A slow start to Centennial Conference (CC) play for an injury-riddled Franklin & Marshall squad saw the Diplomats valiantly rebound to win 11 out of their final 13 CC contests and make the program's 20th tournament appearance over the 24-year history of the Conference. The Diplomats rose to the occasion throughout the 2016-17 season and finished the year with an 18-8, 12-6 CC record.
Click here to watch a highlight video of the season.
The Diplomats started out the year with two straight victories to win the William Marshall Tip-Off Tournament and went into the holiday break with a 6-3 mark. After two early setbacks in January, F&M finished the month on a seven-game winning streak, with two thrilling overtime victories, — 100-90 over Dickinson and 64-57 over Haverford — and entered the final month with a 14-5 mark. The Diplomats ended the year with three straight victories and went into the CC Tournament as the second seed, before injuries proved too costly in their final contest.
At the conclusion of the season, Brandon Federici '18 was honored with numerous athletic and academic awards.
Federici became the first player in school history to be named a finalist for the prestigious Jostens Trophy. The trophy is awarded to the most outstanding NCAA Division III men's and women's basketball player who excels on the court, in the classroom, and in the community.
He became just the second men's basketball player in program history to be named a CoSIDA Academic All-American, while also earning spots on the CC Academic Honor Roll, Academic All-Centennial lists and being named CC Winter Scholar-Athletic of the Year for men's basketball.
In recognition of his performance on the court this season, Federici was named to the National Basketball Coaches Association (NABC) Middle Atlantic All-Region Second Team and D3hoops.com All-Region Second Team. He became one of just eight players in Conference history to earn All-CC First Team honors three times after being a unanimous selection this year.
The junior guard led the conference with 19.9 points per game and his 2.2 steals per game, along with 3.2 triples a contest that placed him first in CC and his 35.2 minutes per contest were second. Federici finished in double-figures in 25 games, including 14 games with 20 or more points.
Earlier in the season, he became the fastest player in program history to reach 1,000 career points and will enter next year on track to reset the school record in points.
J.C. McGrath '19 earned a postseason honor for the first time after he received CC Honorable Mention. The sophomore was third in the Conference with a 59.2 field goal percentage, sixth with 1.2 blocks per game and eighth with 5.5 rebounds per contest. He had nine double-figure games with a career-high 30 against No. 16 Swarthmore on Jan. 14.
Ignas Slyka '20 was the second F&M player to receive Rookie of the Year honors, in just the fifth year the honor has been awarded following in the footsteps of Federici (2015). He was fourth in the Conference at 1.7 steals a game and finished seven games in the double-digits.
Lior Levy '17 was named to the All-Sportsmanship Team following the regular season.