|EMCC Lions send eight sophomore hoopsters from national tournament team to four-year level|
If that’s the case, the East Mississippi Community College men’s basketball program stands proudly as a resounding success. SCOOBA – A sign of any successful collegiate athletics program is sending players onto the next level.
All eight of head coach Mark White’s sophomore players from last year’s NJCAA National Tournament squad are headed to four-year institutions to continue their respective academic and basketball careers. Included in that talented eight-man group are four players who have signed national letters of intent with NCAA Division I programs.
“Sending all eight of our sophomores on to continue their education and basketball careers is the ultimate goal,” said White, who has guided the EMCC Lions to composite records of 75-18 (.806) overall and 33-3 (.917) in division play over the past three seasons. “Credit goes to these young student-athletes who have given their heart and soul to East Mississippi Community College. It also shows the tremendous amount of respect our program receives throughout the country.”
Most notably, 6-foot-8, 225-pound forward Colin Borchert, by way of Phoenix, Ariz., will move 60 miles north from Scooba to Starkville to join newly hired head basketball coach Rick Ray at Mississippi State University. As a third-team NJCAA All-American, Borchert averaged 15.5 points and a team-leading 7.7 rebounds per game in helping lead the 23-6 EMCC Lions to the NJCAA Division I Men’s Basketball National Championship in Hutchinson, Kan., for the third straight year.
Fellow NJCAA All-American D.J. Evans, a former All-Metro Jackson playmaker from Brandon High School, will have the farthest to travel as he heads to the University of Albany in New York. The UAlbany Great Danes, coached by Will Brown, are members of the America East Conference. A two-year starter in the EMCC backcourt, Evans averaged 15.5 points, 4.1 assists, 3.2 rebounds and 1.7 steals an outing this past season as a second-team All-America selection.
Also rewarded with NCAA Division I scholarships were post player Millaun Brown and versatile guard Tradarrius McPhearson. Brown, from West Bolivar High School, recently signed with the Warhawks of the University of Louisiana at Monroe, guided by head coach Keith Richard and members of the Sun Belt Conference. At 6-foot-6 and 215 pounds, Brown started all 59 games of his EMCC career, averaging 6.6 points and 6.1 rebounds per contest while shooting 60 percent from the field as a sophomore.
Emerging as a starter this past year, McPhearson inked with head coach Mark Slessinger’s Privateers of the University of New Orleans, who will again compete as an NCAA Division I Independent program in 2012-13. Having prepped at Raymond High School, McPhearson averaged 8.3 points, 3.6 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.6 steals per game as a sophomore starter for the EMCC Lions.
A trio of EMCC teammates from the past two years will jointly transfer to NAIA member Belhaven University in Jackson, as Deon Bedford, Curtis Hall and Dione Milsap are slated to join head coach Tom Kelsey’s Blazers for the 2012-13 hoops campaign. Bedford, a former West Oktibbeha County High School standout, actually was affiliated with EMCC’s basketball program for all three of the Lions’ successive NJCAA Tournament appearances as well as their back-to-back-to-back NJCAA Region 23 Tournament titles and MACJC North Division regular-season crowns after having sat out the 2009-10 season in Scooba. The 6-foot-5, 180-pound swing player averaged 8.0 points and 5.3 rebounds an outing as a sophomore.
Hall, who originally arrived on the Scooba campus from West Point High School to play football, averaged 6.7 points and 5.7 rebounds for the Lions this past season. The athletic 6-foot-2, 185-pound forward also rated as one of the Lions’ top defensive performers throughout his EMCC career.
Completing the EMCC triumvirate heading to Belhaven, Milsap served as a valuable role player in the Lions’ backcourt for two seasons after competing at Yazoo County High School. The sharp-shooting guard most recently averaged 5.0 points a game as a 42-percent three-point shooter for the Lions in 2011-12.
Transfer forward Lakin Ford rounds out EMCC’s eight-member sophomore class moving onto the next level, as the former West Point High School product is slated to continue his education at NCAA Division III member Mississippi College in Clinton and play for head coach Don Lofton’s MC Choctaws. Ford, who played his freshman season at Meridian Community College, contributed 4.1 points and 2.6 rebounds per contest as a valuable reserve for the Lions this past season.
|Last Updated ( Monday, 07 May 2012 )|
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