Rochester RazorSharks |
|Based in||Rochester, New York|
|Arena||Blue Cross Arena|
|Colors||Gray, Blue, & Black|
|Owner||Dr. Sev Hrywnak|
|Head coach||Clay Pittinaro|
|Championships||8 (2006 ABA, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 PBL)|
|Division titles||9 (2006 ABA Blue, 2008, 2009, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 PBL East Division)|
The Rochester RazorSharks are a professional basketball team based in Rochester, New York. They are members of TBL and play their home games at the Blue Cross Arena in downtown Rochester. The RazorSharks were founded in 2005 as a member of the American Basketball Association. They remained in the ABA until 2007, leaving the league to become founding members of the PBL. The RazorSharks have won eight championships to date – the 2006 ABA championship and PBL titles in 2008, 2009, 2011, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017.
The Rochester RazorSharks were founded in 2005 as an American Basketball Association expansion team. The RazorSharks had much success during their first season, as they finished their inaugural regular season at 26–4, ranked #1 in the ABA Pit Bull Power Rankings, and were named as one of ProBasketBallNews.com's Top 10 Minor League teams. They also led the ABA in attendance. Their regular season high was 6,192 against Indiana. Due to their success at the gate, Rochester hosted the 2006 ABA Great Eight Tournament. On March 26, the RazorSharks won the ABA championship, defeating the SoCal Legends 117–114 in front of a then franchise record crowd of 6,377.
The RazorSharks won a league title in their first season, which continued a Rochester basketball tradition: a league title in a team's first season. The Rochester Royals won the 1950–51 National Basketball Association championship and the Rochester Zeniths captured the 1978–79 Continental Basketball Association title.
During the team's first off-season, the RazorSharks re-signed head coach Rod Baker. The deal was a two-year contract, keeping the 2005–06 ABA Coach of the Year in Rochester until the end of the 2007–2008 season. Despite the loss of 2006 ABA MVP Chris Carrawell, the RazorSharks reloaded by signing key players such as C/F Mike Mackell and including the mid-season pickup of G/F Ricky Price.
The team opened the season with two wins on the road, returning to Rochester for their 2006 home opener on November 16, a 107–93 win over the rival Buffalo Silverbacks. Two days later on November 18, ABA Commissioner John Salley presented the players and staff with their championship rings, and helped hoist the 2005–06 ABA Championship banner to the rafters of the Blue Cross Arena. A 124–114 win over the Maryland Nighthawks followed the ceremony.
On December 28, the RazorSharks beat the Cape Cod Frenzy 92–88. The win was the franchise's 24th consecutive home victory, eclipsing the local pro basketball record set by the 1949–50 Rochester Royals and the 1978–79 Rochester Zeniths. The announced attendance of 7,858 was not only a franchise high, but a local high for a pro basketball game. The RazorSharks finished the regular season with an 18–0 home record, extending their home win streak to 35 consecutive wins in the process. It had been over a year since the franchise's last home loss. The Niagara DareDevils had beaten Rochester on November 24, 2005.
On March 22, the RazorSharks announced they were leaving the ABA to help form the new Premier Basketball League.
The team's first year in the PBL was very successful, finishing with an 18–2 record and the top seed in the league playoffs. Following first and second-round byes, they defeated the Reading Railers 100–76 for a berth in the championship game. Rochester's success came despite a large turnover of players, as there were only four holdovers from the 2007 team (James Reaves, John Halas, Demond Stewart, and Keith Friel).
On March 30, the RazorSharks won the PBL's inaugural championship, defeating the Arkansas Impact 142–112. Another notable incident in the title game was forward Sammy Monroe grabbing the rim for a rebound and shattering the backboard in the process. The glass shrapnel injured teammate James "Mook" Reaves and delayed the game for 45 minutes while the backboard was replaced and medical staff tended to Reaves' injuries. For the championship game Rochester had a record crowd with 9,717 in attendance, a record which still stands today.
Reaves, Friel and Jerice Crouch returned to the Sharks in 2009, along with role players Ron Rollerson and Steve Hailey. Chris Iversen was promoted from the front office to assistant coach during the off-season.
The team struggled early, losing three of their first four games. On January 19, the Vermont Frost Heaves ended Rochester's 48-game home winning streak. However, the RazorSharks won all 15 remaining regular-season games to finish the regular season 17–3, winning the league's Eastern Division and the second seed in the PBL playoffs. The PBL semifinals pitted the RazorSharks against the third-seeded Manchester Millrats. The teams split the first two games of the best-of-three series, the visitor winning each game. Back at the BCA, the Sharks won Game 3 110–103 to advance to the PBL championship series.
Due to arena difficulties in Battle Creek, the PBL announced that the planned three-game series would instead be a single game held on April 19 in Rochester. The RazorSharks won the game easily 152–115. Sammy Monroe shattered the backboard again delaying the games for 45 minutes in the first quarter.
After starting the season 2–6, the RazorSharks finished the season 12–8, good for a third-place finish in the league. Rochester defeated Quebec and Lawton-Fort Sill in three-game series for the franchise's fourth title in six seasons.
In 2013–14 the RazorSharks would win their first PBL championship title in three years after finishing 17–1 during the regular season and defeating the Indianapolis Diesels two games to one. Jerice Crouch would be named the Playoff MVP.
In a strong effort to win their first set of back-to-back titles since 2008 and 2009, the RazorSharks added new head coach, former scout of the Cleveland Cavaliers and 2010–'11 PBL Coach of the Year, Robert Spon. Also Chris Iversen, who has been with the RazorSharks every year since inception, minus the 2013–14 season will be returning as an assistant coach. The RazorSharks would go on to complete the perfect season after going undefeated (15–0) in the regular season and sweep the Lake Michigan Admirals in a close series to win the league's 2015 PBL Championship. This would mark the team's fifth Premier Basketball League title and sixth overall in history.
In 2016, Rochester was able to turn around a disappointing 2–2 start by promoting long time assistant, Chris Iversen to the Head Coaching position. Iversen went undefeated for the remainder of the season, winning 16 straight regular season games, plus three postseason matchups, finishing with a sweep of the Lake Michigan Admirals in the best of three PBL Championship Series. The 2016 title was the 3rd straight PBL Championship for the RazorSharks, and their 7th total in team history.
|Rochester Razorsharks roster|
Updated: March 3, 2018
The RazorSharks have made the championship series every year of their existence besides (2007). They boast a record of 7–3 in the championship.
|Year||W-L||Season Finish||Playoff Finish||AVG. Attendance|
|2005–06||26–4||1st ABA Blue||ABA Champions||3,241|
|2006–07||24–6||2nd ABA North||withdrew||4,177|
|2007–08||18–2||1st PBL East||PBL Champions||3,383|
|2008–09||17–3||1st PBL East||PBL Champions||4,044|
|2010–11||12–8||3rd PBL||PBL Champions||5,592|
|2011–12||17–2||1st PBL East||Runner-up||4,717|
|2013–14||17–1||1st PBL East||PBL Champions||n/a|
|2014–15||15–0||1st PBL||PBL Champions||n/a|
|2015–16||18–2||1st PBL Northeast||PBL Champions||n/a|
|2016–17||12–2||1st PBL||PBL Champions||n/a|
|3||Lazarus Sims||G||2005–07||January 24, 2008|
|13||Keith Friel||G||2005–13||April 10, 2016|
Head Coach: Cliff Levingston Assistant Coach: Chris Iversen
|34||7'0||Brian Barkdoll||2012||NW Nazarene|
|25||6'10||Jessan Gray||2012||Iowa St.|
|20||6'6||James Helton||2012||WV State|
|35||6'8||James "Mook" Reaves||2005||Niagara|
|11||6'4||Melvin Council||2008||Robert Morris|
|20||6'4||Reggie Stallings||2013||Central Missouri|
|35||6'7||Darren Moore||2013||Cardinal Stritch|
|40||6'7||Aaron Williams||2010||West Chester|
|55||6'10||Ayodele Coker||2013||St. John's|
Note: Statistics are correct through the end of the 2015 season.
|1||Rod Baker||2005–2012||159||130||29||.818||25||18||7||.720||4 Championships, Three time Coach of the Year|
|3||Lawrence Moten||2014||18||17||1||.944||3||2||1||.667||1 Championship|
|4||Robert Spon||2015||15||15||0||1.000||2||2||0||1.000||1 Championship, Coach of the Year|
|5||Chris Daleo||2016||4||2||2||.500||0||0||0||N/A||Fired Mid-season|
|6||Chris Iversen||2016–present||34||32||2||.941||7||6||1||.856||2 Championships, Coach of the Year|
- George, Rachel (2007-03-24), Sea Dawgs are unlikely hosts, Wilmington Star News, retrieved 2009-12-17