FLINT, Michigan — Clearly Mott head coach Steve Schmidt has no interest in changing the way he runs his program. Despite not dressing two starters for violation of a team rule, Mott ran roughshod over Henry Ford on Saturday afternoon, 97-62.
“I subscribe to the theory that it’s easy to be average, but it takes hard work to be elite,” said Schmidt, whose team has an anything-but-average 17-4 record this season. “I tell that to my players all the time. For us to have a chance to defend any of our championships from last season, we’re going to have to all work harder. We’re not going to accept being average.”
Average at Mott, one of the nation’s most successful junior college programs, connotes something altogether different.
On Saturday, the Bears played 33 minutes of the best basketball they’ve played all season. The team had a lull in the first half when sophomore guard Malik Albert looked human. The rest of the game, Albert and company were unstoppable.
Mott had four players in double figures including a monster game from Albert, who scored 39 points with five rebounds, four assists and four steals. Sophomore Jamal Reynolds poured in 17 points with 14 rebounds. Ruston Hayward and Lorenzo Collier, both freshmen, added 13 points apiece.
Collier had the play of the game in the second half with a two-handed dunk in traffic (and the foul). He and sophomore Chester McFadden started in place of sophomore Myles Busby and freshman Marcus Johnson who, as mentioned above, did not dress. McFadden left the game early, however, with what appeared to be an ankle injury.
Had it not been for Collier’s dunk, the play of the game would have gone to freshman guard Chase Krager. The walk-on pinned a shot on the glass in the first half and put another against the wall in the second. It was the best all-around performance of the season for the 5-10 Krager (a baseball player by trade).
Marcus Williams led Henry Ford (8-11) with 25 points. The 6-6 sophomore played a hell of a game, but didn’t have much help.
Mott will return to action at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday on the road against Macomb. Mott doubled up the Monarchs in their first meeting back on January 8.