‘It’s surreal’ – Matty McConnell on 1000 career points as a Colonial


MOON TOWNSHIP — Matty McConnell pounces on a loose ball against Sacred Heart (Sam Anthony/RMU Sentry Media).

Jonathan Hanna, Contributor

MOON TOWNSHIP — On a chilly January 31 at the North Athletic Complex, against the Saint Francis Red Flash, Matty McConnell of the RMU men’s basketball team did something only 24 others have done before: Score 1000 points as a Colonial.

McConnell scored his 1000th point when he hit the first of two free throws at the 10:47 mark of the second half. RMU Sentry Media had the chance to go to practice on Monday to see what both McConnell and head coach Andy Toole thought of the occasion.

In the stands during the occasion was a lot of McConnell’s close friends and family. McConnell said that it “was surreal” to have all of them there to support him. He added, “It was nice knowing they all came to support me and to see them in that moment. It kind of brought me to tears in that moment.”

On the year so far McConnell, who is averaging exactly 10 points per game, leads the team with 41 steals and 70 assists on the year. In his four year career as a Colonial, he has 1015 points, 216 steals and has started 108 out of 119 games played. He has averaged 8.9 points per game in his career.

Coach Toole said, “It’s (1000 points) a tremendous accomplishment for Matty, and for the other players that have scored 1000 points over my time as an assistant, and as a head coach. I think it just shows a consistency that Matty’s had over his four years here.”

As the only senior on the team, McConnell has seen a turnover of players on the roster and said, “it’s been tough but fun” in regards to having new teammates every year, working with them and building chemistry.

Adding to Matty’s leadership, Coach Toole stated, “It’s invaluable, I think he’s having his best season, and I think he’s doing a fantastic job imparting his wisdom on the younger players.”

On the team’s success this year; 12-11 record, 7-3 NEC record, both McConnell and Toole cite the home court advantage of the North Athletic Complex. Compared to last year’s accommodation of PPG Paints Arena, McConnell said, “You could look on one side of it (PPG Paints), there weren’t many people, so just knowing when you come in here (North Athletic Complex), students are going to come out to watch, and I just try to get the energy in here as loud as it can.”

Also speaking of the atmosphere of the North Athletic Complex, Coach Toole said, “We kind of have a home court advantage, and last year we really didn’t have it. We’d still love to pack more students in here, and get them on their feet, and get them as loud as possible as we come down the stretch. We have four more home games, and those are going to be important in the league race. The more energy and enthusiasm we have in the building, I think it’ll transfer over to our guys on the court.”

The Colonials next home game is Thursday against the Bryant Bulldogs. Tipoff will be at 7:00 p.m.