Article and Photo courtesy of CALTECH Junior guard Marcus Gee of the Caltech men’s basketball team became the most recent Caltech men’s player to receive First-Team All-SCIAC recognition on Thursday, while his head coach, Dr. Oliver Eslinger, and his staff received SCIAC Coaching Staff of the Year for the first time ever. Gee earned his […]
Article and Photo courtesy of CALTECH
Junior guard Marcus Gee of the Caltech men’s basketball team became the most recent Caltech men’s player to receive First-Team All-SCIAC recognition on Thursday, while his head coach, Dr. Oliver Eslinger, and his staff received SCIAC Coaching Staff of the Year for the first time ever.
Gee earned his place among the SCIAC’s elite thanks to one of the best individual regular seasons in the history of the men’s basketball program and cemented it in the final game of the season when he knocked down a game-winning three-pointer at Occidental College on Tuesday. The shot gave the Beavers a three-game sweep of the Tigers, gave Gee the team’s single-season scoring crown and gave the program its first winning season in conference play in 66 years. Gee wrapped his third season in Pasadena as the SCIAC’s second-leading scorer (19.2 points per game), second-leading three-point shooter (72 field goals), third-leading free-throw shooter (84.4%) and third-leading steals getter (44). Gee also went over 1,000-point mark this year and is one of three players in the conference to have been named SCIAC Offensive and Defensive Player of the week this season.
“It feels good,” Gee said. “I wouldn’t be here without my teammates pushing me every day. Getting first-team says more about where your team is at during the season and in the standings than your personal stats. For us to be as high as we were, it says a lot more about the team than just me.”
Eslinger, in his 12th year in charge of the men’s basketball program, received staff honors along with his assistants Steve Ledesma, James Covell, and Neel Sitaramya. Junior Gokul Srinivasaragavan (San Ramon, Calif. / Dougherty Valley) also contributed heavily to the team in a non-playing capacity despite nursing an injury over the course of the season. The NABC Guardian of the Game and his staff led the Beavers to an 11-14 overall record and a 9-7 mark in conference play. He recently passed Gene Victor on the all-time wins list and his 60 victories are now second only to Carl Shy’s 82. He also became the program leader in NCAA wins (57).
“It’s wonderful to be recognized for hard work, focus, and perseverance,” Eslinger said. “This coaching staff is made up of the hardest workers we’ve had as a collective unit. They love doing what they do, rolling up their sleeves and working with the players we have, but we look at the ‘Coaching Staff of the Year’ award as a ‘Team of the Year’ award. You’ve got to have players who can and want to be coached, so it’s the full team that allows it to happen. To have Marcus and everybody else buy into what we’re teaching, it substantiates everything we’ve been talking about regarding our vision, values, and volition. It’s nice to be recognized for our grit and ability to overcome and I couldn’t be more thankful to our staff, our fans and Professor Alvarez who’s a huge supporter of ours.”
Gee, Eslinger and the Beavers have now made it two consecutive seasons of double-digit wins. They closed the book on 2020 with a three-game winning streak and will now look to this season as the measuring stick for program excellence going forward.