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NYC HOOPS featured Pace basketball player Brandon Jacobs in "Brandon Jacobs Reaps Rewards of Decision"

02/16/2021

NYC HOOPS featured Pace basketball player Brandon Jacobs in "Brandon Jacobs Reaps Rewards of Decision"

With a myriad student athletes shouldering the "Division 1 or bust mentality" and some even passing up Division-II offers to wait out for that sought after Division 1 offer, Cambria Heights, NY native

Brandon Jacobs' story emphasizes the long-term value of choosing the right fit.

Jacobs, a high IQ, and traditional point guard who played behind Cole Anthony at Molloy before pioneering the offense at Long Island Lutheran HS (LuHi), is currently entering a heavily anticipated 2021-22 season at Division-II Pace University in Pleasantville.

Jacobs has evolved as the program's all-time leader in assists, coming off a 2019-20 season in which he averaged an NE-10 best 10 assists to go with 13.4 points and 4.1 assists. He's broken several program records at Pace, including the single game assists record.

Jacobs doled out 19 assists during an 82-71 victory over St. Rose College, establishing a new program high water mark just two weeks after handing out 10 assists against St. Michael's College. Jacobs would follow this performance up with 10 assists against Southern Connection State.

"Brandon has been elevating everyone's game and that's always the sign of a great point guard," explained Pace head coach Matt Healing, who has tapped into the New York City market significantly during his time at the helm with the Setters.

"He's got the chance to be in the (Northeast-10) conference's all-time books for assists. As it became evident how much our success revolved around Brandon, we tweaked the offensive system even more."

While he culminated his senior year at LuHi with Division-1 interest, he committed to Pace in February of his senior year. Sensing the opportunity to author an immediate impact from the beginning, he pulled the trigger without entertaining the option to wait in the wings for Division-1 offers in April or May.

Unlike many of today's misguided youth, Jacobs chose the hardwood destination where he filled a notable need. Sold on his relationship with the coaching staff, a strength of schedule which includes several Division 1 programs, and a high caliber facility, Jacobs went where he was most wanted and most belonged.

"I feel like in recruiting, you should go where your wanted," said Jacobs, who will get an additional year and be on scholarship for pursuit of his Master's degree in 2021-22.

"That's really the most important thing. When I came to Pace, it was considered a rebuild. Really, we weren't rebuilding though, we just hit the ground running."

Jacobs cited a close battle to Rhode Island (which was coming off an NCAA tournament run at the time) as an "eye opener" for him. He said after going eyeball to eyeball with NBA prospect Fats Russell, he came back with a chip on his shoulder. He made sacrifices when commuting from Queens to Long Island while at LuHi, putting in the extra work and leaving at 6:30 AM to make the trek every day.

Ultimately, the system at LuHi helped prepare Jacobs for the rigors of the collegiate level. He scored 24 points and eight assists in his first ever college game. He cited his coaches at LUHI for helping prepare him for the transition.

"Brandon was very consistent for us at LuHi," explained Derek Klein, an assistant coach under John Buck at the program.

"He was a throwback type of old school point guard. You knew what he would bring every night--toughness, leadership, the assist to turnover ratio was where you wanted your point guard to be. He was a knockdown shooter from the 3, the kid flat out just one games. With the ball in his hands, we felt very comfortable and confident we would get the right shot every time down the floor."

Projected as a glove fit into an offense that allowed him to operate in pick and roll sequences and provide poised shot making, he got the ball from the get-go. He played 31 minutes as a freshman, was second in scoring with 12.3 PPG, and garnered Conference Rookie of the Week multiple times.

"BJ didn't care about what Division or what level he was going to go to," Klein said.

"He cared about controlling what he could control, and that was his effort and the work he constantly put in. Every summer at our LuHi camp, our older guys would work out in the mornings before the camp started. He was the first guy there every time and each summer he improved another part of his game. This is why each year; his stats would improve. He got stronger, in better shape. He increased his range, whatever the coach told him to work on he worked on tirelessly. He deserves everything he's worked for."

Jacobs said he's shifted his gaze to being a more aggressive scorer and continuing his torrid facilitating pace. He said that goals such as an NCAA tournament berth and a memorable, historic season has kept him and his teammates motivated, even with this season cancelled due to COVID-19.

"We were in the Top-25 for the first time in about 30 years last year," he said. "We definitely have the returning pieces and the experience to come out on top." 

Read the full NYC Hoops article.

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News12 featured Pace director of athletics Mark Brown in "Pace Athletics Director Mark Brown Discusses Safety, Environmental Conditions, in Wake of NE10 Decision"

01/19/2021

News12 featured Pace director of athletics Mark Brown in "Pace Athletics Director Mark Brown Discusses Safety, Environmental Conditions, in Wake of NE10 Decision"

Because of the pandemic most college fall sports took it on the chin last year and were canceled. Pace University in Pleasantville was one of them. Last month, the Northeast 10 conference scraped all winter sports competition, leading the Setters out in the cold. Pace director of athletics Mark Brown says the decision not to play is an off the court issue. “The environmental conditions in our region are such that university presidents are just really concerned as they always are about the safety of our community trying to transport students all over New England to play … “

Watch the News12 clip at 18:25:20

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News12 featured Pace students in "Pace basketball players given assignment to learn about election process"

11/03/2020

News12 featured Pace students in "Pace basketball players given assignment to learn about election process"

The Athletics Department put a full court press on to register to vote - and the result was what they were hoping for. Every team member participated.

Watch the News12 clip.

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LoHud featured Lacrosse Coach Tom Mariano in "Major League Lacrosse: Life in the bubble was filled with twists and turns"

07/28/2020

LoHud featured Lacrosse Coach Tom Mariano in "Major League Lacrosse: Life in the bubble was filled with twists and turns"

Tom Mariano stopped home only long enough to check in with his family through a screen door, then headed for a hotel to begin 10 days of isolation.

An untimely turn of events inside the Major League Lacrosse bubble over the weekend almost derailed the abbreviated season and inspired the Chesapeake Bayhawks head coach to proceed with an increased level of caution. Health protocols were triggered Saturday after a team member reported feeling symptomatic.

“I think at that point, every one of us was convinced that we had it,” Mariano said.

Tests of players and personnel revealed three positive cases on the Bayhawks.

Chesapeake quickly decided to withdraw from the semifinals along with the Connecticut Hammerheads, forcing the MLL to cancel the semifinals. The Boston Cannons also had five players leave ahead of a 13-10 win over the Denver Outlaws in Sunday’s championship game.  

It made this blur of a season even more frantic.

“A lot of people have died from this and that was my only concern,” said Mariano, who is also the head men’s lacrosse coach at Pace University. “I supported the players on this. I gave them all of the information we had and they made the decision not to play. We felt we were going to win the whole thing, but this was bigger than lacrosse. I’m proud of these guys. We came in as a team and we left as a team.”

Read the full LoHud article.

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News12 featured Athletic Director Mark Brown in "NE10, ECC suspend all athletic competitions for the rest of year due to COVID-19"

07/22/2020

News12 featured Athletic Director Mark Brown in "NE10, ECC suspend all athletic competitions for the rest of year due to COVID-19"

The East Coast Conference and the Northeast-10 Conference both decided to cancel all athletic competitions through the end of the calendar year, a decision athletic directors say is seen as the safest and smartest moving forward due to the pandemic.

Watch the News12 clip.

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