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Quinnipiac men’s basketball MAAC title hopes end after a 98-92 loss to Monmouth

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Abdulai Bundu 1-on-1 interview:

HIGHLIGHTS:

When the No.3 seeded Quinnipiac men’s basketball team lost to the No.6 seeded Monmouth Hawks 98-92 in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference quarterfinals on Saturday night, it not only meant an end to the season, but also the end to the careers of four seniors.

Aaron Robinson, Andrew Robinson, Abdulai Bundu and Cameron Young may not put on a Quinnipiac jersey again. Bundu and the Robinson brothers have been at Quinnipiac for four years and have experienced a lot of change, including playing under different coaches. Young transferred to Quinnipiac after playing to years at the junior college level. Under former Quinnipiac head coach Tom Moore, Young only managed to play eight total minutes.

When Quinnipiac named Villanova associate head coach Baker Dunleavy as its newest head coach, it brought excitement to the program. But the program would not be able to change if it did not have the leaders in place to help lead the change. Fortunately for Quinnipiac, it did have those leaders with Bundu and the Robinson brothers.

Bundu feels that after playing under two head coaches he and his fellow seniors have quite the legacy.

“It’s going to be historic,” Bundu said. “I feel like we’ve seen it all. The good, the bad, the ugly. What me, [Andrew and Aaron Robinson] and Cam [Young] have been able to pull off, it’s been historic in my eyes.”

Young came in as an unknown for Dunleavy but he quickly emerged as the Bobcats best player and go-to scorer. With the leaders in place and an elite scorer, the Bobcats were looking to shatter the 2018 preseason polls prediction, which had them finishing last in the MAAC. Quinnipiac did exactly that by finishing seventh last year and going on a run to the MAAC semifinals for the first time since the 2013-2014 season when it first joined the conference.

With the new season on the horizon Quinnipiac had a lot of expectations around it. If you attended a Quinnipiac practice it was easy to see why. Aaron Robinson could always be heard yelling and encouraging his teammates and when the team was working on a full-court press Robinson would harass the in-bounder by yelling “ball.” Bundu left everything on the floor whether it was a game or a practice.

Although Andrew Robinson did not play in a game this season due to injury he still could be seen on the bench cheering for his teammates.

Young broke the Quinnipiac single-season scoring record last year and it would take another incredible season to top that. But he did.

On Friday morning Young received the 2019 MAAC player of the year award. The award showed how he left his mark on the league this season.

On Feb. 17 Quinnipiac travelled to Albany to take on Siena and Young had the game of his career. The graduate student scored a career-high 55 points, which was the third most points in an NCAA Division l game in the past 20 years.

This senior class has put the foundation in place for Quinnipiac to become one of the premier mid-major basketball programs in the nation. These seniors laid the foundation and there is a talented young core in place to help take the program even further.

“[Quinnipiac] is in good hands,” Bundu said. “I can see it in their eyes already after they lost. They are humble and hungry like we always say.”

Quinnipiac’s season may not be over just yet.

It will wait and hope to receive a bid from the National Invitational Tournament (NIT), the CollegeInsider.com postseason Tournament or the College Basketball Invitational (CIT).

But if it is over, the senior class has done well to set the standard for the new brand of Quinnipiac basketball.

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