Men's Basketball: Raso era ends at McMaster

OUA basketball fans perusing team rosters this fall may have noticed a Victor Raso-less McMaster Marauders team to start the year, and while there were rumours that lingering concussion issues or a possible transfer to Carleton were the cause, Raso has simply left the program that has borne his family's name for over 20 years.

Cable14's Steve Clark and the Hamilton Spectator's Scott Radley have the story that Raso informed coach Amos Connolly this September that he would not be suiting up for the Marauders this year. The reasons aren't specifically clear (the Spec's somewhat misleading headline notwithstanding), but it looks like Raso is gone due to some combination of lost communication with Connolly and of persisting friction over the school's controversial dismissal of Joe Raso, Victor's father and Mac coach for 18 seasons (the last one coaching his son).

The questions over whether Victor would stay after his father's dismissal were quietly pushed away at the time. But according to Clark's post, those issues continued to affect him:

"I put as much into the program as you could ask from any athlete physically, and from a mental standpoint, I put more into that program then anyone should ask of an athlete... Combine that with all the stress that I felt from my unique situation at Mac, I made a personal decision to transfer."

Radley's Spectator piece also brings up the possibility of a cooling relationship with Connolly, who has made an impact in his first two seasons as Mac's bench boss by recruiting a young core of players that includes CIS Rookie of the Year Adam Presutti. Connolly says he was trying to give Raso space to recover from his concussion issues and didn't want to pressure his standout guard into returning too quickly. (Raso played in Mac's OUA semi-final loss to Carleton, but reportedly suffered another concussion in the summer).

There's also the speculation that Raso didn't mesh with Connolly's developing young core of players, though it seems unlikely that a coach with a young team wouldn't want an All-Star player who by all accounts was a leader and valuable mentor to his younger teammates.

Raso will certainly leave a void with the Marauders. He was not only the team's co-captain and only OUA All-Star last year, but a top-40 player nationwide in our rankings with a 24.7 PER. They'll miss his playmaking, outside shooting and strong rebounding from the guard position, though Mac is certainly deep on the wings with sophomores Joe Rocca and Aaron Redpath, rookie Rohan Boney and senior lockdown defender Scott Laws.

Raso will be eligible to join a new team next year, and whoever does land him (he'd fit great at Carleton) will certainly benefit. But for the first time in over 20 years, a Raso will not be having an effect on the OUA season.
Next PostNewer Post Previous PostOlder Post Home


Post a Comment