2012-13 Junior College Basketball Preview: Mix of returning talent and intriguing recruits should have Kalamazoo Valley primed for turnaround
October 31, 2012 in JUCO
It’s hard to believe, but college basketball season is here. This week, we’ll preview Michigan’s 19 junior college teams.
At a glance
- Coach: Matt Dennis, second season
- Last year: 8-21, 3-13 MCCAA
- Conference: Michigan Community College Athletic Association (MCCAA)
- Key losses: Courtney Hill, Chris Riley
- Key additions: (freshmen) Ray Ryan, Keegan Lablance, Tyler Oliver, Justin Debruyne, Jonathan Trimble, Allie Buchanan, Nate Casanto, Jevonte Hughes, Skylar Cornstalk, Stormy Johnson; (sophomores) Quay Wilson, LeDale Griffin
- Team website
- Kalamazoo Valley C.C. news on BallinMichigan
With a strong group of returning players and an impressive recruiting class, Kalamazoo Valley is a good bet to be one of the most improved teams in the state this season.
Kalamazoo Valley took its lumps last season, but a group of returning players led by Daequan Mitchell-Fields (led team in scoring at 14.8 points per game last season) should provide both production and leadership that will be supplemented by a talented recruiting class.
Also back are De’Tavia Moore (11 points per game), Ian Zawacki and Chris Ray. The lineup will also be enhanced by the transfer of Wilson, who played his freshman season at Lake Superior State, and Griffin, who also has previous college experience.
Two of KVCC’s three wins last season came against Kellogg, who secured the final spot in the west district playoff last season. KVCC has a good shot at closing that gap even more and moving into the districts this season.
Kalamazoo Valley was occasionally competitive against good teams last season, losing by just two to Henry Ford and losing in single digits to Ancila and Muskegon. The team also had some bad losses, however. The Cougars finished just a game out of tying Kellogg for the final spot in the district playoffs, but had losses to Lake Michigan and Alpena that cost them a chance to extend their season. Avoiding letdown performances will be a big step for KVCC if the team is going to improve this season.
Circle these dates …
- Jan. 7 and Feb. 4 — Kellogg, another team that should be improved, gets a chance at revenge for KVCC’s season sweep last season.
- Jan. 23 and Feb. 20 — Kalamazoo Valley should see how much it has improved in two games against perenial MCCAA power Lansing.
After winning just eight games last season, KVCC might not quite double that win total, but threatening the .500 mark should not be out of the question considering what the team has coming back.
- Alpena needs to replace talented foursome from last season
- Sophomore Larry Taylor leads an improving Jackson C.C. program into season
- Delta loses All-American Jody Hill in quest for third straight district final four
- Kellogg’s Darius Holman among state’s top returning players
- Wayne County returns two big-time scorers
- New coach hoping to lead Lake Michigan to more success