Men's basketball closes out year with a playoff appearance and individual accolades
Khalil Miller and Mychael Paulo bring DPOY and all-star honors to McMaster after a hard-fought season
The McMaster University men’s basketball season brought a slew of ups and downs for the team. From losing in a few very close contests to teams such as the University of Windsor Lancers and Toronto Metropolitan University Bold and forfeiting games due to an ineligible player to big wins against the University of Waterloo Warriors and Nippising University Lakers the Marauders had a taste of everything.
Though the season may have not gone the way the Marauders had wanted, they still were able to land themselves in a playoff spot. They faced a known opponent, TMU, and would play this game on the road.
This matchup saw the Marauders fall short of the TMU Bold, losing 94-104. This was a disappointing loss for the team which ended their short playoff run.
“Something that went wrong in the TMU game that I would say from my point of view, we just didn’t play hard enough, some guys wanted it more than other guys,” said Khalil Miller, a fifth year forward.
Unlike their previous season, which saw the team advance to the Ontario University Athletics West finals, the Marauders seem as though they weren’t able to compete against the Bold. Though the season ended in a discouraging manner, the Marauders were still able to land two impressive awards.
After the season ended, Khalil Miller was awarded the OUA Defensive Player of the Year and Mycheal Paulo was named an OUA Third Team All- Star. With both being senior players, it caps a great career for the duo.
Paulo consistently put up big points for the Marauders this season, averaging 13.5 points per game. Playing as McMaster’s guard, his offensive efficiency showed, while he put up great numbers on defense as well. He finished the season with 34 steals, and 10 blocks.
Miller also put in great performances in the past season, helping the Marauders strengthen their defense all season. He ended his season with an OUA high of 54 blocks and 156 defensive rebounds.
“With me, I strive off of my defense, I just don’t like seeing the other team score on my basket, so I do everything possible to make that not happen. I also played volleyball when I was younger so I feel like that helps in my approach to shot blocking,” explained Miller.
Miller helped the Marauders in numerous games this past season and his defensive effort helped in seeing out numerous games. His hard work has paid off, as the fifth year forward has signed his first professional contract.
“I recently signed my first professional contract, I will be playing out in Nova Scotia. It’s just the beginning for me and I know my ceiling is high when it comes to playing professionally, just have to keep at it and work hard and it will pay off down the road,” said Miller.
As both Paulo and Miller depart the Marauder roster, the team will look to strengthen their roster in the coming season. With a disappointing end to their previous season, they look to come back stronger in the next.