For the past two seasons, one of the top JUCO programs in the country has looked pedestrian at best. A shell of its former self, Mott (19-12) will once again have to regroup after a second consecutive 12-loss season and early ouster in the District 10 tournament.

The Bears were knocked off by Macomb in the semifinal matchup on Friday night at Delta College, 71-66. The Bears struggled throughout the game with inefficiency on offense and miserable shooting from the perimeter. Even after a furious late rally shaved Macomb’s 12-point lead down to one, the Bears simply could not execute in crunch time. It was the Bears’ second loss to the Monarchs this season.

“I’m really proud of that comeback; they hung in there,” Mott head coach Steve Schmidt told MRSN Radio. “They fought hard these last two weeks … we just didn’t execute the plays well enough to win. But (Macomb) is a good team.”

The Bears had numerous opportunities to tie or take the lead in the final three minutes, but virtually every time the shot rimmed out or the whistle didn’t blow.

Freshman guard Diandre Wilson finished his season with 19 points. Mott’s second-leading scorer (after the loss of Jalen Adams) Lorenzo Collier, managed only eight. Mitch Rubio added nine. Freshman DJ Mayo, Mott’s best outside shooter, did not score.

Schmidt said he hoped his team of mostly freshmen stay committed to the program and dedicate themselves to getting better. Last year’s 12-loss team had very little promise. The players didn’t seem to mesh well and there was an obvious lack of commitment to the program on and off the court. Wilson will more than likely be the odds-on favorite to be the player of the year in the MCCAA. Mayo, in spite of his poor performance, is an offseason of strength and conditioning from being a high-impact player.

This group stands in stark contrast with the 2014-15 team; with a few key recruits, especially in the frontcourt, the Bears could have something special next season. The teams competing for the Eastern Conference championship this season are deeper and much more experienced. By this time next year, that description could be used for Mott.

That said, it’s a long slog for the program to get back to where it was. Bear in mind that Schmidt’s teams won 25 or more games in 19 consecutive seasons before the streak was snapped this time last year. That level of consistency is unparalleled.

Truly, 24 losses in two seasons at Mott just doesn’t seem possible. Add to that Mott’s three-year absence from the NJCAA National Tournament — for more than a decade, it was the program’s second home.

The future of the program boils down to recruiting. If Mott can’t figure out a way to find tough kids who hate to lose, the type of players who made the program great, seasons like this one will become the new normal. Like consecutive 12-loss seasons, that, too, doesn’t seem possible. Mott will be back.




Mott blows out rival Oakland to reach final four

Posted: March 2, 2016 by Jared Field in High School

Mott sophomore Lorenzo Collier scored 22 points against Oakland Wednesday night.

FLINT, Michigan — Hall of fame head coach Steve Schmidt hasn’t had too many occasions this season to say it, but this time it felt right.

“That was Mott basketball.”

Schmidt’s Bears played their way into the final four of the District 10 tournament on Wednesday night with a 102-81 win over rival Oakland. Mott will take on the winner of the Macomb-Delta game at 5:30 p.m. Friday night at Delta.

“That was a great second half of basketball for us,” Schmidt said after the game. “This is a team that really likes each other … this is March Madness.”

It’s down to a two-game season for the Bears, who look to redeem themselves after a forgettable regular season (for Mott’s standards) that still earned the team a second seed. Schmidt hasn’t been the coach of an underdog many times in his career, so this an exciting opportunity.

It’s a new season; win or go home.

The Bears went down early to Oakland, and actually trailed 14-7 before sprinting out on a 14-2 run. Mott led by as many as 14 in the half before a late Oakland run before the half cut the lead to six.

The second half was owned by Mott. Led by sophomore Lorenzo Collier and freshman Deandre Wilson, the Bears ran roughshod over the Raiders in the half. Wilson was unguardable, scoring at will like a right-handed John Taylor (former Mott All-American).

Wilson (32) and Collier (22) combined for 54 points. Freshman DJ Mayo added 14 points.

In the midst of one of Mott’s second half runs, Schmidt remarked that, now and then, this team shows flashes of what it could be: an uptempo, high-energy offense. With Collier and Mayo showing the ability to consistently hit shots from beyond the arc, Wilson’s aggressive style makes him even more of a threat.

Mott’s frontcourt, which has struggled all season, also had a solid night. Sophomore Mitch Rubio scored 13 points. The former Goodrich High School standout really got the Bears going in the first half after a slow start.

Sophomore forward Matt Place pulled down 10 rebounds and, as in every game, led the team in effort and emotion.

Schmidt started the season with a roster of 12 and he’ll finish with nine. Along the way he lost two starters (Cedric Moten and Jalen Adams) and a key reserve (Jalen Fykes). The Bears showed out early, but fell flat midway through the season. In spite of all the challenges this season, the Bears are two wins away from a birth in the NJCAA national tournament.

With two more wins, this season’s script can be flipped.

Mott improves its record to 19-11 on the season. Oakland ends the season with a 12-17 mark. Oakland’s Kevin Hayes led the Raiders with 30 points.

Mott basketball games are broadcast live on


Mott suffers costly loss to Delta College, 70-59

Posted: February 17, 2016 by Jared Field in College, Mott

FLINT, Michigan — Midway through the second half on Wednesday night, Mott Community College was on the verge of suffering a historic home loss. Down 26 points to Delta College with 12 minutes to go, the Bears risked breaking a record that no one wants to break.

Mott head coach Steve Schmidt called a timeout to implore his team to, at least for the rest of the game, pretend to care.

“I want you to play the rest of this game like it’s zero-zero,” he said. “I want you to play like the game is on the line. I don’t know if you have it in you, but I better see something.”

Over the next five minutes, the Bears went on a 12-1 run to cut the lead to 14. They showed something, but it wasn’t enough. The teams traded baskets and free throws for the remainder of the game, and the Pioneers held on for a 70-59 win. The deficit the Bears ran up in the first 30 minutes was too large to overcome.

With the win, Delta improved to 9-5 in conference.

The Bears have now lost four of their last seven games. Going back to last season, Mott has loss four of its last five meetings with Delta.

Mott (16-10) trailed by 14 at the half. The first 20 minutes were eerily similar to the first half against Schoolcraft College on Saturday. The Bears shot less than 25 percent from the field in both halves, taking away any legitimate chance of a comeback.

Mott has five conference losses and is now in a logjam in the MCCAA Eastern Conference. A win would have gotten the Bears close to a home playoff game. The loss gets them closer to a road game in the first round of the District 10 Tournament.

Freshman Diandre Wilson led the Bears with 20 points. Sophomore Lorenzo Collier added 12. Mott played without the services of their second-leading scorer, Jalen Adams, who is nursing an injury.

The Bears will play on the road Saturday at St. Clair, a team also fighting for playoff position. Mott beat the Skippers by 21 at home last month.

Listen to the Mott basketball live on


Mott sophomore Lorenzo Collier

FLINT, Michigan –Mott sophomore Lorenzo Collier wasn’t about to let his team overlook Henry Ford CC on Saturday afternoon in Flint. With Mott clinging to a razor-thin margin in the MCCAA Eastern Conference standings, every league game is a must-win from here on out.

Collier, the former Detroit Pershing standout, scored 16 points in the first eight minutes of the game and 34 total to lead the Bears to a surprisingly tight 83-74 win over the Hawks. He connected on seven 3-pointers.

“We’re so proud of Lorenzo,” said Mott head coach Steve Schmidt. “He’s our hardest working player; he’s our best defensive player, too. It’s great to see players like that rewarded.”

Mott struggled with the Hawks in the first half before a late flurry from, no surprise, Collier put the Bears up by seven at the half.

The Hawks sprinted out on a 6-0 run before the Bears finally took control of the game — at least for a few minutes. After another 3-pointer by Collier and a dunk in transition from freshman Keion Ferrington, the Bears were up nine with 12 minutes left in regulation.

The Hawks once again crawled their way back, ultimately tying the game at 67 with five minutes left. Once again it was Collier who bailed out the Bears with a huge triple from the top of the key. Diandre Wilson nailed another triple on the ensuing possession to finally put the Hawks to bed. It was the exclamation point on a timely 10-0 run by Mott.

“It wasn’t one of our best games, but we will take the win,” Schmidt said. “We’re still a work in progress, but we are one of the top teams in the region.”

Before Mott fans start reading too much into a lackluster performance, bear in mind that the Bears have wins over Muskegon, Schoolcraft and Triton, the current no. 1-ranked team in the country. They also have two narrow losses to Lansing, another team that achieved the no. 1-ranking before losing to Muskegon.

In spite of all the ups and down, the Bears are still in the hunt.

The Bears have one week to prepare for the game that may ultimately make (or break) their season — Saturday’s tilt on the road against Schoolcraft. The Bears are currently one game back in the standings. Schoolcraft has won six straight games.

Ferrington scored 14 points(6-6) with seven rebounds and four assists for the Bears.  Diandre Wilson and Jalen Adams added 13 and 11 points, respectively. Wilson added six assists.

Freshman Deangelo Carlton led Henry Ford (1-18) with 25 points.

Mott’s game versus Schoolcraft will be broadcast on starting at 3 p.m.





Trailing Oakland by eight at the half, the Mott Community College Bears somehow managed to find a sense of urgency that had been lacking in the game’s first 20 minutes. The Bears pulled themselves together to win 84-79.

Mott (15-8) turned an 8-point deficit into a 10-point lead over a span of eight minutes. The 25-7 run took the sting out of a brutal first half for the Bears, who couldn’t make anything happen offensively and couldn’t stop Oakland’s 6-7 freshman Kevin Hayes.

“That was a great second half for us,” said Mott head coach Steve Schmidt on MRSN. “A lot of teams would’ve folded. I’m proud of our guys. They accepted a challenge at halftime.”

Schmidt said he didn’t yell at the team per se, but simply challenged them to play with purpose and intensity.

“They really answered the bell,” he said. “And there aren’t many programs I’d rather beat (than Oakland).”

The run was paced by Mott’s big three, Jalen Adams, Diandre Wilson and Lorenzo Collier. The trio has been leading the Bears’ scoring attack all season. The trio combined to score 57 points. Freshman DJ Mayo added 10 points for the Bears.

Mott also welcomed the return of athletic freshman guard Aaryon Davis, who gave the Bears good minutes in his first game back after injuring his ankle last week.

The Bears led by as many as 14 points in the second half before a 7-0 run by the Raiders cut the lead to seven with two minutes left.

The Bears, reeling from a home loss to Wayne County on Saturday, now have the opportunity to settle in for the stretch run. Mott will take on Henry Ford, the bottom feeder in the MCCAA Eastern Conference at 3 p.m. on Saturday. The following Saturday, Mott will travel to Schoolcraft to take on the Ocelots, currently alone in first place. The Bears beat the Ocelots by 18 three weeks ago at home.

Kevin Hayes led Oakland (9-12) with 31 points. The Raiders chances of winning the conference are all but dead, falling to 5-5 in the MCCAA East.

Listen to Mott basketball live on




DSC_4460.jpgFLINT, Michigan— Mott’s season officially went off the rails on Saturday afternoon in Flint. The Bears, nursing a tenuous four-point halftime lead, absolutely wet the bed in the second half against Wayne County, losing 77-68.

Mott didn’t score a basket for more than five minutes in crunch time, and managed only a pair of made field goals over a 12-minute span in the half. Starting at the seven-minute mark of the second half, Wayne went on a 12-0 run to put the game away.

And there’s more.

Mott’s leading scorer, freshman guard Diandre Wilson, missed six consecutive free throws. Mott missed 11 shots in the second half alone from point blank range. Mix in more missed free throws, no ability to rebound and numerous second chance opportunities for Wayne, and you have a season sweep. The Bears lost to Wayne earlier this month on a last-second shot, 58-57.

Wilson, for his part, led Mott in scoring with 18 points. Sophomore Jalen Adams added 13.

Wayne County took the lead with just over seven minutes left in the game. It was the 16th lead change in the game, and the final domino to fall before the Bears totally went into the tank.

Mott (14-8) had been riding high after an 18-point win over Schoolcraft (to that point the best team in the east) and a 21-point drubbing of St. Clair. Since then, the Bears have lost to Macomb, Wayne twice and had a near-miss at Alpena on Wednesday night.

It is becoming clear that the loss of freshman Cedric Moten has had serious consequences for the Bears. Moten, a high-energy guard who could rebound, score and defend, was lost weeks ago due to academic issues.

Fortunately, Mott has two very winnable games at home against Oakland on Wednesday and Henry Ford on Saturday before another showdown with Schoolcraft Feb. 13.

Wayne County (10-8) will host Schoolcraft on Wednesday night in the game of the week in the MCCAA. The winner of that game will have the inside track to the MCCAA Eastern Conference crown. Fortunately for Mott, there’s enough parity in the league to give the Bears a fighting chance the rest of the way.

All Mott games can be heard live on MRSN. us or via TuneInRadio.


Mott crushes St. Clair, sets up showdown with Macomb

Posted: January 23, 2016 by Jared Field in High School


Mott sophomore Jalen Adams throws down two of his 22 points against St. Clair on Saturday. (Mike Tews photo)

FLINT, Michigan — The Mott Community College Bears entered Saturday’s game with St. Clair in a three-way tie for the top spot in the MCCAA’s Eastern Conference. After their rout of St. Clair, the Bears will now have a chance to take sole possession of first with a win over Macomb on the road Monday night.

The Skippers, like Mott, were riding a four-game winning streak heading into Saturday’s matinee. That streak came to an abrupt end, as the Bears never trailed en route to an 89-68 blowout.

Mott (13-6) led by as many as 19 in the first half before an 8-0 by St. Clair breathed a little life into the Skippers. It didn’t last, however, as Jalen Adams and company once again pulled away. Adams connected on four 3-pointers in the first half.

St. Clair (12-6) cut Mott’s lead to seven in the second half before Adams and backcourt mate Lorenzo Collier took the game over. Collier, a redshirt sophomore, used his time away from the program last season to work on his game top to bottom. It’s really starting to show. He has scored 20 or more points in his last two home games.

Add freshman Diandre Wilson, Mott’s leading scorer this season, to the mix and you have the makings of a pretty strong three-headed monster, offensively. The trio scored a combined 68 points against St. Clair, including a couple nice dunks from Adams and Collier. In a win over Schoolcraft last week, they combined for 54.

Mott will need maximum production out of those three guys after the recent departure of freshman guard Cedric Moten. The former all-stater from Flint Beecher failed to meet academic requirements and will not return. Moten started 10 games for Mott and averaged 13 points per game. He was also the Bears’ best defender.

Mott sophomore forward Matt Place also turned in a solid effort against St. Clair, pulling down eight rebounds with four steals. You can set your watch by this guy.

Listen live to Mott’s game versus Macomb at 7:30 p.m. on Monday at


Steve Schmidt ranked among nation’s best JUCO coaches

Posted: January 21, 2016 by Jared Field in High School

Mott head coach Steve Schmidt.

FLINT, Michigan — recently released a ranking of the nation’s best basketball coaches at the Junior College level and, to no one’s surprise, Steve Schmidt is near the top of the list.

A national panel of media, scouts and coaches voted Mott Community College’s longtime head coach as the fourth-best in the nation.

They have their reasons:

What Schmidt has done at Mott is nothing short of remarkable. Winning an incredible 82% of his games over 24 years is unheard of, winning more than 25 games for 19 straight years is mind boggling!  Schmidt IS Mott basketball and not only is he recognized by several Halls of Fame, he has the very gym that he coaches in named after him.

The full list:

1. Jared Phay, Southern Idaho

2. Steve DeMeo, Northwest Florida St.

3. Steve Eck, Hutchinson, KS

4. Steve Schmidt, Mott, MI

5. Gene Bess, Three Rivers, MO

6. Jay Herkelman, Coffeyville, KS

7. Craig Doty, Rock Valley, IL

8. John Meeks, Wallace St.-Hanceville, AL

9. Drew Kelly, Harcum, PA

10. Andy Ground, Saddleback, CA

11. Kyle Smith Peters, John A. Logan, IL

12. Kris Baumann, Trinity Valley, TX

13. Chuck Moore, Richard Bland, VA

14. Jeremy Shulman, Eastern Florida

15. Cory Symons, North Idaho

16. Cory Rehringer, Williston St., ND

17. Andy Labagh, CC San Francisco, CA

18. Patrick Smith, Moberly, MO

19. Craig McMillan, Santa Rose, CA

20. Bryan Zollinger, Seward County, KS

21. Dan Russell, Casper, WY

22. Todd Franklin, Vincennes, IN

23. Todd Phillips, Salt Lake, UT

24. B.J. McGinn, Des Moines, IA

25. Hank Plona, Indian Hills, IA


Mott sophomore Jalen Adams soars for two of his 20 points against Schoolcraft Saturday. (Mike Tews photo)

FLINT, Michigan — Have yourselves a game, Bears.

The Mott Community College Bears (11-6), despite a slow start against no. 19-ranked Schoolcraft Saturday, turned in their best all-around performance of the season in a 94-76 romp.

The Bears are now 11-6 on the season and tied for first place in the MCCAA Eastern Conference.

Before the game, Coach Schmidt said his team was primed to make a run in the midst of a rough patch in their midseason schedule (six of eight games on the road). Now his team has a win over one of the state’s best (former no. 1-ranked team in the country prior to forfeiting six games) and will be favored in their next eight games.

The Bears actually trailed by seven points in the first eight minutes of the game before flipping the script. Fast forward 12 minutes and, after a 3-pointer from freshman Aaryon Davis, Mott led by eight going into halftime.

Four minutes into the second half the Bears, led by sophomores Jalen Adams and Lorenzo Collier, led by 13. Mott would lead by as many as 20 in the final three minutes of the game and cruised to victory.

Adams, despite playing on an injured leg, turned in a tremendous all-around performance. He scored 20 points with 11 rebounds and four steals. Collier, for his part, added 20 points with four rebounds and three assists. He’s turned up the intensity on defense as well, filling the gap left by freshman Cedric Moten who did not play.

Even without Moten, the Bears have guards for days.

Sophomore transfer Mitch Rubio started for the Bears against the Ocelots, but was sidelined with a leg injury early in the game and did not return. The unsung hero, in Rubio’s stead, was freshman forward Keion Farrington. He came off the bench to score nine points with nine rebounds and a pair of blocks.

Davis and freshman Diandre Wilson added 16 and 14 points, respectively. Darrin Mayo rounded out Mott’s five scorers in double-figures with 11.

DeShawndre Black led Schoolcraft (8-10) with 14 points.

Mott will return to action at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday night at Delta College. Listen to Mott Basketball live all season at


Mott sophomore Lorenzo Collier soars for a score in the second half against Triton. (Mike Tews photo)

FLINT, Michigan – Great teams learn from every loss. This season, the Mott Community College Bears have suffered through four losses at the buzzer, more than in any previous season in Steve Schmidt’s Hall of Fame career.

“We found ways to lose all those games,” Schmidt said. “It’s high time we find ways to win them.”

And soon.

With the malaise of last season almost fully worn off, Schmidt is confident his program is back on the right track. With a 10-6 record and four highly-competitive games against the state’s best teams (Lansing and Muskegon), there are plenty of reasons for optimism; this, in spite of a roster once again laden with first-year players.

“We’re in much better position now compared to last season,” he said. “This is a much better team in terms of talent and togetherness. Unfortunately, like every program at this level, we still have players struggling with issues that they have complete control of – class accountability and meeting team rules and standards. I call it a lack of focus and commitment to the program.”

Schmidt said last season, at this time, his team was on “life support.” Fast forward a year and he still has a young team but with superior depth and talent, especially in the backcourt.

“This team can do it,” he said. “We have what we need to win.”

Schmidt said in spite of the bumps in the road early on, his team, led by freshman guard Diandre Wilson, is poised to be counted among the best teams in the state come playoff time.

“We hurt ourselves (early on) trying to figure out what it takes to be successful,” he said. “Young players can let personal success get in the way of building a team. Struggles can lead to excuses, to pity-seeking; but, we’re getting beyond that. We’re working harder and toughening up.”

So far this season, the Bears have done well spreading around the scoring. Four Bears average double figures in scoring including Wilson (19.1), Jalen Adams (16.6), Cedric Moten (13.5) and Lorenzo Collier (10.5). In several games this season, every player on the roster has played significant minutes.

In the first 11 games of the season the Bears, uncharacteristically, surrendered 80 or more points four times. A habit that ultimately leads to basketball-free practices and plenty of the notorious “Clemson” sprints. Since Schmidt’s staff refocused the team on defensive intensity, teams have only averaged 59.8 points against Mott.

The Bears are currently playing their way through a dicey portion of the schedule, with six of eight games on the road. They will be back in the friendly confines of Ballenger Field House soon and primed to make a run.

“The league schedule was set up a little strange this year; I’ve never seen that in my 25 years of coaching,” he said. “We are in the tough stretch now, but in the last month of the season we will have six of eight games at home. We can use this to our advantage.

“I will be disappointed in this team doesn’t compete for both the conference and district championship.”

For more than a decade, fans could set their watches by Mott’s postseason peaks. The Bears routinely competed for conference, state, regional and national championships. From 2001 until 2012, no JUCO program in the nation could match Mott’s prolific record of success. And while fans certainly haven’t forgotten, players may not fully understand the caliber of program they represent.

For a bit of perspective, consider that Mott lost only eight games from November 2009 until December 2012. That’s two more than this team has lost in less than two months.

“I’ve always said that I don’t mind having the bar set so high,” he said. “We had a 12-year run that was incredible. I don’t think any program will be able to maintain that level of success and accomplishment again at the junior college level.”

Perhaps not, but Schmidt is not going to fade away anytime soon.

“It’s going to take a lot more work and commitment to have a shot of getting back to that level,” said Schmidt, who has four national championship rings on his résumé. “As much as we strive to try to get back to that level, I can’t help but feel great about what all of those players accomplished.”

Listen to Mott live all season online at .