“It was really tough,” said Karalis, a management engineering major who helped WPI go 26-3 and reach the second round of the NCAA tourney. “They are a lot faster and a lot bigger.”
The high point of his and WPI’s season was his buzzer-beating offensive rebound bucket to beat Babson 66-64 in the NEWMAC tourney semifinals.
“All I did was crash the boards,” he explained. “The ball just came into my hands. It was a reverse lefty lay-up. It was pretty nice.”
Bartley said, “We refer to him as ‘Big Shot Zach’ because he thrives in big moments and made some huge shots for us in the clutch last year.”
It would have been easy for Karalis to rest on his laurels, but both he and Bartley have set the bar high.
“I’ve really been pushing him to elevate his game in all areas,” said the 13th-year WPI coach. “Zach kind of has a quiet and steady demeanor but when the lights are brightest his game becomes loud.”
Follow Michael Muldoon on Twitter under the screen name @MullyET.