Realized hopes

Published 9:13 am Saturday, March 30, 2019

In the March 30, 2018 edition of The Herald, we published an editorial expressing our hopes for the future of the Longwood University men’s basketball program as the school had just hired Griff Aldrich to become the Lancers’ new head coach.

We had on-court and off-court hopes, and he has begun to fulfill both.

Off the court, he has made clear to his players the paramount importance of academics, and he has also engaged with the community, allowing people to become acquainted with Longwood’s new first-year head coach and vice versa.

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On the court, as a recent Longwood athletics press release summarized, the Lancers (16-18) earned their first-ever NCAA Division I postseason bid, their first Division I postseason win and the second-most wins of Longwood’s 15-year Division I era. In their final two games, both in the Roman College Basketball Invitational, the Lancers strung together their highest-scoring two-game stretch of the season. They put up 90 points in a 22-point home win over the University of Southern Mississippi in the first round and 89 against host DePaul University in the second round.

Longwood athletics also noted elsewhere that Aldrich was a finalist for the Joe B. Hall National Coach of the Year award after leading the Lancers to an eight-win improvement from one year ago that became nine wins following the invitational.

Congratulations, Coach Aldrich and team! Realized hopes are amazing things.