JCU Men’s Basketball with remarkable season as they gear up for the OAC tournament


JCU Sports Information Department

Henry Raynor puts a shot up in the paint this season for the Blue Streaks.

Dylan Feltovich, Staff Reporter

After an eight-win season and last place finish in the Ohio Athletic Conference last year, the John Carroll Men’s Basketball team has completed the “worst-to-first” journey after defeating the Quakers of Wilmington College, 85-72, on Sat., Feb. 18.

The transition to JCU hasn’t really felt like much of a transition to be honest,” claimed newly-transferred point guard, Luke Chicone. “It just felt natural as if I’ve been here the whole time. Obviously last year the team didn’t have the best year but coming into this season we used that as fuel to get the program back to where it’s been for years.”

With a chance to claim the first seed in the OAC tournament, JCU traveled to Wilmington to battle against a struggling Quaker team who have only notched eight wins on the season. It was clear from the beginning, sophomore guard Luke Chicone would lead the charge for the Blue and Gold on offense and defense. 

Luke Chicone dribbles up the court for John Carroll this season as he continues his fantastic performance at pointguard. (JCU Sports Information Department)

Chicone and John Carroll quickly jumped out to a five-point lead early in the first half, but a dry spell hit JCU’s offense for the rest of the half. A ten-point lead was cut down to three heading into halftime due to defensive stops by Chicone and capitalizing on lackluster play by Wilmington.

Chicone finished the contest with 28 points and six steals.

The momentum built up by the Blue Streaks carried into the second half as both teams continued to trade buckets to kick off the second half. However, the Blue and Gold defense stepped up in the second half, limiting Wilmington to only 24 points in the second half of play. Along with Chicone, Henry Raynor ‘25 and Chase Toppin ‘24 helped seal the victory for the Blue Streaks and walk away as co-champions of the OAC.

The sophomore forward Raynor almost notched a double-double, totaling 16 points and eight rebounds in the contest. Toppin also added to the offensive surge with his 15 point effort.

While JCU may have claimed the regular season title, the journey has just begun for this newly-found powerhouse.

“The mindset coming up is to stay locked in and focused one game at a time and try to compete at the highest level,” said Chicone. “We know what we are capable of as long as we play as hard as we possibly can.”

The Blue and Gold will find out soon who they will host on Thurs., Feb. 23 after the quarter finals on Tues., Feb. 21.