Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Socoby says good-bye

Bangor television station WABI reported today that junior guard Mark Socoby will leave the UMaine basketball team. Coach Ted Woodward issued a statement, attributing the decision to "personal reasons."

"Mark expressed interest to transfer and we wish him luck," said Woodward. "We really like the guys we have now going into spring workouts."

The highwater mark of Socoby's UMaine career most assuredly was his career high 30 points in an overtime loss to Stony Brook during the play-in game of the 2008 America East tournament. He hit a tourney record nine three-pointers, including a banked in shot that forced overtime. He surpassed the previous record (7) held by four players, including his brother-in-law, former Black Bear star, Kevin Reed.

One of the more heralded high school players in the state of Maine in recent years, Socoby entered UMaine with high individual and team expectations. While the Black Bears struggled as a team his first two years, Socoby showed good promise. He earned third team all-conference honors after a sophomore campaign in which he averaged nearly 15 points and six rebounds a game. For whatever reason, Socoby's shooting percentages, scoring and rebounding slid this year. And the team continued its malaise, losing in the play-in game for the second straight year.

Here is Socoby's stat line from what turned out to be his last appearance in a UMaine uniform, a 65-56 loss to Hartford on March 6:

30 minutes
2 for 9 field goals
2 for 7 three-point field goals
2 rebounds
3 assists
1 steal
2 turnovers
8 points

We wish Socoby the best and appreciate his efforts in a UMaine uniform. It's been a tough few years in Black Bear-ville and it is apparent that it must have been weighing heavily on him.


MattT said...

I don't really think this is a negative. In the games I saw Mark looked like he didn't want to be there. No matter what he says, I think the losing really did play into his decision. He is also used to being a dominant player and he just couldn't be that go to guy.
He has regressed as a player over the last 2 seasons and become very one dimensional. Other teams have game planned for him and he is easy to stop. He is a spot up shooter period. Athletically he doesn't have the same lift and explosiveness that he had even last year and didn't really get to the basket, which is curious? I wonder if the old knee injury from high school is bothering? If Socoby wants to finish his career on a high note he should land at a DII school like Franklin Pierce or someone from that conference. He could really have success with his total game on that level.
His transfer is going to free up minutes for Malachai and Travon Wilcher on the wing or possibly Junior if he slides over from the point. Maine will be able to throw out a more athletic/interchangable lineup. I don't think this hurts Maine's shooting either. If these guys can't hit 30% they shouldn't be on the team.

thepit said...

Good summary. It just seemed he had become so attached to being THE MAN that anything less was unacceptable. It was clear as his season and career went on, that something wasn't quite right. He had become a one-gear player and instead of fitting into a role and perfecting it, he continued to try and be something he wasn't. That's not a knock on Socoby. He wanted to fulfill the potential slot so many had pegged for him and it didn't materialize ... for whatever reasons. Hope he finds someplace where he's happy.