke to Manchel’s ability to motivate the team. McIntosh said, “Coach Manchel preaches defense a lot and tells us to always have each other’s backs on the court. With Coach doing that it gives us the motivation to go the extra mile regardless of if we are tired or not.”
Various players on the Men’s basketball team have also received conference awards this year. Both McIntosh and junior forward Cameron Gross were honored with PSAC Western Division All-Conference First & Second Team selections respectively. McIntosh led the team in points per game at 14.7 while registering a total of 72 assists on the season. Gross shot an impressive 51% from the field and 39% from beyond the arc.
McIntosh said he was humbled by the selection and is happy to see the hard work paying off. “Most of the credit goes to my teammates because they trust me on the court and help me get in the best position possible which benefits our team as a whole,” McIntosh said.
Sophomore guard Nicholas Lang also won the PSAC Men’s Basketball Champion Scholar award this year, by maintaining a 4.0 GPA and taking over 58 cred-its as a Finance major. Lang averaged 27.5 minutes per game, tallying an impressive 40 steals and 54 assists on the season.
Lang emphasized the importance of involvement from Mercyhurst faculty and staff on his ability to succeed in the classroom, including Manchel.
“Coach makes academics a priority,” Lang said, “He will go out of his way to help us in any way that he can.”
The Lakers were set to enter the NCAA Division 2 tournament seeded at the 6 spot of the Atlantic Division prior to the tournament’s cancellation for the year due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
This comes following a stellar Elite 8 appearance just last season where the team fell short to Northwest Missouri State 55-51 in the quarterfinals.
Information about the NCAA Tournament cancellation can be found through the official NCAA website.