|Frank Schettino leads Staten Island in scoring this season but, more importantly, he's second in the country behind Wheelock's Nicholas Fenton in assists per game.
Staten Island athletics photo
Frank Schettino knows how to create shots for his teammates. The Staten Island senior point guard ranks second in the nation with 8.8 assists per game. He has had 10 or more assists in each of eight games this season.
Schettino also knows how to create shots for himself. In a 78-74 win at City on Friday, he tied his career high of 43 points. He often started and finished the fast break on his own, pulling up for foul-line jumpers and driving in the lane for floaters.
Schettino scores a team-high 17.7 points per game and averages 6.8 rebounds per contest. With his points, rebounds, and assists, he has led Staten Island (13-6, 10-0 CUNYAC) to a perfect conference record heading into Wednesday’s game at Baruch.
Simply put, Schettino is a player that Staten Island needs on the court. That’s why it’s so hard to bench him during games, head coach Tony Petosa said in a postgame interview on Friday. And yet that is sometimes exactly what Petosa does.
“That’s the only way I can stop him from shooting sometimes,” Petosa said.
It’s not that Schettino shouldn’t look to score, Petosa said. It’s that he shouldn’t focus on his own offense at the expense of the team’s. “I have to try to rein him in,” Petosa said.
Schettino’s jumpers and floaters at City did not bother Petosa, but his three-point attempts did. After a missed three-pointer, Petosa threatened to bench Schettino.
“I have no problem with him shooting it once in a while, but it’s got to be a certain type of shot,” Petosa said about three-pointers in the postgame interview. “It has to be after four or five passes, because he’s not that good a shooter. It can’t be in transition, because he’s not a transition shooter.”
Schettino is hitting 25.8 percent of his three-pointers. He went three-for-seven from beyond the arc at City. “Coach usually gets mad at me” for taking three-pointers, he said in a postgame interview on Friday.
For the most part, Schettino has been scoring and distributing. He has six double-doubles with points and assists this year, and he had double-digit assists in five of Staten Island’s last seven games. A four-year starter, Schettino has racked up assists throughout his career. He set Staten Island’s single-season record with 228 as a sophomore.
“I’m always looking to pass first,” Schettino said.
This year, Schettino has also recorded two triple-doubles. The first came in Staten Island’s 99-72 win at Medgar Evers on Jan. 6. Schettino had 18 points, 17 assists (a school single-game record), and 12 rebounds. The second came in the Dolphins’ 84-67 win at John Jay on Jan. 18. Schettino finished with 17 points, 14 rebounds, and 13 assists.
“There was more flow in the offense” in those games than there was at City, Petosa said. “He got the ball to people.”
Staten Island last went undefeated in conference play in the 2013-14 season. Its last CUNYAC championship and NCAA tournament bid came in the 2012-13 campaign. With Schettino at the helm, the Dolphins could have similar success this season.
“If we’re going to win anything this year, it’s going to be because Frankie helps us and makes everybody else better,” Petosa said. “Unless he forces me to take him out of the game.”
Montclair State junior Kate Tobie is another point guard who can distribute and score. She had two double-doubles last week—12 points and 10 assists in Montclair State’s Jan. 18 win over Kean, and then 18 points and 11 assists in the Red Hawks’ Jan. 21 win over Rutgers-Newark. She also had 12 points and 11 assists on Jan. 11 against Rutgers-Camden.
“For her to pass the ball the way she wants to, she needs to score,” head coach Karin Harvey said. “There were times last year where people would play off of her, and then she couldn’t do what she wanted to do.”
Tobie worked on her offense in the offseason, Harvey said. She is scoring a career-high 9.1 points per game this year after averaging just 4.8 as a freshman and 5.4 as a sophomore. Her 18 points against Rutgers-Newark was a career high.
At 5’11”, Tobie is usually a few inches taller than the player defending her. Her height allows her to post up at times. “In certain situations, I definitely try and take advantage of the significant size difference,” she said.
Tobie is also a threat from beyond the arc. Her three-point shooting percentage is way up, from .136 as a freshman and .186 as a sophomore to .353 this season. She has made 12 three-pointers, one more than what she made in her first two seasons combined.