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McDevitt’s Job Not In Question

By MTN Sports Reporter: Ian Wolfe

Murfreesboro, Tenn.- MTSU Athletic Director Chris Massaro is backing basketball coach Nick McDevitt to bounce back next season.

This comes off a disappointing season for the Blue Raiders as they finished the season at 14-19 and 7-9 in conference play in McDevitt’s sixth year as the MTSU head coach. The team had a stronger ending to conference play after starting out 0-4 to ending with a 6-5 record in the last 11 games and making the semi-finals of the Conference-USA tournament losing to eventual winners, Western Kentucky.

“It was a disappointing result [Western Kentucky loss]. I think Nick would say that, I would say that, anybody associated with the program would say that.” Massaro said. “Then you got to look deeper and say why were the results disappointing.”

Massaro looked at the context regarding how the team did this season. In the second game of the season, the team suffered an early injury to pre-season all-Conference-USA player Camryn Weston. Limiting the team early on.

“I do firmly believe that if we maintained healthy, those results would be a lot different.” Massaro said, continuing, “When you lose your all-conference point guard in the second game of the season and five games later you lose your center that’s going to be in your top eight rotation.”

With the team having to adjust due to injuries, they improved late in the season to improve their seeding in the conference tournament and get some momentum going but ultimately came up short in the conference semi-finals.

Massaro said, “The adjustment period took longer than anybody would’ve liked but by February we were a pretty good basketball team.” Continuing, “We made the conference semi-finals which is good. But we didn’t play championship-level basketball in the semi-finals.”

McDevitt took over for Kermit Davis, who had led the Blue Raiders to three NCAA tournaments, two conference tournament championships, and three conference regular season championships.

Taking over for Davis was not easy for McDevitt. The Blue Raiders lost a few commitments and transfers when Davis left the program along with some discipline issues, giving McDevitt a shaky start in Murfreesboro.

“It was emergency recruiting right away before the portal was really as powerful as it is now,” Massaro said. “It took us a couple of years to develop the team. But I was disappointed. I thought we would be further along in the COVID year.”

Massaro has daily discussions with McDevitt, offering help or advice.

“There’s not this big end-of-the-year evaluation. To me, those conversations are always ongoing.” Massaro said. “Some of it [discussions] is conversationally but it’s also how can we fix this?”

Massaro has stated that he is “enthusiastic about our coach’s plan for improvement”. Leaving no doubt about McDevitt.

MTSU will look to leave this season behind them and move forward in McDevitt’s seventh year as head coach.


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