|East Mississippi CC men's basketball team ranked seventh in NJCAA Preseason Top 20 national poll|
SCOOBA – On the strength of back-to-back national tournament appearances, the East Mississippi Community College men’s basketball team has earned a No. 7 ranking in the 2011-12 NJCAA Preseason Top 20 national poll, as announced Thursday by the NJCAA office headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colo.
EMCC is the lone Mississippi-based school listed among the NJCAA’s Preseason Top 20. Defending national champion College of Southern Idaho tops the preseason poll, followed by Monroe College, Midland College, Palm Beach State College, Coffeyville Community College, and Trinity Valley CC. The remaining preseason Top 10 teams are No. 8 Howard College, Indian Hills CC-Ottumwa at No. 9, and 10th-ranked Three Rivers CC.
Fifth-year EMCC men’s basketball coach Mark White returns six lettermen, including a pair of starters, from last year’s 25-5 team that posted a perfect 12-0 league record en route to claiming a second straight MACJC North Division regular-season title and a repeat appearance in the NJCAA Men’s Basketball National Tournament played in Hutchinson, Kan. Back-to-back champions of the NJCAA’s Region 23 Tournament, the Lions have also been awarded season-ending No. 12 national rankings in the NJCAA poll each of the past two years.
“This preseason recognition really gives us a lot of pride from the players’ and coaches’ perspective because of how hard everyone has worked to earn this national respect,” said White, who earned NJCAA Region 23, MACJC, and Mississippi Association of Coaches (MAC) Coach of the Year honors a year ago. “We also remain very appreciative of the continued backing we receive from our administration here at East Mississippi Community College as well as for the support we receive from our faculty and alumni.”
Expected to lead a talented group of returning players will be the inside-outside tandem of post player Millaun Brown and playmaker D.J. Evans. Brown, a southpaw from West Bolivar High School, averaged 6.2 points and 7.5 rebounds as a 30-game freshman starter for EMCC. Evans, from Brandon High School, also made an immediate impact as a collegiate rookie, averaging 13.1 points and a team-high 4.1 assists per contest a year ago as a 27-game starter for the Lions.
Other EMCC returnees for White and assistant coach Billy Begley include Deon Bedford, of West Oktibbeha County High School, West Point’s Curtis Hall, Tradarrius McPhearson, of Raymond High School, and Yazoo County’s Dione Milsap.
Rated 12th nationally this preseason by The Sporting News’ 2011-12 College Basketball Yearbook, this year’s East Mississippi squad figures to also receive instant contributions from a trio of out-of-state prospects. Leading the way will be 6-foot-8, 225-pound forward Colin Borchert, who averaged 16.4 points and 6.2 rebounds per game as an all-league performer two years ago at Yavapai College in Arizona. The Lions look to also benefit immediately from the addition of left-handed playmaker Jalen Houston, of Tuscaloosa’s Hillcrest High School, and swing player Micah Walker from Jonesboro, Ark.
After a successful preseason jamboree performance two weeks ago in Columbus, Ga., the EMCC Lions head to Atlanta to compete in the Kenn Littlefield Hoops Jamboree this Saturday. The two-time reigning regional and divisional champions will tip off the 2011-12 regular season by playing host to Southern Sports Academy on Wednesday, Nov. 2, at Keyes T. Currie Coliseum on the Scooba campus.
|Last Updated ( Thursday, 20 October 2011 )|
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