Archive for December, 2015

Mott flattens Marygrove JV squad, 110-57

Posted: December 30, 2015 by Jared Field in High School

FLINT, Michigan — For higher-level JUCO teams, games against JV squads are little more than scrimmages. At times, however, they are just what the doctor ordered.

Wednesday night’s tilt with Marygrove JV was a confidence boost for Mott, as the Bears ran roughshod over the Mustangs, 110-57.

Mott (8-5) held Marygrove to just one basket in the game’s first 18 minutes (1-27 from the field during that stretch). The Bears moved the ball better as a team than they have all season, despite playing without three key players including star guard Diandre Wilson. The freshman, Mott’s leading scorer, sat out for disciplinary reasons.

No matter. Mott had three players combine for 83 points. Freshman guard Cedric Moten led the way with 31. Sophomore guard Lorenzo Collier scored 28 and sophomore wing Jalen Adams 24.

Adams needed a breakout performance after getting on the wrong side of his coach, Steve Schmidt, in recent weeks. Adams had been dogging it a bit this season, and found himself out of the starting lineup. Adams, a D-1 transfer and former all-stater at Saginaw Arthur Hill, is a serious talent and it showed Wednesday night.

Collier, for his part, turned in his best performance of the season by far. He scored from all over the court — in transition (including a dunk), pull-ups in the lane and from the perimeter.

Moten did what he always does: run the floor and hit open shots.

The Bears led by 30 at the half and cruised to victory.

The team is poised to be a contender for the Eastern Conference championship this season, in spite of the lackluster start. Mott has three winnable road games in a row before taking on the favorite to win the East (Schoolcraft) on January 16.

The Bears return to action at 7:30 p.m. Monday night at Wayne County. Listen live all season at MRSN.us.

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Mott stunned by no. 3-ranked Lansing in final minute

Posted: December 9, 2015 by Jared Field in High School

indexFLINT, Michigan — The game of the week in the MCCAA Wednesday night didn’t disappoint. The no. 3-ranked Stars, fresh off a win over no. 1-ranked Schoolcraft, needed a furious comeback in the game’s final two minutes to earn a 77-74 win.

The victory is Lansing’s second over Mott this season and the first home loss against Lansing since 2009. Lansing’s win over Mott last month was also by three points.

Lansing had not swept Mott in a season series since 2002.

“We just didn’t play well enough to win,” said Mott head coach Steve Schmidt. “We couldn’t overcome some obstacles; this team has to get a lot tougher.”

One of those obstacles, if the pointed words from Mott’s bench are any indication, was the free throw disparity in the game: 33-16 in favor of the Stars. Even so, it was the Bears’ lack of execution on the offensive end in the final minutes that cost them the game.

Mott (6-3), paced by freshman guard Diandre Wilson, led by a point at the half and by as many as 10 midway through the second half. Wilson scored from all over the court, leading all scorers with 28 points.

Once the Bears’ lead cracked double digits with 13 minutes left in the game, their overall play took a serious nosedive. In spite of several turnovers, a couple questionable calls and even more questionable shots, the Bears were still staked to a five point lead with two minutes left.

Two easy baskets for Lansing coupled with a terrible cross-court pass for a turnover and foul by Jalen Adams and the Bears’ lead was history. Mott only managed one basket, a putback off a desperation shot at the buzzer by Mitchell Rubio, in the final two minutes. Lansing went 6-for-6 from the foul line during that span.

Adams, a D-1 transfer from St. Bonaventure, had his worst game as a Bear Wednesday night. He scored eight points (two in the second half) and didn’t appear to be heavily invested in a positive outcome in the game.

Mott head coach Steve Schmidt, seething after a tough loss, went off script.

“We simply didn’t get enough out of Jalen Adams tonight,” he said. “I don’t typically call out players, but I don’t even like his body language.”

Just in terms of sheer talent, Adams probably should be Mott’s best offensive player. He’s a 6-foot-5 guard with all the physical tools. That he’s not their best is drawing the ire of his coach because, at least on the surface, it appears effort is all that’s standing in his way.

All signs pointed to this game being a banner win for the Bears. For the second time this season, Mott held Javon Haines to well below his average (29). Haines scored 12 points but only managed one basket thanks, in large part, to the play of freshman Cedric Moten and sophomore Lorenzo Collier.

This outcome is eerily similar to the first go around in Lansing (12-1). The Bears held Haines in check but simply couldn’t defend the post against Jimmy Kodet and Isaiah Green. The pair combined for 33 points. Mott, once again, made Kodet look like Dirk Nowitzki.

All is not lost, however. The Bears have taken the best JUCO team in the state to the wall now twice. They just need to learn how to finish.

Before the game, Schmidt echoed a familiar refrain: “This team will figure it out; this will be a good team.”

Six of Mott’s next seven games are on the road, including a bruiser against Muskegon on Saturday afternoon. The Bears’ next home game is December 30 against Marygrove College JV.

Listen to the Bears live on MRSN.us.

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Mott head coach Steve Schmidt looks to improve his record to 7-2 this season Wednesday night against rival Lansing.

FLINT, Michigan — Roles have been reversed in one of the state’s best basketball rivalries, at least for now. Mott enters its game versus rival Lansing at 7 p.m. Wednesday night in Flint as an underdog.

The rivalry, once dominated by Mott, is alive and well these days. Mott came up just shy of an upset over the Stars last month in Lansing, falling by three. Since then, however, Lansing has proven itself against the NJCAA’s best.

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Lansing CC head coach Mike Ingram

The Stars are winners of nine consecutive games including an impressive win over no. 1-ranked Schoolcraft. Lansing, under the direction of longtime coach Mike Ingram, has ascended to the no. 3 spot in the latest NJCAA national poll.

The upstart Bears (one returning player from last season) started the season unranked, but their 6-2 record has earned a no. 17 ranking in the poll.

This is rarefied air for Mott, one of the top JUCO programs in the country; historically, Mott hasn’t been an underdog against many.

Mott’s Hall of Fame head coach Steve Schmidt grew up in Lansing, graduated from Lansing Waverly and is a former assistant coach with the Stars. In fact, Schmidt and Ingram were both assistant coaches on the last Lansing squad to win a national title (1988). They both played at Central Michigan in the 1980s.

Between them, they have nearly 1,200 career wins. 

Schmidt jokes about how the pair coached together before any of their current players were born.

“I’m really impressed by how Mike has evolved as a coach, how he gets his teams to buy in and execute his system,” Schmidt said. “I love the challenge of coaching against his teams. He works hard and I believe he’s one of the best coaches at our level in the country.”

Since 2009, Mott has won nine of its 12 games versus the Stars. In recent years, however, the games have been much more competitive. In the last two seasons, the teams have split (each winning at home).

With all due respect to Schoolcraft and Oakland, Mott and Lansing have been the premier programs in the MCCAA during the coaching tenures of Schmidt and Ingram. The programs have featured numerous big-time players, and championships, in recent years. Mott, by itself, has four national titles since 2003 and 18 All-Americans.

Lansing, for its part, always seems to have a bonafide stud on every roster — Nate Duhon, Muhammad El-Amin and Torian Harris to name a few from the past. This year, the Stars are led by sophomore guard Javon Haines. The former East Lansing High standout had been the best player in the MCCAA even before his 55-point explosion against Alpena. He is currently leading the NJCAA in scoring at just under 29 points per game.

Mott counters with an exciting young crop of guards and wings who can run the floor with anyone — including Lansing. The best of the bunch is freshman Diandre Wilson, a smooth combo guard who can create his own shot and score going to the basket. Wilson averages 21 points, five rebounds and four assists per game.

In the first go-around, Mott actually held Haines to a season-low 10 points. Adams and Wilson combined for 48 points, but the Bears could not finish off a late rally.

The X factor for Mott is 6-5 sophomore transfer Jalen Adams. The former all-stater from Saginaw Arthur Hill played at D-1 St. Bonaventure last season. He has the pure talent to be the best player on the floor every game. He has only shown flashes so far this season, but most expect him to breakout in the very near future.

A new wrinkle for Mott is 6-6 sophomore transfer Mitchell Rubio, a local product who spent last season at City College of San Francisco. Rubio played in his first game on Saturday afternoon against Kalamazoo Valley. He made his presence felt almost immediately, scoring 13 points with six rebounds including two in the final minute to seal the victory.

Rubio brings size, athleticism and, most importantly, the ability to hit outside shots.

“Mitchell definitely makes us better,” Schmidt said.

Win or lose, the Bears are trending in the right direction. Schmidt has the horses to make a run this season. If he can hold this group together for two seasons, he will have something special.

“These kids are young, but this is going to be a good team once they get it figured out,” Schmidt said.

Listen to the game live on MRSN.us.