Archive for January, 2016

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.

 

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Mott crushes St. Clair, sets up showdown with Macomb

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

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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 MRSN.us.

 

Steve Schmidt ranked among nation’s best JUCO coaches

Posted: January 21, 2016 by Jared Field in High School
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Mott head coach Steve Schmidt.

FLINT, Michigan — CoachStat.net 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

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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 MRSN.us.

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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 MRSN.us .