Posted at: 01/18/2013 4:49 PM
Updated at: 01/18/2013 6:12 PM
By: Robin De Wind
The University of Rochester's Men's Basketball team is off to its best start in five seasons. The YellowJackets are 14-0 and ranked second in the country.
If you haven't seen the UR men play, there's a local talent that's making a difference and a senior on the team that is just plain fun to watch. They are the driving force behind the second ranked Division III team in the country.
Local college basketball highlights can be overlooked on any given night, but it's hard not to pay attention to the guy on the UR Men's Basketball team with the really long name. Senior John DiBartolomeo was passed over by most Division I schools.
John DiBartolomeo, UR senior, said, “The biggest thing I've gotten, even with my size, is I can put up numbers.”
But I bet they are giving him a second look now. The two-time All-American is sixth all-time in points for the UR, fourth all-time in assists and second in free throws and one of the best to ever put on a YellowJackets uniform.
DiBartolomeo said, “I think I was lucky to come here. I don't care that I wasn't recruited.”
The undefeated YellowJackets are a unified team with a lot of talent.
McQuaid grad Tyler Sankes says after being nationally ranked last year, then failing to live up to expectations, the team regrouped, traveling to Europe over the summer to play and beat teams in Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands.
Tyler Sankes, UR Sophomore, said, “There were a lot of doubts starters that graduated but that helped us gain confidence this season.”
The one game at a time mentality is what's lived each day at the Palestra, but winning a national title is the ultimate goal.
Third year head coach Luke Flockerzi knows he was something special that doesn't come around very often.
Luke Flockerzi, UR Head Coach, said, "Him shooting is best for this team,it makes other teams have to make decisions. It has taken awhile. He doesn't want to do that he has to be aggressive for the team, it's what's best for his teammates.”
DiBartolomeo said, “We all want to play in the National Championship but it's our goal to be the best team we can be then that's where we'll end up.”
The UR men travel to Carnegie Mellon for their first UAA road game of the year. Last season, Rochester was 1-6 in road conference games.