It’s all about organization: Mott, Lincoln rise to top

Posted: March 19, 2011 by Jared Field in JUCO

DANVILLE, Illinois — I turned on the radio this morning just in time to hear probably the most insightful explanation of why the cream of the basketball crop always rise to the top.

It’s all about organization.

Mott Community College and Lincoln College, the last teams standing in the national tournament this year, have one thing in common: They are both tremendous organizations.

What you see on the floor is a reflection of what is being done behind the scenes. Both of these teams play hard on both ends of the floor, show a tremendous amount of discipline and stick to a game plan. Obviously those are the things that every team is supposed to do, but I can tell you from experience that even at this level, a national tournament, there are a lot of exceptions.

If you had to boil Mott’s success over the years down to one thing, it’s organization. Mott has a tremendous coaching staff that’s not only dedicated to teaching the game, but also to recruiting players that are willing to be coached. There’s a reason Marshawn Norris came to Mott (he was the first of the 2009 class to sign) when he could have gone pretty much anywhere else. Mott’s track record of winning and player development is simply unparalleled at this level. (Look back over the last decade and make an account of how many JUCO players from this state went to division one, and then notice how many came from one school in Flint.)

Not all programs are created equal, and this is especially true at the JUCO level. Steve Schmidt and his staff have worked long and hard over the years to create a program that mirrors what players will encounter at the D-1 level — high expectations on the court and in the classroom.

Players who go to Mott are taking the road less traveled, and most of them know it when they sign on. I mentioned Norris earlier for a reason. He could have gone and played 35 minutes a game at a lesser JUCO and scored 20 points per game or more. If he had, he wouldn’t have been playing for a national championship in front of 100 or more college coaches tonight.

But that’s why you come to Mott. To win championships.

If the Bears win tonight, Norris and his sophomore teammates will have won six championships in two seasons on their way to graduating and playing at the next level. That’s what elite programs do.

2010 — MCCAA State Champions (26-4)
2009 — Conference Champions (29-5)
2008 — National Champions (35-2)
2007 — National Champions (35-3)
2006 — MCCAA State Champions (25-6)
2005 — MCCAA State Champions (30-3)
2004 — National Runner-up (31-5)
2003 — National Champions (28-9)
2002 — National 3rd Place (31-4)
2001 — National Runner-up (33-4)

No. 1-ranked Mott will take on Lincoln College tonight at 8:30 p.m. (eastern) from Danville Area Community College. Watch the game live online.

  1. JucoJunkie says:

    Mott is fortunate to hang onto Coach Schmidt for all of these years. He certainly could have moved on to a four year coaching job long ago, but he obviously loves the school and community. Hopefully he’ll stay at Mott for many more years to come.

  2. poppachops says:

    Good Luck Bears~ Bring the championship back home where it belongs… will be watching it online tonight.

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