CRESSON - While he won't be lighting up the stat sheet with 40-point games like teammate Shawn Greenfield or bringing the crowd to its feet with highlight-reel dunks like fellow senior Dameon Turner, Davario Barksdale has assumed a no-nonsense approach as the guy that does whatever is needed for the Mount Aloysius men's basketball team.
"Unfortunately, the basketball powers that be have yet to come up with box score stats that accurately measure hustle and defense, and those are the two things that Davario excels at the most," coach Lance Loya said.
Barksdale, a four-year member of the men's basketball team, primarily serves Loya as an undersized forward. A 6-foot-3 senior from Waldorf, Md., and a McDonough High graduate, Barksdale always seems to do a little bit of everything for the Mounties, who are currently fighting for an Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference playoff spot.
Though he rarely has a play called for him, Barksdale has managed to score 8.4 points per game by hitting the offensive glass and finding openings in the defense off the dribble.
He has also become a more consistent outside shooter as evidenced by a 42.3 percent average from behind the 3-point line (11-for-26 on the season). He is third on the team in assists with 47 on the season and currently leads all Mountie players in rebounds with 5.78 per game.
On the defensive side, Barksdale provides Loya with a strong on-the-ball defender who can matchup with both guards and forwards.
"He is consistently asked to guard the other team's leading scorer, whether it is a guard or a post player. He has also led our team in charges for two of his seasons.
Those are the types of stats that go unnoticed by fans, but make coaches salivate," Loya said.
Barksdale displayed his versatility on the court in a close loss to Penn State Behrend on Saturday, Feb. 1. In 28 minutes of action, he just missed a double-double as he scored nine points on 4-for-8 shooting while adding 10 rebounds, two assists and a steal.
The casual observer wouldn't know it, but Barksdale has played this season with a torn meniscus, a very painful knee injury. While it has hampered his performance at times, Loya said that he hasn't once complained about the injury.
"He just sets such a great example for the other players on the team in terms of going out and doing his best and never making excuses," Loya said.
His meaning to Mountie basketball became evident when he was named the MVP of the team after his sophomore season, despite not being the team's leading scorer or rebounder. At the end of the day, his contributions can also be seen in the rise of the basketball program throughout his four years.
"Davario and his fellow seniors have certainly left their mark on the Mounties men's basketball program. They are on pace to finish their careers with more wins than any other players in Mount Aloysius history," Loya said.
The Mount Aloysius women's basketball team, projected fourth in the AMCC preseason poll, is currently fighting for one of two conference byes for the six-team postseason tournament. The Mounties sit at third in the standings.
The Mounties are in a race with La Roche College and Medaille College for the top two spots. If they nab first or second in the standings, they'll earn a home game for the conference semifinals for the first time in program history.
Mount Aloysius has been paced by the play of senior star Lindsy Sammarco and sophomore standout Becky Bard as well as a deep and versatile group of role players.
Ten Mounties average double-figure minutes for Head Coach Kristi Little-Kaack, who is in the midst of her third season on the sidelines. Among them are freshmen center Abbie Zinobile (6.95 ppg), senior guard Ali Maruca (6.6 ppg) and sophomore forward Kaleigh Roop (6.85 pgg).