Former Dock basketball standout helps lead Gwynedd Mercy University in one of its best basketball runs in their history as a basketball program. Read link below for full article.
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Division III Gwynedd Mercy Universitywomen’s basketball team has been a force all season long.
The Griffins are 19-4 this season and tied for first in the Colonial States Athletic Conference with a 13-1 conference mark.
Now Gwynedd Mercy has enjoyed success like this for much of Keith Mondillo’s 21 years as head coach. But what they’ve done this season is especially impressive.
“We changed almost everything in the last two years, offensively and defensively,” Mondillo tells KYW Newsradio. “Because of the NCAA rules with the freedom of movement, we’ve gone to more of a ‘pack line’ defense, similar to what Tony Bennett runs with the University of Virginia men. I’m not Tony Bennett, we’re not Virginia, but everything translates into your level. Emphasis on stopping dribble penetration and keeping people out of the lane. One of the things that we’ve talked about as a team is if we’re in every game defensively, if we’re holding teams to under 50, 25 a half, we’re going to win most of our games, or if not, be in almost every game, if our offensive isn’t clicking.”
The defensive numbers for the Griffins really are something. They are holding opponents to just 53.9 points a game this season and 32% shooting from the field. Mondillo says his group has really bought in.
“They challenge each other in practice every day,” Mondillo says. “As a coach, if you have to coach effort every day, you’re in trouble and I don’t have to coach effort at all. I think it starts with our seniors. (Guard) Chandler DiFebbo is one of our leaders on the floor defensively and (guard) Olivia Bradford is also one of our leaders. Defensively, they’ve bought in. We essentially try and keep people out of the lane and pressure the ball as much as we can without fouling.”
Offensively, junior forward Charlotte Kucowski sets the pace for the Griffins, averaging 13.9 points a game. She also is tops on the squad in rebounding (8.8 a game) and blocked shots (43). Bradford is the team’s second leading scorer at 10.3 points per game.
Gwynedd Mercy has already clinched a first-round bye in the Colonial States Athletic Conference and Mondillo says they taking it one game at a time as they wind down the regular season.
“I know that sounds cliche-ish, but you have to,” Mondillo says. “If you look ahead to the next opponent or maybe, ‘Hey, we could beat this team,’ that’s where you get caught and you stumble a little bit. Our focus right now is just playing our game Wednesday night (final regular season home game vs. Rosemont), sending our seniors out in their last regular season home game on a high note and getting ready for our showdown on Saturday (at Marywood) which will essentially be for first-place in our conference.”
Wednesday night’s game with Rosemont tips off at 7:00pm.
Click HERE for full article by Matt Leon KYW