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Mott sophomore Diandre Wilson led the Bears with 26 points against Macomb on Saturday (Feb. 25)

Mott head coach Steve Schmidt confirmed what many fans already knew Saturday afternoon after his team’s 83-79 loss to Macomb.

“We’ll probably see this team again,” said Steve Schmidt, among the winningest coaches in JUCO basketball history.

Schmidt has made a career out of avenging regular season losses in the playoffs.

The Monarchs and the Bears, ranked 12 and 13 respectively in the most recent NJCAA poll, comprise two-thirds of the Big Three in the MCCAA’s Eastern Conference — Schoolcraft rounds out of the trio. For the MCCAA Eastern Conference to have three legitimate national championship contenders is unprecedented.

The Bears (21-6) will take on Alpena on the road Monday night before wrapping up the regular season on Wednesday night at home versus Wayne County. That game could decide third place in the conference. If the Bears get the third seed, they would play the sixth seed in the first round of the District 10 tournament March 7 at home.

Schmidt has foreshadowed postseason success for this squad all season long, and he did it again even in defeat Saturday afternoon. Schmidt told MRSN radio that he is not discouraged about the team and their prospects for the near future.

“I still feel like we have a lot left in  us,” Schmidt said. “That was one hell of a college basketball game.”

That was an understatement.

Mott trailed by nine at the half and by as many as 12 early in the second half before a furious comeback. Led by Marcus Cole, Diandre Wilson and Shawn Pardee, the Bears sprinted out on a 20-5 run punctuated by a Cole dunk that put Mott up one midway through the second half.

The Monarchs (22-4) led by freshman Dwight Burton responded with a 9-2 run of their own. The Bears, with their best forward Robert McCalley on the bench with four fouls, couldn’t get the stops they needed down the stretch. McCalley ultimately fouled out with less than five minutes left in the game.

Freshman point guard Darwin Weis cut the Macomb lead to one with under three minutes to play before Macomb’s Antonio Capaldi responded immediately with a triple to put the Monarchs back up four. Macomb made its free throws down the stretch to put the game away.

 

 

 

“We battled back; we made a few mistakes but our guys hung tough,” Schmidt said. “They are in first place for a reason. Really Proud of the effort. I liked a lot of things.”

Mott split the season series. They beat the Monarchs 66-58 at home January 25.

Wilson, the Bears’ leading scoring, led Mott with 26 points. Cole poured in 18 points with eight rebounds. Freshman guard Austin Walker added 13 points off the bench.

Listen to Mott basketball all season long on MRSN.us.  

2017 NJCAA District 10 Men’s Basketball Tournament
March 7, 9, 11, 2017
St. Clair County CC, Port Huron, MI

Tuesday, March 7, 2017
Campus Sites, Higher Seed

Game 1 – Eastern Conference 6th Place vs. Eastern Conference 3rd Place, 7:00 or 7:30 PM
Game 2 – Eastern Conference 7th Place vs. Eastern Conference 2nd Place, 7:00 or 7:30 PM
Game 3 – Eastern Conference 5th Place vs. Eastern Conference 4th Place, 7:00 or 7:30 PM

Thursday, March 9, 2017
St. Clair County CC, Port Huron, MI

Game 4 – Winner of Game 1 vs. Winner of Game 2, 1:00 PM
Game 5 – Winner of Game 3 vs. Eastern Conference 1st Place, 3:00 PM

Saturday, March 10, 2017
St. Clair County CC, Port Huron, MI

Game 6 – Winner of Game 4 vs. Winner of Game 5, 1:00 PM

Winner advances to NJCAA Division II National Tournament in Danville, IL

FLINT, Michigan — No. 13-ranked Mott rode a spirited second half performance to knock off St. Clair Wednesday night in Flint, 86-68.

The Bears needed a strong performance heading in to Saturday’s road matchup against first-place Macomb County. That game will go a long way toward deciding who is crowned the MCCAA Eastern Conference champion.

The Bears’ looked lifeless in the first half against St. Clair, seemingly going through the motions against a completely outmanned Skippers squad. The Bears led by three at the half and strode meekly to the locker room. A little less than 15 minutes later, there was an entirely different team on the court.

Five minutes into the second half, the Bears led by 12 points after an 11-2 run. Mott was sparked by freshman sharpshooter Shawn Pardee and fellow freshman reserve forward Louis Taborn. Not only is Taborn one of the only players on the planet actually taller than his roster height (6-4), he’s also exactly the type of player this team has lacked for most of the season.

Taborn, who has played sparingly this season, brings another level of energy and effort on both ends of the floor. In limited minutes, he scored 12 points (season-high) and pulled down 10 rebounds.

Sophomore guard Deandre Wilson led Mott (21-5) with 20 points (including a dunk) and six assists. Pardee and Robert McCalley added 14 and 13 points, apiece. Freshman point guard Darwin Weis, who sets the bar for energy and effort in the backcourt, had seven points with six assists and six steals.

The Bears have a couple days to prepare for Macomb, a team that they beat by eight points at home a little more than three weeks ago. Listen live Saturday afternoon on MRSN.us. The game tips at 3 p.m.

No. 10-ranked Mott falls to no. 13 Schoolcraft,73-65

Posted: February 15, 2017 by Jared Field in Mott

The biggest game of the season didn’t go as planned for the no. 10-ranked Mott Community College Bears Wednesday night.

Mott lost its first home game of the season to no. 13-ranked Schoolcraft, 73-65. The Bears had been tied for second place with the Ocelots coming in to the game. After the loss, Mott will need some help to win the MCCAA’s Eastern Conference this season. Fortunately, the Bears still have another shot at Macomb, currently the top team in the MCCAA.

“Let’s give credit where it’s due; (Schoolcraft) deserved to win tonight,” Mott head coach Steve Schmidt told MRSN radio. “Every hustle play they seemed to get. But all you can do is keep plugging away.”

Mott has a great chance to run the table in the final five games of the regular season. It would be hard to envision any other road to the conference title.

The Bears trailed by 11 at the half, and by as many as 16 in the second half, before cutting the lead to nine with 10 minutes left in regulation. Four minutes later, a basket by Schoolcraft’s Tariiq Jones gave the Ocelots a 15-point lead.

The Bears cut the lead to eight points late but couldn’t get any closer.

“We have to use this game in the right way; this loss is on all of us,” Schmidt said. “We have to take collective responsibility.”

Mott (19-5) was led by freshmen Shawn Pardee and Marcus Cole  who scored 16 points apiece. Sophomore Diandre Wilson added 13 points.

The Bears return to action Saturday afternoon at Delta. The game tips at 3 p.m.

Listen to Mott basketball all season at MRSN.us.

 

 

Mott’s Diandre Wilson enters 1,000-point club

Posted: February 15, 2017 by Jared Field in High School

 

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Mott sophomore Diandre Wilson

It’s not easy to be a household name in the Schmidt House. For more than two decades, Mott has been a clearinghouse for high-level guards who always seem to find their way to the D-1 level.

Enter sophomore Diandre Wilson.

The 6-2 combo guard from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, is among the top JUCO guards in the country this season. Wilson has scored 30-plus points four times this season including a 37-point outburst against rival Oakland.

He is averaging 22 points per game with four assists. His season average is the second-most for any player in the Schmidt era (John Taylor, 24.9). It’s more than big-time players like Ohio State guard Jeremie Simmons, Alonzo Evans (Cincinnati) and Rashi Johnson (MSU).

Wilson is the real deal.

With plenty of basketball left to be played, he has already etched his name into the history books as one of the top scorers in program history.

Heading into Mott’s clash with Schoolcraft on Wednesday night, Wilson has 1,067 points in his career, good enough for third-most in the Steve Schmidt era (he passed former National Player of the Year Jay Youngblood last month).

With a little luck and a lot of stellar play, Wilson has an outside shot at reeling in former Mott great Malik Albert (Creighton), who scored 1,252 points in his career. (Simmons is the all-time leading scorer with 1,349 points.)

Wilson has earned a reputation for doing what he calls “making something out of nothing.” He has shown an ability to score on and off the ball, to create for himself and his teammates.  He’s about as steady a player as we’ve seen at Mott; he’s calm, calculating and creative.

Wilson’s coach shrugs off comparisons between his current and former players, preferring to highlight their uniqueness as individuals.

“Diandre has the ability to make plays … he’s deceptively athletic, although he’s not going to blow you away with his athleticism,” said Mott’s hall of fame head coach Steve Schmidt. “He has a very high basketball IQ, is mentally tough and extremely confident.”

Schmidt said Wilson’s final chapter at Mott is far from being written. He has an opportunity to lead his team in the same way many of the great guards in the past have – through the postseason.

Wilson, for his part, sees a big difference in his play from last season that could be crucial for his team down the stretch.

“The things that have really changed about me as a player is making the right play at the right time,” he said. “Making sure I’m making the game easy for myself and teammates. Also being a leader at all times on and off the court.”

Schmidt acknowledges as much, first noting Wilson’s improvements off the court and their effect on his performances on it.

“He’s really matured and taken on a leadership role as well as taken ownership in the program,” Schmidt said. “As a freshman, he was our top player on an average team that didn’t work as hard as it takes on and off the court to be successful. There’s a reason why we only brought Diandre and Sean Corcoran back from last season. Diandre put a lot of extra time in after his freshman season. He stayed here in the spring to take classes and we worked diligently on his game. He matured and become more comfortable with our program.”

Mott fans are just as comfortable with Wilson leading the upstart Bears this season. With a 19-4 record, the Bears are on pace for their best season since 2013.

The dream for Wilson is a national championship run and an opportunity to play at the next level, one that many before him have seen through.

“I think he will have a smooth transition to the next level because of his understanding of the game, and his ability to make plays,” Schmidt said. “He’s also done a great job of putting himself in position to graduate.  There are a lot of great players who lose sight of the academic piece and end up scrambling.”

Schmidt says there are a number of solid D-1 programs who know his name and are currently recruiting him.

“They also know what to expect when they recruit a player from Mott,” he added.  “We just need to focus on taking care of business down the stretch and the other things will take care of themselves. There is no doubt in my mind that he will be successful.”

 

Mott improves to 19-4 with road win over Henry Ford, 84-73

Posted: February 8, 2017 by Jared Field in College, Mott

Mott Community College has one week to prepare for its biggest game of the season next Wednesday night at home versus Schoolcraft.

The Bears dispatched Henry Ford 84-73 on Wednesday night in Dearborn thanks to a pair of timely offensive outbursts against the Hawks.

Henry Ford is not a team to be taken lightly. The Hawks, a longtime rival of the Bears, have wins over Oakland and Schoolcraft this season. Mott struggled to put Henry Ford away in the second half.  The Hawks have been notoriously tough at home for many years.

Mott head coach Steve Schmidt was not discouraged by his team’s play defensively, and seemed pretty impressed by some of the shots that were falling for the opposition.

“Everything for us starts with Darwin Weis defensively,” Schmidt told MRSN Radio after the game. “He brings a lot of energy to the game … but they hit some tough shots … (Henry Ford) is a good team. They’re going to knock off some teams in front of them before the season is over.”

Mott (19-4) trailed in the first half before cutting loose on a 20-4 run to take a 14-point lead. Henry Ford responded with a 16-6 run of their own to cut the lead to six with four minutes left in regulation. From that point, it was all Bears.

Mott scored the game’s next eight points. Freshman sharpshooter Shawn Pardee buried a huge 3-pointer from the corner with three minutes left in the game to extend the lead to nine. Mott cruised to victory from the charity stripe and got out of Dearborn with an important victory.

The Bears are still very much in control of their own destiny in the MCCAA Eastern Conference.

Sophomore guard Diandre Wilson led the Bears with 20 points. Freshman Marcus Cole added 18.

Jerris Cargile had 24 points for Henry Ford (10-9).

Listen to Mott basketball live all season online at MRSN.us. Wednesday night’s big game against Schoolcraft tips at 7:30 p.m.

 

 

No. 7-ranked Mott blows out no. 12 Oakland, 96-80

Posted: February 4, 2017 by Jared Field in Mott

 

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Mott sophomore Diandre Wilson

The top JUCO guard in the state poured in 37 points to lead no. 7-ranked Mott over no. 12 Oakland on the road Saturday afternoon, 96-80.

Mott sophomore Diandre Wilson, fresh off being named the NJCAA player of the week, scored 25 points in the second half to turn a tight game into an easy victory. He added six assists and six rebounds.

The Bears led by four at the half and nursed a three point lead early in the second half before Wilson led the Bears on a 20-7 run. Back-to-back triples by Wilson put the Bears up 16 midway through the second half and they held serve for the rest of the game.

“It’s a hell of a win,” said Mott head coach Steve Schmidt to MRSN radio after the game.
“They’re a really good team and they’re awfully tough (at home)…this was a man’s game. We had some men step up today.”

The Bears desperately needed this win after letting one get away in the final seconds Wednesday night at Wayne County, 62-60.

“If we’d played like that the other night, we wouldn’t have lost,” Schmidt said. “I’m really happy with this win. We control our own destiny.”

Mott freshman Marcus Cole scored 18 points with six rebounds and a thunderous dunk. Freshmen Shawn Pardee and Sidney Mason added 14 and 10 points, respectively.

 

 

 

The Bears are now 7-2 in conference and 18-4 overall. That puts Mott in a tie for second place behind Macomb, which has a hellish schedule down the stretch of the season. The Monarchs only loss in conference came to Mott last month. The Bears will get another crack at Schoolcraft, currently tied with Mott in second place, at home on February 15.

The Bears have another tough game on the road Wednesday night against Henry Ford. The Hawks have played great of late including a win this week over Oakland (17-5).

Listen to Mott Bears basketball live all season online at MRSN.us.

 

Mott freshman Marcus Cole slams home two of his 17 points against Alpena (Gerry Leslie photo)

The Mott Community College Bears made quick work of Alpena on Saturday afternoon in Flint. The Bears’ top scorer, Diandre Wilson, could not miss from outside and led the Bears to an easy win, 85-52.

The Bears, winners of 13 of their last 14, entered the game tied for first in the MCCAA’s eastern conference with Macomb and Schoolcraft. After Saturday’s game between those two, Mott is now tied with only Macomb, a team they beat Wednesday night by eight.

Mott head coach Steve Schmidt said he had to work to keep his team focused for Saturday’s tilt, as Alpena (0-11) came into the game winless on the season. Alpena’s head coach, Frank McCourt, will retire after after the season, his 50th with the Lumberjacks.

“These are tough games to get ready for,” Schmidt told MRSN radio after the game. “To their credit, they’ve hung in there. Our league is good, so it’s tough.”

Mott (17-3) led the Lumberjacks by 21 at the half and by more than 30 for long stretches of the second half.

Wilson, a future division one guard, led all scorers with 31 points. Wilson had eight triples on 10 attempts. Freshman forward Marcus Cole added 17 points.

Schmidt said he continues to be impressed by the play of freshman point guard Darwin Weis, who came up huge for the Bears on Wednesday night versus Macomb.

“He’s still doing a good job running the team,” he said. “He’s defending well .. and anytime you hold a team to 52 points, you have a good chance of winning the game.”

Weis had nine points, seven assists and four steals. 

Schmidt’s Bears will have three consecutive road games coming up, including Wednesday night versus Wayne County, a gym that has not been friendly to the Bears in recent years.

“I think we’re a much better road team than we’ve been in the past few years,” Schmidt said. “I see this team getting better, I really do. We have a tough stretch, but I think this team is up to the challenge.”

Listen to Mott basketball all season at MRSN.us or through the Tune-in Radio app.

 

 

No. 8-ranked Mott knocks off Macomb, 66-58

Posted: January 25, 2017 by Jared Field in Mott

FLINT, Michigan — The Mott Community College Bears improved to 16-3 on the season after a  hard-fought 66-58 victory over Macomb Wednesday night in Flint.

The Monarchs, ranked no. 16 in the nation, were previously unbeaten in conference play.

The Bears led by nine points early the game before the Monarchs caught fire from behind the arc, rattling off 14 of the game’s next 20 points.

Macomb (15-3) led by one at the at the break before Mott finally got it going early in the second half. After an acrobatic and-one by freshman guard Shawn Pardee, Mott led the Monarchs by six midway through the half. The Monarchs clawed their way back and actually led by three with six minutes left.

From there it was all Mott. The Bears, sparked by freshman guard Darwin Weis, finished the game on a 13-2 run. Weis, a reserve point guard from Detroit, put the Bears up five with a clutch 3-pointer with 3:34 left in regulation. From that point, the Mott defense, again sparked by Weis, put the game away.

The Bears struggled mightily from the field all game, but managed to get to the rim with regularity. Mott forced Macomb into 20+ turnovers and cashed in from the foul line, hitting 23-of-34 free throws.

Mott sophomore Diandre Wilson led all scorers with 16 points and five assists. Shawn Pardee and Robert McCalley added 13 and 10 points, respectively.

Kavon Bey led Macomb with 11 points and eight rebounds.

The Bears have won three straight games and will add another one to the win column at 3 p.m.  Saturday at home versus Alpena. The Lumberjacks (0-10) are the worst team in the MCCAA this season.

Listen to Mott all season at MRSN.us. 

No. 12-ranked Mott knocks of Henry Ford in double OT thriller

Posted: January 7, 2017 by Jared Field in Mott

 

FLINT, Michigan — There was a very conspicuous absence on the floor at Steve Schmidt Gymnasium on Saturday afternoon in Flint. One of the top JUCO guards in the nation, Mott sophomore Diandre Wilson, was in uniform but he never stepped on the floor.

Even so, the shorthanded Bears pulled off a double overtime victory over Henry Ford, 93-90. The victory is Mott’s ninth in a row.

Wilson injured his hamstring in the second half of Mott’s win over Oakland on Wednesday night. He probably could have played in a pinch, but Mott head coach Steve Schmidt said he did not want to risk tweaking it again.

Ironically, it was a player little known to Mott fans who ultimately won the game for the Bears. Louis Taborn, a 6-4 reserve forward, had seen a precious little playing time this season through 14 games. In fact, he didn’t log a minute of action against Oakland Wednesday night. That is about to change drastically.

Every time the Bears needed a big play, he delivered against the Hawks. A clutch free throw? Check. A huge 3-pointer? Check. Take a charge? Sure. Offensive rebound? He got that, too.

Taborn is a hard-working hustler in the mold of former Bear Matt Place. He finished the game with six points, 12 rebounds (six on the offensive end) and a flair for the dramatic.

With Mott down two and just 37 seconds left, Taborn’s defender backed off leaving a wide open 3-pointer, which he buried to give the Bears the lead.

With Mott nursing a three-point lead, Taborn drew a charge with 26 seconds left in the first overtime.

With the Bears up 91-90, Henry Ford’s athletic freshman guard, JaShean Green, had a free throw to tie the game with eight seconds left in the second overtime. He missed and, you guessed it, Taborn came down with the rebound. He tossed it to Marcus Cole who was fouled. Cole made both free throws. A desperation 3-point attempt by the Hawks’ John Merrieweather was long. Taborn got that one, too.

Game over.

Lost in all the hoopla surrounding Taborn’s play off the bench was the performance of Mott sophomore Robert McCalley. The 6-4 forward from Chicago had his best game as a Bear, scoring 32 points on nine shot attempts with nine rebounds. That’s not a misprint. McCalley was 18-for-20 from the foul line.

Henry Ford (3-8) was led by Merrieweather’s 21 points. Green added 18 points including a couple impressive dunks.

Freshman guards Marcus Cole and Austin Walker scored 17 and 16 points, respectively for Mott (13-2). Freshman sharpshooter Shawn Pardee added 14 points including a clutch three-pointer with a minute left in double overtime.

Mott will return to action on Saturday at Schoolcraft. The Ocelots (10-3) may be the best team the Bears face this season. Listen live on MRSN.us.

Mott snaps Oakland’s 13-game winning streak, 81-77

Posted: January 4, 2017 by Jared Field in Mott

 

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Shawn Pardee knocks down one of his four triples against Oakland Wednesday night. (Mike News, photo)

FLINT, Michigan – For a few fleeting moments Wednesday night, an old storyline seemed to be playing out just as it had back in 2009: Former Bear leads new team to upset win over Mott.

Only this time it didn’t go down like that.

Fortunately for no. 12-ranked Mott, the Bears spiked that old headline in the final four minutes to get the win over formerly unbeaten Oakland, 81-77.

Eight years ago a shooting guard out of Detroit named Willie Mustin, who transferred to Henry Ford after riding the bench at Mott as a freshman, led his new team to a huge upset over Mott on that same floor. Fast forward to 2017 and it was former Bear Malik Young’s chance. Young, a Flint Southwestern product, played for Steve Schmidt’s Bears during the 2014-15 season before transferring to Oakland.

Young caught fire in the second half, scoring at will from long (long, long) range. He scored 11 of his game-high 26 points in less than three minutes midway through the second half. He almost singlehandedly pulled the Raiders out of a 10-point second half deficit.

Mott (12-2) built upon its five-point halftime lead early in the second but struggled to take care of the ball for long stretches. The Raiders (13-1) actually led by three with six minutes left. From that point, there were seven lead changes and a handful of ties before a 3-pointer from the right corner by freshman Shawn Pardee put the Bears up four with less than two minutes to play. Pardee, the former Millington standout, led Mott with 20 points on only 10 shots.

Oakland couldn’t get Young free for any open shots from that point and Mott held on for the win.

Setting aside Mott’s 17 turnovers, there’s a lot to build upon after this win. The Bears survived the final ten minutes of the game with their top player (and leading scorer) Diandre Wilson hobbled with a hamstring injury. Wilson finished with 19 points but was rendered ineffective late with the injury. Schmidt will have to monitor his injury closely as the Bears are set to take on Henry Ford at 3 p.m. Saturday in Flint.

The Bears are now riding an eight-game winning streak of their own as they enter the meat of their conference schedule. After Saturday’s tilt versus Henry Ford, the Bears will have another big test on Wednesday night at Schoolcraft.

Listen to the Bears live online all season at MRSN.us.

Game Notes

  • Malik Young has clearly worked hard on his perimeter game. In high school, and at Mott, he was more of a slasher and pull-up shooter. Tonight, he hit several 3-pointers from John Taylor range. That said, Mott actually did a pretty good job on him save for that three-minute span mentioned above. Young shot 8-for-22 from the field and had three of his shots blocked.
  • Mott freshman Marcus Cole, a lanky small forward from Chicago, threw down one of the nastiest dunks I’ve seen at Mott since the Doug Anderson era. As soon as I get the video, I will post it. This kid has oodles of potential as an inside-outside scorer. Cole had 14 points and 12 rebounds.
  • Mott played this game without the services of point guard Dedrick Shannon, who is no longer with the team. Shannon led the team in assists this season (and started a few games), so Mott will have to lean more on three freshmen: Pardee, Darwin Weis and Austin Walker. Pardee is a lot better than I think he gets credit for. He has an impressive all-around game, and is a sneaky good athlete.
  • Former Goodrich and Beecher standout Frank Green scored 10 points for the Raiders. A power guard in high school, Green has had a pretty strong freshman season for Oakland (14 points per game). Against Mott, Green scored 10 points with a pair of assists.
  • Wednesday night felt like old times for Mott, as basketball fans in Flint came out in force. If the Bears keep on winning, I expect the crowds will continue to find their way to Ballenger.