JCU Basketball teams’ season previews

Both of the JCU basketball teams prep for the coming seasons

John Carroll Sports Information

Both of the JCU basketball teams prep for the coming seasons

Leah Harrigan, Staff Reporter

John Carroll University basketball looks to open up the 2022-2023 campaign with a novel type of fuel: fresh talent.

Both the men’s and women’s squads acquired a number of first-year students along with a handful of other players who have been welcomed through the transfer portal. Regardless, the goal for each team is derived in consistency, efficiency and grit. The array of skills and talents spread among each group creates a potent elixir of success.

Here’s the team breakdown before the regular season commences:

Women’s Basketball 

After a praiseworthy 23-5 overall finish to their 2021-2022 season, John Carroll Women’s Basketball returns to the court with similar goals.

This year, Kaelyn Underwood ‘23 and Jaylen Hoffman ‘23 will return as veteran leaders. Hoffman is set to play a pivotal guard position while Underwood will work under the rim to earn some gritty points for the Blue Streaks.

Halle Landies ‘24, Maddie Pietrowski ‘25, Morgan Featherstun ‘25 and Olivia Giunta ‘25 possess some original talent that will be distributed throughout the court during the upcoming season. 

Graduate student, Christina Passerell, continues her basketball career with the Blue Streaks after her tenure at Washington University in St. Louis.

Additionally, Angela Vitantonio travels from a strikingly familiar John Carroll rival, Mount Union. The former Purple Raider is eager to showcase her Ohio Athletic Conference experience.

The Blue and Gold have a tall task ahead of them, considering the graduation of former graduate student Nicole Heffington and Olivia Nagy ‘22. The duo combined for 3,149 points over the course of their careers, leading John Carroll to multiple OAC Championships and National Collegiate Athletic Association Tournament appearances. 

However, the expectations set within the program will certainly take the Blue Streaks far. Additionally, experience against graduated talent proves that John Carroll has seen the highest caliber of talent.

John Carroll opens up the regular season on Fri., Nov. 11 at 7:00 p.m, as the Blue Streaks are scheduled to host the “John Carroll Tip-Off Tournament” featuring Hiram College, Allegheny College and St. John Fisher College. John Carroll will see Allegheny College in their first bout of competition.

Men’s Basketball

The Blue and Gold are anticipating a competitive season ahead, considering the array of players that have been added to the roster since the 2021-2022 season.

Graduate student, Jerry Higgins III, comes to John Carroll from The Citadel where he collected 132 points and 74 assists. 

Luke Frazier ‘25 is another transfer student from the University of Dayton. Frazier, standing at 6’6, can work at the post and also release shots from well beyond the three point line.

John Carroll also holds onto the unmatched talent of Chase Toppin ‘25, David Gentry ‘25 and Connor O’Toole ‘24.

The Streaks are looking to rebuild their program and this year’s squad is especially prepared to face-off against dynamic OAC competitors. 

John Carroll’s lineup, in combination with their pristine depth chart, is composed of the perfect candidates that are equipped with mass amounts of potential.

The Blue and Gold are set to share the home court advantage with the women’s team with their first matchup in place for Sat., Nov. 12 at 7:00 p.m. The Streaks will face-off against Wittenberg University. Ohio Wesleyan University and Buffalo State will also make the trek to University Heights to ring in the 2022-2023 season at the men’s portion of the “John Carroll Tip-Off Tournament.”