By Hugh McGuire
Anyone who has sat down with To Randriasalama knows he is confident in this year’s team. Originally from Montreal, Quebec, the freshman guard stands at 6’3 and possesses a demeanor that is mature beyond his years. Although he is friendly, it is always apparent that he has his sights set on his goals, and you will be hard-pressed to find someone who will stop him from achieving them.
Randriasalama started playing basketball while growing up in Montreal, eventually earning a spot on the Collège Jean-de-Brébeuf basketball team. Collège Jean-de-Brébeuf is a CEGEP, or as Randriasalama describes it, Montreal’s equivalent to a prep school. In his three years at the college, he boasted a team-best 17.8 points per game while adding 4.9 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game, leading his team to a 15-3 record. He also shot exceptionally well from behind the arc, converting on 40% of his 3-point attempts.
When asked why he chose Northeastern, Randriasalama was quick to note the coaching staff as a big reason. He particularly took a liking to head coach Bill Coen, who is entering his 16th season in charge of the Huskies.
“I could see some of my personality in coach Coen, he is a really humble person,” Randriasalama said. “[In the recruiting process] I feel like he was really genuine, and he really stayed authentic.” He also did not neglect to mention that academics played a large role in his decision: “For me and my parents, we really have the best of both worlds”
In terms of his game, Randriasalama’s goals for the year are simple: get a feel for the team, continue to be a good teammate, play his role, and improve, particularly as a point guard. Everything else, in his eyes, is extra. He emphasizes the importance of “starting with a base” and improving consistently with the understanding that more concrete goals will follow as a result.
As for his expectations for the Huskies this season, Randriasalama is optimistic to say the least. “We are going to be really good,” he said with a smile on his face. “I expect nothing less than the championship.” He even mentioned that he expects the Huskies to make a deep run in the NCAA tournament, a feat that hasn’t been accomplished since Jim Calhoun led the team to the second round in 1982.
Randriasalama has acknowledged that not many American basketball fans may know who he is. It’s even possible that no one reading this has even heard of To Randriasalama. This, however, does not take away from his excitement for introducing himself to the Northeastern community, and beyond.
“I’m excited to prove to people that I belong here,” he said.