For the first time in 20 seasons, the Swarthmore College’s men’s basketball team is competing in a post-season tournament. The Centennial Conference playoffs take place this weekend, with #2 seed Swarthmore taking on #3 Dickinson College tonight (Friday) in Lancaster. The winner will compete Saturday night for the conference championship against the winner of the other Friday semifinal game.
In beating rival Haverford College last Friday for its 19th win, the Garnet added to their school record for victories in a season. This marks a remarkable turnaround for a team that just four years ago was finishing up a 3-22 basketball season. Since that low point, Swarthmore has increased its win totals each year, with the biggest jump taking place this season, up from 11 wins in 2014-15. Head coach Landry Kosmalski (whose four-year tenure coincides with the improvement) noted a few factors that led to this quantum leap in 2015-16.
“Our team’s focus has been to get a little bit better every day, so even though we lost a lot of games the first three years we were improving steadily.” Coach Kosmalski said. “We have been playing young players the last two seasons and their experience, painful though it may have been at times, is now paying off with added confidence. Lastly, we have unselfish players who have committed to putting the team first at all times, which we feel gives us an advantage over teams that aren’t quite as cohesive.”