Destination Danville: Mott will defend national title after win over Oakland

Posted: March 9, 2013 by Jared Field in JUCO, Mott
Mott sophomore Fred Mattison slams home two of his 18 points on Saturday in Mott's district championship win over Oakland.

Mott sophomore Fred Mattison slams home two of his 18 points on Saturday in Mott’s district championship win over Oakland.

BAY CITY, Michigan — In years gone by, Steve Schmidt has taken his teams to the NJCAA national tournament on the strength of a superstar and the perfect mix of talented and complementary players. There was fanfare, awards from the NJCAA and no shortage of name recognition.

There are no superstars in 2013. After Saturday’s 85-76 win over Oakland, Schmidt and company will have to do the introductions themselves in less than two weeks.

Starting with 6-7 sophomore Fred Mattison.

“He may not have the fanfare of many of our players from the past, but Danville is about to find out who he is … we’re coming back,” Schmidt said.

Schmidt described the play of Mattison, the state’s top JUCO player, as on another level. In the first half, Mattison dominated the game on both ends of the floor. He finished with 18 points, eight rebounds and two assists en route to being named to the all-tournament team.

“Fred brings it every day … from start to finish,” he said. “He gets double-teamed and he gets a lot of attention. He looked like a first team All-American today.”

Meanwhile, freshman Malik Albert was quietly doing his best Brad Redford impression. The freshman from Detroit poured in 29 points including 18-for-18 from the charity stripe. The Bears (29-3) shot 84 percent from the line as a team.

Leading by 14 points at the half, Mott did just enough to shrug off a small handful of mini-runs by the Raiders, who once again struggled with foul trouble (their top two players, Aaron Hayes and Kallante Miller, both had four fouls in the game’s final five minutes).

The play, (or more precisely the plays) of the game came at the five-minute mark of the first half when Albert picked Hayes for a one-handed slam and then pulled up on a break for a 3-pointer on the ensuing possession.

“Malik played today like the player I recruited out of Detroit,” Schmidt said. “I’ve been after him; I challenged him and he responded. But, it wasn’t just Malik and Fred; I think all of our guys contributed.”

Mott’s players called a players only meeting this morning after Friday’s less-than-stellar performance in a win over Henry Ford. Schmidt said he didn’t know what was said, but that it’s a sign of his team growing up.

Oakland (23-9) was led by Hayes and Miller, who scored 18 and 17 points, respectively. All in all, what cost Oakland the most in the game was a decided lack of discipline. The Raiders committed careless fouls including one flagrant and two technicals.

The turning points of the season for Mott may well have been the emergence of sophomore small forward Kory Billups. An outstanding high school player in Chicago, Billups had only shown quick glimpses of greatness during most of his time at Mott. Over the last dozen or so games, Billups has been a warrior. On Saturday, he scored 15 points with eight rebounds, three assists and three steals. He’s the top defender in the conference and a great teammate.

Then national tournament will be held on the campus of Danville Area Community College March 19-23.

  1. Freddie McCoy says:

    I guess I was wrong about Oakland winning, Albert is a Div I player all the way, Eastern Michigan need a player like him very bad

    • Jared Field says:

      Oakland played really well, actually. Mott just played its best half of basketball all season and just held them off the rest of the way. Oakland is better than seven or eight teams that will make nationals this year. Guaranteed.

  2. Ty says:


    What do you think about Miller from OCC? I remember him from Oak Park. Grades? D-I or D-II?

    • Jared Field says:

      He’s a tough, strong kid. Not enough of a perimeter game to get a D-1 excited at his size. Getting in a fight in the parking lot after your last game at the JUCO level was probably not a great decision.

  3. winds of Marv says:

    He got into a fight? I missed both Oakland games. Was it the one in Auburn Hills or the district championship?

  4. Lance says:

    Kallante is “HOOD” dude foreal….his brother James Bailey was the same way, alot of talent but he could give a Fu$k less about basketball, the streets is where Kallante wants to be….Sam Burton as well, they are best friends.

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