2012-13 Junior College Basketball Preview: Mott is re-loaded with talent, but can the Bears repeat as National Champs?
November 7, 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: Steve Schmidt, 22nd season
- Last year: 35-1, 17-1 MCCAA, NJCAA Champions
- Conference: Michigan Community College Athletic Association
- Key losses: John Taylor, Walter Davis, Ralph Eason, Darryl Marshall, Jacob Perry
- Key additions: (freshmen) Malik Albert, Coreontae DeBerry, Devin Foster, Ahasuerus McDonald, Myles Busby, Chester McFadden, Trevon Banks; (sophomore) Fred Mattison
- Team website
- Mott C.C. news on BallinMichigan
In 2011, Mott was faced with replacing nearly an entire roster from a team that was a national runner-up. That replaced roster went 35-1 and won a national title in 2012. Now the Bears will once again have to replace all of their key players and hope for no drop-off.
Last season, Mott was one of the smallest teams in Michigan, but their superior speed and depth wore opponents out. This season, they’ll still have a deep bench, but their strength will be how big they are inside.
Fred Mattison, a transfer from South Carolina, and DeBerry, who originally committed to the University of Detroit, give the Bears a huge interior presence, a big of a change for a Mott program that has been known for guard play in recent years.
That size also extends to the perimeter. Albert, Busby, Foster, Banks and Chavis Mattison are all wing players who are 6-foot-5 or taller. Point guard McDonald is only 6-foot-1, but he also should be one of the stronger, more physical guards in the state.
Although Mott returns none of their statistical leaders from last season, they do bring back championship experience in Chavis Mattison, Shaquille Smith, Kortez Ross and Kory Billups. Billups started on last year’s team and Smith and Ross both saw significant minutes off the bench.
Mott not only lost Taylor, the National Player of the Year who is now at Fresno Pacific, and starters Marshall (now at Mississippi Valley State) and Davis (now at Florida A & M), who were all sophomores, the team also lost standout freshmen Eason and Perry, who Schmidt chose not to bring back. Eason is now at Cleveland State Community College and Perry is playing at Shelton State Community College in Alabama.
Expect Mott, as usual, to still work about 10 players into the rotation. With the length the Bears have on the perimeter, they’ll still create turnovers and be bothersome in passing lanes. But the added element of having big men who will likely excel more in a halfcourt offense than a fast, open-court game will certainly be an adjustment this season.
Circle these dates …
- Dec. 12 — Lansing and Mott have an East-West rivalry that dates back several years. After Mott posted two blowout wins over Lansing last season, including in the state championship game, look for Lansing to be seeking revenge.
- Jan. 7 and Feb. 4 — Henry Ford is the only team that can claim a victory over Mott last season. The games this season should be competitive again, as they always are.
Retooling while remaining elite is nothing new for Mott, so don’t expect much dropoff from last season. But winning the MCCAA East again might prove tougher than the actual national tournament as several teams in Michigan — as Grand Rapids proved in Mott’s close win in the opener — are formidable this season.
- 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
- Mix of new and old talent should help Kalamazoo Valley improve
- Schoolcraft has to replace four key players, including star Karl Moore
- Large group of transfers should offset Glen Oaks’ loss of Karvel Anderson
- Henry Ford looking to replace Eastern Michigan-bound James Still
- Patrick Ferrell will anchor solid Macomb lineup
- Muskegon has to replace nearly entire team from last season
- Mid-Michigan C.C. features team of all freshmen
- Kirtland has to replace John Edwards, Stavros Schizas
- St. Clair returns top scorer Johnnie Mills
- Talented freshman class should keep GRCC in contention
- Oakland’s Aaron Hayes among state’s top returning players
- George Goodman among talented group of transfers for Lansing