Travis Saltus was one of 37 first-year students in Arcadia’s athletic conference to contend for Rookie of the Year. Only five of those athletes were nominated for the award. After being named MAC Rookie of the Year, Saltus has joined an elite group of Arcadia University athletes recognized for outstanding performance as a first-year student.
Saltus’ success started with Teaneck High School’s rigorous and nationally recognized basketball program. Representing one of the most competitive schools in the country for basketball prepared Saltus for the commitment of collegiate athletics.
“While working two summer camps, I saw what his capabilities could bring to our program,” said Assistant Coach for Men’s Basketball Justin Scott. “We’ve put a lot of effort into recruitment to make sure our teams are stronger each year.”
Saltus is proof of those efforts at work. In his rookie year, Saltus averaged 8.4 points a game and shot better than 44% from the floor. He also led the team as high scorer in seven games, netting a career high of 19 points against Rosemont College. The Knights won that game 70-58.
Showcasing his commitment to the team’s success, Saltus also led the Knights with 63 assists. His leadership is reflected in the team’s increased shooting percentages and offensive drives.
Anticipating a bright future for the team and Saltus, Head Coach Pat Dorney reflected on the coaches’ early faith in the Rookie of the Year. “We put the ball in Travis’ hands on October 15 knowing he could handle the pressure that comes with the point guard position.”
Scott added, “Travis had come a long way in such a short time. He has transformed from a barely recruited high school senior into the Rookie of the Year in the very competitive MAC- Commonwealth Conference.”
Arcadia University’s Basketball Coaches unanimously agreed that Saltus outperformed their expectations for him as a first year student and are excited to have such a talented athlete compete for the Knights.
“Travis does not even realize his potential,” adds coach Dorney, “but our staff certainly does.”
Scott seconded, “I look forward to seeing his continued drive to become the best player he can be as he leads our team into a new era.”
Though the Athletic Department credits much of Saltus’ success to his prior experience in a competitive program, Saltus appreciates the time and energy his coaching staff devoted towards his growth. “They pushed me,” said Saltus about the coaching staff. “They knew my potential and they saw things I needed to improve on and guided me during practices.”
Saltus continued, “I learned a lot this year thanks to Coach Dorney and Coach Scott and the entire coaching staff. My teammates were a constant source of support in how they encouraged me, especially our veteran players for giving me knowledge, both about our conference and the college-game, and for pushing me when necessary.”
“This award is a tribute to not only my hard work but to my coaches and teammates,” added Saltus.
Already preparing for next season’s contests, Saltus plans to shine through the conference again. “I want to be Player of the Year, and I want our team to make it to playoffs and win the division,” he said.
“There is a lot to admire about Travis,” said Arcadia President Carl (Tobey) Oxholm III. “He is very fast, has a great personality, did well in class, and is committed to doing his best at whatever he does. But better than the number of points he scored or minutes he played was the fact that he led our team in assists. Teamwork is what it’s all about, on the court and in life, and next year, we will have a team full of excellence. Watch out, MAC!”