Despite their 81-77 loss in the first round of the NCAA’s to Robert Morris, the UNF Osprey’s are already looking toward next year.
“I’m looking forward for us to do the next right thing,” Head Coach Matthew Driscoll said in his post-game press conference. Driscoll is in his 6th year as the UNF Head Coach and has brought the program to historic heights with their first conference championship, 23 wins during the regular season and their first NCAA’s tournament berth. But it’s about moving forward at this point according everybody involved with the program. That’s no surprise given Driscoll’s attitude and the culture he’s created on the Osprey’s campus and in their locker room.
Beau Beach, the Ponte Vedra High product who had a game-high 28 points including six of ten from outside the arc, says he’s disappointed but not undaunted. “It was a great season overall, and it was the most fun season I’ve ever had. I’ll remember the good over the bad, that’s for sure.”
Returning all but three seniors and one starter, the Osprey’s could be a force in the ASun again next year. “We took a step this year and next year we’ll take another step and try to win a tournament game,” DeMarcus Daniels said in the post-game locker room.
He’s right about that. In a conference that’s dwindled to eight teams, the ASun only gets one bid to the NCAA tournament and it goes to the conference champion. UNF will be the favorite to repeat next year and has the experience and the talent to do just that.
The Ospreys shot nearly 60% in the first half but 21 turnovers, compared to 5 for Robert Morris and missed shots in key situations cost UNF a chance at victory.
“Give them credit,” Driscoll said in his post-game press conference. “Our turnovers were self inflicted and when you give them that chance, it’s really hard to stop.”
Scoring 77 points usually guarantees victory for UNF, but couldn’t clean up the “little things” to get the job done.
“I totally cherish the moment, cause it ends fast, really fast,” Jalen Nesbitt noted.
While Nesbitt won’t be back for another run next year, UNF seems poised to keep this going.
And according to Sophomore Chris Davenport this is just the start. “It’s a stepping stone and we’ll move forward for next year. Hopefully we’ll come out on the other end.”