The 2018-19 Franklin & Marshall men's basketball team overcame adversity, including the loss of several of the program's mainstays to graduation, posting a 15-11 record for their 11th straight winning season and garnering the program's 22nd Centennial Tournament appearance across the 25-year history of the Conference. Already the most victorious coach in Division III history, Glenn Robinson continued to climb the leaderboards as he finished the season with 967 career wins.
Click here to watch the 2018-19 season highlights.
The Diplomats started the year with three non-conference victories and came away as the champion in the William Marshall Tip-Off Tournament, where junior and co-captain Ignas Slyka '20 was named the Most Valuable Player. The Diplomats also won the Sponaugle New Years Tournament in late December, thanks to an all-around team effort and clutch scoring outbursts from Tournament MVP Justin Kupa '21.
As 2018 came to an end, the Diplomats had compiled a 7-4 record and were 3-2 in the Centennial Conference. A memorable buzzer-beater from Kupa gave the Diplomats an upset road win over No. 8 Swarthmore on Dec. 1 - the eventual runner-up in the NCAA Tournament - but losses to McDaniel and Gettysburg blemished the Diplomats' Centennial record early. Conference struggles continued into January as F&M went 3-5 in CC play, but due to big February wins, the Diplomats snuck into the CC playoffs. Unfortunately, the road ended in the first round in a tough three-point loss to Washington.
J.C. McGrath '19 ended his career on a strong note, earning a spot on his third consecutive All-CC roster, this time on the Second Team. Averaging 10.9 ppg and 8.7 rpg, McGrath finished second in the CC with eight double-doubles and was equally as impressive defensively. McGrath was one of only two players in the CC to finish in the top 10 in both steals and blocks.
McGrath was also named to the All-Sportsmanship Team following the regular season.
Kupa finished seventh in the CC in scoring (14.8 ppg) and produced 20 or more points six times, including a career-high 27 at Johns Hopkins and 22 in the Tip-Off Tournament. His selection to the All-CC Honorable Mention list was the first of his career.