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Zoomin' Around: Widener's Carideo talks COVID, 2021 season + more

02/04/2021, 1:30pm EST
By Josh Verlin

Widener coach Chris Carideo (above, in 2018) led the Pride to a 19-win season last year. (Photo: Josh Verlin/CoBL)

Josh Verlin (@jmverlin)

February is normally the time for Division III hoops programs to start wrapping up conference play and get into the postseason. This year, a group of schools are just hoping to get some games in, period.

No area D-III program has played a game yet this year, and most have opted out of the season entirely. But six schools in the MAC Commonwealth — Albright, Arcadia, Lebanon Valley, Messiah, Stevenson (Md.), and Widener — are scheduled to start playing next week, with a seventh (Alvernia) hoping to join later in February. 

The defending regular-season league champions, Widener returns five of its top seven scorers under head coach Chris Carideo, and the Pride’s future looks bright with only one (potentially returning) senior on the roster. Last year’s 19-8 (12-4 Commonwealth) mark was the program’s best since going 23-6 in 2008-09, the last time the Pride made it to the NCAA Tournament. 

Carideo sat down for a Zoom interview on Thursday, one week out from his team’s first game of the 2021 season. We spoke about the COVID break, adjusting expectations on the fly, potential changes to the Division III offseason practice situation, replacing two 1,000-point scorers, and much more.

Here’s the full interview:

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