With only one game under their belt, Mott Community College head coach Steve Schmidt couldn’t have expected his young team to run anybody off the court, much less a team that has been very competitive with the Bears over the years.
But that’s how it went down on Saturday afternoon in Flint, as no. 1-ranked Mott blew out Sinclair (Ohio), 82-56.
The Bears led 45-17 at halftime after the first half buzzer put an end to a brilliant 25-7 Mott run led by sophomore Fred Mattison and freshman Malik Albert.
Schmidt, for his part, was certainly more excited about Sinclair’s side of the scoreboard than his own. The veteran coach always thinks defense first, and holding any team under 20 points in a half is no small feat. In the half, Mott employed a 1-3-1 defense that stymied Sinclair offensively, forcing 13 turnovers.
In Schmidt post-game interview with MRSN, he told Bill Schnorenberg that his defense was modeled after the 1-3-1 zone employed by John Belein at the University of Michigan.
Mott couldn’t replicate its first half defensive intensity in the second half, but the Bears didn’t allow Sinclair to get any closer than 17.
As a team, Mott only missed two free throws (19-for-21) in the game; this is a great sign for a team that struggled at times, from the foul line, especially in the second halves of games last season.
Sophomore forward Fred Mattison led all scorers with 27 points and seven rebounds. Freshman guard Malik Albert added 26 points and three assists.
Mott will return to action next Saturday at home versus Kellogg CC. The game tips at 3 p.m.