Photo: Jeremy Shulman – Credit: Eastern Florida State College
The Eastern Florida State College Titans are headed to the FCSAA Men’s Basketball Tournament this week. They come into the tournament ranked fourth and will take on fifth-seeded St.Petersburg on Thursday at 8:00 p.m. at Northwest Florida State College in Niceville, FL.
EFSC head coach Jeremy Shulman, who won his eighth Coach of the Year honor this season, talked about the challenges of playing during a pandemic and keeping himself and the team focused on the goals at hand.
“Honestly, in a year like this, we had to be very flexible,” Shulman said. “It definitely made things more difficult on me as a coach, and it was a very draining year for the roster. This season brought us together and this team was more connected and I have enjoyed being with the guys all season.”
The Titans are coming off a 17-4 regular season that included a 14-2 finish in the Central Conference. It was the first year in the conference for the Titans but that didn’t stop them from winning their ninth straight conference title.
“This was the sweetest conference title since our first one in 2013,” said Shulman. “I think it is more gratifying because it is our third different conference. We won five in the Southern Conference, three in the Mid-Florida Conference, and now one in the Central.”.
“I wish I could give you a different answer but anything less than a conference title is unacceptable here,” he continued. “We have set the bar so high at Eastern Florida State that this team would be disappointed if we didn’t accomplish that. We did and it was nice to cut the nets down at home.”
The next goal is a state title and the Titans have shown they have the talent to get it done.
Nick Alves and Christyon Eugene were both named to the all-conference first team, while Ja’Darius Harris, Brody Boyer, and Vlad Salaridze were named to the second team.
Alves is a redshirt sophomore and averaged 13.2 points in 17 games this season. He was even better in conference matchups with 14.4 points. He hit 47.2 percent of his three-pointers in Central Conference play.
Eugene played in 19 games this season for the Titans as a sophomore and averaged 11.4 points to go along with 4.7 rebounds. He was a defensive stalwart as well, leading the team with 27 steals.
Boyer started all 20 games for the Titans, averaging 8.4 points and 4.6 rebounds per game. The sophomore hit 40 percent of his shots from beyond the arc and led the team with 74 assists. Harris did his part as well, hitting 46 percent of his shots in 12 games. He was good for 10.6 points per game.
“We are excited to have the opportunity to win a state championship,” said Shulman. “We have to play harder than anyone else in the state over the next week and be the best team on that night.”
Shulman and his players get the bulk of the headlines, but he made it very clear that this was a group effort.
“I could not have done this without my assistant coaches,” he said. “They have sacrificed so much to be here with me this year and they are honestly the best coaches in the country. There is no way we are here right now without them.”
We wish the team the best of luck in their run to a state title.
Editors Note – All statistical information courtesy of Eastern Florida State.
This article was written for Brevard Sports Network and was posted to their Facebook page on Tuesday, April 6.