Jordan Reed Saga Far From Only Distraction For Binghamton

It is hard to escape the news of Binghamton junior Jordan Reed leaving the program for “personal reasons,” but head coach Tommy Dempsey has maintained his optimism.

“Jordan is not with the team right now, again for personal reasons, but Jordan’s here in school,” Dempsey said. “I’m looking forward to getting him back.”

While the expectation is that he will be back soon, Dempsey said he could not comment and did not know when Reed’s return might be. Last season Reed led the America East in rebounding with 8.9 rebounds per game, but the third-year head coach would like to respect Reed’s privacy and hopes to have him soon.

“We just are working through it and hopefully we’ll have a resolution soon,” Dempsey said.

This latest news with Reed has been the next obstacle in what has become a structural rebuilding of the Bearcats program, which this season was given a practice reduction as a Level One APR penalty. Binghamton’s multi-year APR score was 913, resulting in a reduction of four  hours per week of practice time (16 hours) and a second mandatory day off, when most schools take one day off per week. They have cut practices shorter and reduced time in their film sessions to try to squeeze every ounce of efficiency out of their time.

“We talked about it, one time in September when we knew, we talked to the guys about how we were going to manage it,” Dempsey said. “I talked to the guys that we weren’t going to use it as an excuse, from a players standpoint. It’s one less day they have to practice, so I don’t know that how much it effects them, but there’s going to be times where it hurts, but we’re trying to block it out and do everything we can in those 16 hours to get our guys prepared to play the games for that week.”

Data from the 2012-13 season is publicly available, Dempsey’s first season as head coach, when the team scored a 979 out of a possible 1,000 APR score.

(photo courtesy: Binghamton Athletics)
Binghamton head coach Tommy Dempsey inherited a difficult situation in multiple ways when he took over the program, some whose results still resonate over his rebuilding. (photo courtesy: Binghamton Athletics)

“We inherited some rough APR numbers, we’ve had to work hard on and off the court, but our APR numbers have been really good the last two years,” Dempsey said. “I think we are good enough that we avoided a potential postseason penalty, but we got our numbers to a point that it only turned into a practice reduction, so I thought that was a real positive.”

“We can’t use the practice reduction as an excuse, with a young team it’s not the best thing to have to deal with, but at the end of the day I knew coming here that we had some of those issues and it was my job to clean things up. In spite of a slow start, I think we’re doing that.”

Binghamton Single-Year APR Scores
Season APR Score
2013 979
2012 902
2011 900
2010 893
2009 946
2008 956

Binghamton took on an ambitious schedule early, and it may have been overwhelming for a group that has been a steady rotation of five freshmen and four sophomores to play seven games in 15 days.

“I think, if I made a poor decision, it was probably in the way I set up the schedule, but that being said I still believe in the group,” Dempsey said. “I still think that we’re going to get our footing and we have some pieces. We have some young talent and it’s going to take a little time to mesh and blend, but I’m not going to overreact.”

The Bearcats showed spurts of competitiveness over the season’s first seven games, going on a 14-2 run in the first half against Providence to cut a deficit to four at halftime. Binghamton led by as many as 11 against Navy in the second half at Mohegan Sun, with freshmen Willie Rodriguez and Dusan Perovic showing their ability as scorers with size, but an untimely stretch late cost them a victory.

“I’m really pleased with how these guys have played, how these guys have tried to step up,” Dempsey said of his freshman class. “Their maturity level has been really good. Although we haven’t gotten off to a great start, I think we’ve done a good job as a staff and as players of keeping perspective.”

They will look to reverse their luck tonight at Boston University, another team that has won just one game this season, and they will have a few opportunities to erase the struggles of November and get some momentum heading into conference play.

“I think every day we’re coming together more and we are getting everybody on the same page and we’re trying to develop an identity, but to me it’s about confidence,” Dempsey said. “What I’m looking for, here in December, is that we can string together some good performances. It’s important that, by the time we get to league play, we’ve experienced some success.”

Their December schedule includes four home games, twice as many as they had in November, and Dempsey hopes that adds up to more wins and confidence over the next four weeks.

“We’ve experienced some stretches of games where we’ve played well, that’s been some of the things we tried to draw from and try to get guys to watch some film of some positive things that we’re doing out there, but you can’t fake your way through losing,” Dempsey said. “We need to find some wins and we need to find some positive experiences to draw from before we head into America East play, but I really believe that we will. I think that, I’ve been here now in my third year, I have a good feel for what we’re putting out there, what we need to do to have success and I see it coming.”

Ryan Restivo wrote the America East conference preview for the 2014-15 Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook. He covers the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, the America East conference and Hofstra for Big Apple Buckets. You can follow Ryan on Twitter @ryanarestivo or contact Ryan at rrestivo[at]

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