Archive for the ‘Mott’ Category

schmidt 700By Jared Field 

Just nine years before my first day on the job as a reporter at the Flint Journal, I was a paperboy working the streets of Bradley Hills in west Flint. I was obsessed with sports, especially basketball, and an avid reader. I was fascinated by newspapers, whole books authored and published seven days a week.

While I was in college, I started a website devoted to high school basketball in Mid-Michigan, mainly covering Flint, Lansing and the tri-cities. Even though it was about as sophisticated as the Drudge Report, to my surprise it was quite popular. I was able to parlay that experience into my first real job as a reporter in the sports department at the Flint Journal.

The first order of business for me was to wrestle away the best beat in the building from a blue blood reporter named Dan Nilsen. He knew I was passionate about basketball and, to his credit, he didn’t hesitate to pass the torch.

“You’ll love Coach Schmidt,” he assured me.

The Mott Beat

I’ll never forget the first time I walked into Steve Schmidt’s office at Ballenger Field House for a post-game interview. For a fleeting second, I felt like I had stumbled behind the customer returns desk at a sporting goods store. There were stacks of programs and college letters addressed to recruits piled high; there were basketballs, uniforms, and old trophies sitting on boxes of old trophies.

(Oh, and t-shirts. I’m convinced that Schmidt alone kept the screen printing business from following GM into bankruptcy during the Great Recession.)

This was 2006, and by that time Coach Schmidt was already a legend in Flint. One that, I quickly found out, was one of the funniest and most down to earth people I’d ever met – someone who didn’t think a national championship trophy made him too good to collect the team laundry, prep food for the hospitality room or drive the team bus.

Some reporters, and certainly many players over the years, have been intimidated by him. Understandable, based on the deadly serious and sometimes off-color manner in which he coaches. At times, he runs hotter than the special sauce in his warning-label chili. Fortunately, after the game he’s about as affable and approachable as you could imagine. And funny. Damn funny.

Coach Schmidt was typically more animated after a loss than a win since, like many great coaches, he hated to lose even more than he loved to win.

That night, though, there wasn’t much to say. His team, with five future professionals in the starting lineup (and a few more on the bench), won by 83 points. It was the first of 69 wins in 74 games over two seasons, and two national championships.

For a basketball junkie, I was in the right place at the right time.

Covering the Coach

It takes about a month before you can accurately predict what Coach Schmidt will say on the record about any given situation – ask anyone who has covered Mott basketball. After a win he’ll say, “we’re still a work in progress.” After a loss he’ll say, “we’ve got a lot of work to do” with a sprinkled-in reference to a lack of “buy in.”

If there’s an issue with a player’s behavior, he’ll say some iteration of “no player is bigger than the program,” with a dash of “it’s a privilege to wear that Mott uniform,” topped off with an accountability cherry.

Set your watch by it.

There’s nothing new under the sun for a coach who has been the CEO of basketball at Mott for 27 years. The program is his life and his players are family.

schmidt-600

One might assume that it would take a perfectionist to play nearly perfect basketball like I witnessed for two years. In Schmidt’s case, it’s true.

The cuts are never hard enough; the recoveries from hedges are never fast enough; and, frankly, the coaching is never good quite enough. That’s just how he operates. And because he’s proven time after time that he will go to war for his players, he can be as tough on them as he is on himself.

Over the years he has produced better players, better men and, at times, better reporters.

Eric Woodyard, former Flint Journal and Mlive reporter who now covers the Utah Jazz for Deseret News in Salt Lake City, recalls a time when Coach Schmidt “let him have it” for failing to adequately describe how crappy his team played in a story. He laughs about it now, but Woodyard said that experience helped him become a better reporter as much as Schmidt’s basketball camp helped him become a better player.

Adams Biggers, who covered Mott for the Flint Journal as well as his own publications, credits Schmidt for showing him the ropes, for teaching him about the relationship between reporter and subject. “Because of (Schmidt), I’m not intimidated by any coach,” he said.

The program was a great proving ground for many reporters.

My approach to Mott basketball wasn’t simply about describing game flow, keys plays and carving out a box score. I wanted to do justice to what I saw as the best thing going in Flint, a once-proud basketball hotbed that had fallen on hard times. Schmidt’s program was something everyone could take pride in. As Flint’s high schools were being hollowed out and shuttered, Schmidt was packing gyms and winning championships like in the glory days of Flint hoops.

His imprint was on every square inch of the Mott program, and only a truly great opportunity could convince him to let go.

On two separate occasions Schmidt was a finalist for the head coaching position at his alma mater, Central Michigan University. Both times he was passed over in favor of coaches who did less with more. When I asked him years ago about why he decided not to take any one of several assistant coaching opportunities at higher levels, his response was succinct: “I’m a head coach.”

Winning Every Which Way

Schmidt has won 700 games in 700 different ways, with players from all walks of life. Local kids from Flint like Kevin Tiggs, a playground baller spending his nights loading semis at a trucking company in Flint Township. A year later, Tiggs had a national championship ring, the National Player of the Year award and a college scholarship.

Coach Schmidt has a preternatural ability to coax greatness out of unlikely heroes like Tiggs, Alvin Pegues or DeAndre Nealy. He has a knack for getting the best effort out of the people in his orbit, and not just players.

Woodyard remembers questioning Schmidt’s instincts when he told the young writer about his next star – a Chicago kid cast off from another JUCO in Florida who didn’t even average double figures in scoring as a freshman. Woodyard took one look at the skinny kid, barely 6-foot tall, and thought, “sure.”

That kid, John Taylor, became the National Player of the Year, led Mott to its fourth national championship and earned a scholarship.

“(Taylor) is still the best JUCO player I’ve ever witnessed … so I learned to never question his basketball judgment,” Woodyard said.

schmidtgym2

There are many more stories like that one, of kids plucked out of desperate circumstances, in need of structure and a support system centered on a game – a family by proxy they found at Mott.

Funny. Damn Funny.

Everything you need to know about Coach Schmidt’s personality, for me, was encapsulated in a response by Bill Schnorenberg of MRSN Radio when I asked him about some of his favorite “off the record” moments with Coach Schmidt.

“How far off the record?” he asked.

The truth is, there are plenty enough safe-for-work stories about Schmidt’s antics that have exceeded the statute of limitations, but just trust me on the other stuff – it’s gold.

Patrick Hayes, who covered Mott for Mlive, recalls a time on the road at St. Clair when Mott’s high-flying forward Doug Anderson got technical foul for hanging on the rim after a dunk. Schmidt was not pleased.

“After the game … Coach Schmidt, still visibly irritated about it, said ‘that bald ref’ about four different times when talking about it. I had to stop and say, ‘… do you really want me to quote you calling that referee bald in the paper?’ He thought about it for a second, then said, ‘I think that bald ref is just jealous because he can’t jump like Doug can.’ Then the interview was over.”

Ironically, that story conforms seamlessly with another incident, this time at Mott, when Schmidt said an official called a charge on a monster dunk out of spite because “he was never able to touch the net.”

Schmidt’s interactions with officials are legendary. I can say with certainty no one got away with more than Schmidt, but the same deference didn’t always follow him out-of-state.

Back in 2008, I received a call from Schmidt at a strange hour. I was accustomed to receiving late-evening phone calls from him after out-of-state road games, but this time he was calling during the game.

As it turned out, Schmidt had been ejected from the gym in the first half and was calling from the team bus. Schmidt went on to explain to me that he had fallen victim to the infamous officiating crew headlined by the King brothers, Ron and Don, the quickest whistles in Central Illinois, who had given a quick hook to his friend and fellow coach, Mike Ingram, a year prior.

Schmidt vowed to never return to Peoria.

Or there was a time when Schmidt spotted one of his players on TV in the stands at a high school game wearing a hat indoors. The next morning that player, who naively thought that rule only applied to Ballenger Field House, paid for his mistake in sprints.

Then there’s his longstanding hatred of social media (especially Twitter) and his cell phone holding cell on overnight trips. One time he actually compelled one of his players to cut off his braids as penance for inappropriate use of social media. That same year Schmidt banned Twitter.

Schmidt likes to joke from time to time that he has gotten a little soft over the years, when compared to his younger, more disciplined days. On one occasion, he sent a seldom-used player into the game and, as the kid headed to check in, he mumbled “about time” under his breath.

“Steve stopped him and asked, ‘Did you just say something?’” Nilsen recalled. “The kid was back on the bench. Not sure if he ever played again.”

His interactions with parents who complain about playing time are similarly candid and tough. Schmidt always says that he “coaches players, not parents.” One time he told the father of a reserve player that his son wasn’t getting playing time because “he’s not any good.” Or how certain players didn’t see the floor because they “couldn’t guard Ron Meeker.” That’s the type of unvarnished honesty everyone comes to expect from him – off the record, of course.

Schnorenberg recalls a time when his pre-game coaches show went off the rails, as Schmidt spent 20 minutes talking about the only thing he’s better at than coaching basketball: grilling. And, for the record, charcoal still reigns supreme.

Nilsen tells another great story about how former Flint Journal columnist Dean Howe once wrote a column about how incredibly focused Schmidt was on his job. In it, he suggested that Schmidt might want to get out once in a while, maybe go on a blind date. A couple of days later Schmidt told Nilsen that he had, indeed, gone on three dates recently. “And two of them were blind,” he joked.

My personal favorite memory of Coach Schmidt came in 2009, after Mott fell to Henry Ford in a shocking upset in the state championship game. Schmidt’s second-leading scorer at the time, a guard with aspirations of playing at the highest level, had a smattering of offers from lower-level colleges at the time including one in Fairbanks, Alaska. He needed a good run in the national tournament to prove he could play at the highest level.

Unfortunately, he had one of the worst games of his career at the worst possible time as the Bears failed to quality for the national tournament. After the game, Coach Schmidt summed it up better than anyone else could: “He probably just played his way into an igloo for the next two years.”

schmidt

Part of the Program

Many years ago, I was courtside after a road game against Lansing when I was approached by Mike Ingram, the aforementioned coach who first drew the ire of the King Twins in Peoria.

Ingram, a highly successful coach in his own right (now a hall of famer), shook his head at me.

“We can’t even get our reporters to come to home games,” he said.

He was right. I could probably count on one hand the number of reporters I’d encountered over the years that offered anything close to significant coverage of JUCO basketball. It was always different in Flint, though, not only because of its basketball tradition; not only because of the championships, the crowds and the athletes. It’s mostly because of the relationship that each and every one of us had with Coach Schmidt. From day one he made me feel like I was part of the program, even on those mornings after I’d written something critical of it.

Kindness, charisma and candor go a long way in this business, and Coach Schmidt has an abundance of all three.

After his 700th win earlier this month, Schmidt stood in front of camera crews from ABC 12 and WNEM 5 in Flint in the gym at Schoolcraft College. His first instinct wasn’t to talk about the milestone, but about the reporters who traveled to the Detroit area twice in one week in order to be there for his big moment.

“I’m humbled that you guys would come to Detroit again, two games in a row,” he said. “I’m absolutely humbled by that, but it’s really not about me. It’s about the Mott program and all the kids that bought in and let me coach them.”

And yeah, I knew he would say that.

 

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FLINT, Michigan — The no. 16-ranked Mott Community College Bears survived a roller-coaster ride of a game against no. 11 Delta on Saturday, winning in double overtime, 109-107.

It marks the second consecutive win for Mott (13-4) against one of the top teams in the MCCAA Eastern Conference. The Bears have another big one coming on the road against no. 17-ranked St. Clair on Wednesday.

“We’re battling right now, but we’re going to get better, ” Mott head coach Steve Schmidt told MRSN radio after the game. “The effort is there, we just have to play a little better.

“But this conference is unbelievable.”

Mott led by 12 at halftime before an early second half run by the Pioneers cut the lead to six. At the 12-minute mark of the second half, the Bears once again led by 12. Delta responded again, cutting the lead to one with three minutes left in regulation.

Delta tied the game after former Bear Cedric Moten rebounded a missed free throw, got fouled and hit a pair of free throws with 31 seconds left.

Mott’s Henry Speight and Shawn Pardee both had cracks at winning the game in regulation, but could not convert.

The Bears could not hit the broad side of a barn in the final six minutes of regulation, scoring only four points in that span.

Speight, who led Mott with 31 points and 10 rebounds, had another shot at winning the game in the first overtime, but failed to convert once again.

Mott’s sophomore sharpshooter Shawn Pardee hit two huge triples in the overtime periods to give Mott a chance to pull out the victory. It was not a heroic performance like Pardee’s last foray into overtime, but his shots were every bit as timely.

In the end, it was a bit of luck that propelled Mott to victory. After four consecutive missed free throws by sophomore Terrance Sewell, Delta managed to tie the game with under 10 seconds left. On the ensuing possession, the Pioneers’ LeOntae Parker inexplicably fouled Blake Williams with 4.6 seconds left. Williams hit both free throws and Delta’s last-second shot didn’t fall.

“We persevered, but we caught a break when their kid thought they were down,” said Schmidt, who won his 700th game of his career on Wednesday night. “I feel bad for the kid … I feel bad that either team had to lose this game.”

Marcus Cole and Eddie Thigpen scored 18 points apiece for the Bears, who forced 28 turnovers on the afternoon.

Former Bear and Hamady High School standout Jalen Fykes had 11 points and 10 rebounds for Delta. Torandis Mack, former International Academy of Flint standout, scored 31 points to lead the Pioneers.

Mack has improved his game by a factor of ten since his high school days. Mott didn’t have anyone who could keep him away from the basket.

The win puts the Bears in a tie for second place in the conference. Delta (10-2) returns to action on Wednesday at home versus Schoolcraft.

Listen to Mott Community College basketball all season long on MRSN Radio.

 

 

 

Mott knocks off Schoolcraft for Schmidt’s 700th win

Posted: January 11, 2018 by Jared Field in College, Mott
schmidt-600

Mott head coach Steve Schmidt, now a member of the 700 Club.

The Mott Community College Bears have had an up-and-down season to date, but showed signs of life in a big way Wednesday night in Metro Detroit. Mott knocked off the Schoolcraft College on their home court, 78-69, securing Steve Schmidt’s 700th win as head coach.

Schmidt told MRSN Radio after the game that he didn’t want the milestone to distract from what they were trying to get done as a team — getting better every day.

“I didn’t want it to bother anyone,” he said. “But it was a great effort by our team…a great effort defensively. They all stepped up. Now we can focus on Delta.”

The Pioneers are the next top team for the Bears to wrestle with. Delta lost its first game of the season on Wednesday night, but still holds the league’s best record (10-1).

The Bears (12-4) led by nine at the half and shot the lights out early in the second half en route to a 20-point lead. The Ocelots (10-5) cut the lead to seven in the final five minutes of the game, but Mott made enough stops and free throws to secure win no. 700 for their coach.

Freshman Henry Speight led the Bears with 17 points and 12 rebounds. Sophomore Terrance Sewell add 12 points and nine rebounds.

Mott held Schoolcraft to an atrocious 37 percent shooting from the field in the game.

From ABC 12: Schmidt wins Number 700

When you consider that 20 wins, in the college game, is generally considered the measuring stick for a good season, 700 wins is staggering. At 20 wins per season, it would take 35 seasons to get to 700. Schmidt did it with eight seasons to spare.

Schmidt is already in the NJCAA Men’s Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame and is one of only a handful of coaches in the 700 Club.

As memorable as this win will be for Coach Schmidt, nothing tops his 600th win in the state championship game in 2013.

Listen live to Mott Basketball all season at MRSN.online.

2017-18 MEN’S BASKETBALL STANDINGS
Eastern Conference
School MCCAA Overall GB Home Away Neutral Streak
Henry Ford 3-0 1.000 12-3 .800 6-0 4-3 2-0 Won 5
Delta 2-1 .667 10-1 .909 1.0 5-0 4-1 1-0 Lost 1
St. Clair County 2-1 .667 12-3 .800 1.0 7-1 5-2 0-0 Lost 1
Mott 1-1 .500 12-4 .750 1.5 6-1 4-3 2-0 Won 1
Macomb 1-1 .500 8-6 .571 1.5 4-2 3-2 1-2 Lost 1
Schoolcraft 1-2 .333 10-5 .667 2.0 4-1 5-3 1-1 Lost 2
Wayne County 1-2 .333 6-4 .600 2.0 1-2 4-1 1-1 Won 1
Oakland 1-2 .333 8-6 .571 2.0 5-2 3-3 0-1 Won 1
Alpena 0-2 .000 1-9 .100 2.5 0-3 1-5 0-1 Lost 6
Western Conference
School MCCAA Overall GB Home Away Neutral Streak
Ancilla 3-0 1.000 13-1 .929 7-0 5-0 1-1 Won 4
Lake Michigan 2-0 1.000 6-7 .462 0.5 3-3 3-4 0-0 Won 2
Grand Rapids 2-1 .667 10-4 .714 1.0 7-0 2-3 1-1 Won 1
Lansing 2-1 .667 5-8 .385 1.0 5-4 0-4 0-0 Lost 1
Muskegon 2-1 .667 5-8 .385 1.0 3-1 2-7 0-0 Won 2
Mid Michigan 1-2 .333 7-5 .583 2.0 2-3 5-2 0-0 Lost 1
Jackson 1-2 .333 7-6 .538 2.0 4-1 2-5 1-0 Won 1
Kalamazoo Valley 1-2 .333 4-11 .267 2.0 1-7 3-4 0-0 Lost 2
Kellogg 0-2 .000 0-9 .000 2.5 0-3 0-6 0-0 Lost 9
Glen Oaks 0-3 .000 3-11 .214 3.0 2-4 1-6 0-1 Lost 8

FLINT, Michigan — No. 14-ranked Mott Community College continued its dominance of the non-conference schedule, easily dispatching Kalamazoo Valley on Saturday afternoon in Flint, 76-60.

Mott led by 17 at the half and never allowed KVCC within shouting distance in the second half. The win marks the Bears’ eighth in a row, after inexplicably losing their first two games of the season. If the last two games are any indication, it appears the shock of the slow start has faded into the ether.

Mott’s top scorer for the second consecutive game was sophomore sharpshooter Shawn Pardee. The Millington (MI) product scored 23 points on a ridiculous 6-for-7 shooting day from 3-point range.

Pardee is the best outside shooter I’ve seen in a Mott uniform. After a slow start to the season from deep, he has a dozen triples in his last two games. He is shooting 42 percent from 3-point range this season. Pardee almost single-handedly led Mott to an overtime victory against Grand Rapids on Wednesday night, scoring 16 points in the overtime period alone.

Mott (8-2) heads into its road contest against Lansing Wednesday night brimming with confidence, as the team full of newcomers appears to have found its identity. This a team you cannot rest against; this is a team you cannot press; the players come at you in waves.

Lansing is in a bit of a funk, with losses in six of the first eight games this season. That said, the Stars always bring their best against Mott. One of the Stars’ two wins came against Oakland, a perennial contender for the Eastern Conference title.

Back to the Bears: There are no scrubs on this roster; no practice players. Everyone on this team plays.

Setting aside the first five minutes of Saturday’s game, Mott’s depth was on full display. Steve Schmidt’s team lacks a pure center (not unusual in his system), but what the Bears lack in frontline beef they more than make up for in guards and small forwards.

Schmidt has a murderer’s row scorers led by freshman Henry Speight and sophomores Marcus Cole and Terrence Sewell. The latter is a pretty decent facsimile of former Bear Ralph Eason, who helped lead Mott to its most recent national championship in 2013. He can do a bit of everything and, like Eason, probably isn’t scratching the surface of his ability quite yet.

Sewell, who transferred from Ranger College (where he played for former Kentucky head coach Billy Gillespie), can impact the outcome of the game in so many ways. He can score, but he only attempted four shots on Saturday. He finished with eight points and 16 rebounds. He is currently third on the team in scoring (12.3) and is the team leader in rebounds (9.3).

Cole is Mott’s top returning player; he’s an athletic wing who can terrorize the rim. He had 10 points to go along with eight rebounds. Cole is still probably a consistent jumpshot away from a D-1 scholarship, but he has a ton of natural ability.

The X-Factor for this team is former Saginaw High Trojan Henry Speight. The freshman forward is built like former Bear Leviante Davis. He’s not as athletic as Davis, but he’s a better all-around player. Speight fits neatly into Mott’s long history of guys who don’t fit neatly into a position, but who can just flat-out play.

There are many other guys worth mentioning, but none more than sophomore point guard Darwin Weis. The team leader in assists and steals this season, Weis defends like his life depends on it. In truth, with so many high-quality guards on the roster, Weis is smart enough to know that his playing time at Mott is contingent on his effort on the defensive end. He has started eight out of 10 games for the Bears this season and is a total nightmare for opposing guards.

This is the deepest Mott team in many years. Hopefully they have what it takes to bring the buzz back to Ballenger.

Listen live to Mott basketball all season long at MRSN.online with the voice of the Bears Bill Schnorenberg. 

MCCAA Men’s Basketball Standings

Eastern Conference
School
MCCAA
Overall
GB
Home
Away
Neutral
Streak
Delta
0-0
.000
6-0
1.000
3-0
2-0
1-0
Won 6
Macomb
0-0
.000
5-1
.833
3-0
2-0
0-1
Lost 1
Mott
0-0
.000
8-2
.800
4-1
2-1
2-0
Won 8
Henry Ford
0-0
.000
7-2
.778
2-0
4-2
1-0
Won 2
St. Clair County
0-0
.000
7-2
.778
4-1
3-1
0-0
Lost 1
Schoolcraft
0-0
.000
8-3
.727
4-1
3-1
1-1
Won 3
Oakland
0-0
.000
6-4
.600
4-1
2-2
0-1
Won 1
Wayne County
0-0
.000
2-2
.500
1-0
1-1
0-1
Won 2
Alpena
0-0
.000
1-5
.167
0-2
1-3
0-0
Lost 2
Western Conference
School
MCCAA
Overall
GB
Home
Away
Neutral
Streak
Ancilla
0-0
.000
8-0
1.000
4-0
4-0
0-0
Won 8
Grand Rapids
0-0
.000
6-2
.750
4-0
1-1
1-1
Lost 1
Mid Michigan
0-0
.000
6-2
.750
2-1
4-1
0-0
Won 5
Lake Michigan
0-0
.000
4-3
.571
2-2
2-1
0-0
Lost 1
Jackson
0-0
.000
5-4
.556
2-1
2-3
1-0
Lost 2
Muskegon
0-0
.000
3-5
.375
2-0
1-5
0-0
Won 1
Glen Oaks
0-0
.000
3-6
.333
2-2
1-3
0-1
Lost 3
Lansing
0-0
.000
2-6
.250
2-3
0-3
0-0
Lost 2
Kalamazoo Valley
0-0
.000
2-7
.222
0-5
2-2
0-0
Lost 1
Kellogg
0-0
.000
0-6
.000
0-2
0-4
0-0
Lost 6
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Mott sophomore Diandre Wilson led the Bears with 26 points against Macomb on Saturday (Feb. 25)

Mott head coach Steve Schmidt confirmed what many fans already knew Saturday afternoon after his team’s 83-79 loss to Macomb.

“We’ll probably see this team again,” said Steve Schmidt, among the winningest coaches in JUCO basketball history.

Schmidt has made a career out of avenging regular season losses in the playoffs.

The Monarchs and the Bears, ranked 12 and 13 respectively in the most recent NJCAA poll, comprise two-thirds of the Big Three in the MCCAA’s Eastern Conference — Schoolcraft rounds out of the trio. For the MCCAA Eastern Conference to have three legitimate national championship contenders is unprecedented.

The Bears (21-6) will take on Alpena on the road Monday night before wrapping up the regular season on Wednesday night at home versus Wayne County. That game could decide third place in the conference. If the Bears get the third seed, they would play the sixth seed in the first round of the District 10 tournament March 7 at home.

Schmidt has foreshadowed postseason success for this squad all season long, and he did it again even in defeat Saturday afternoon. Schmidt told MRSN radio that he is not discouraged about the team and their prospects for the near future.

“I still feel like we have a lot left in  us,” Schmidt said. “That was one hell of a college basketball game.”

That was an understatement.

Mott trailed by nine at the half and by as many as 12 early in the second half before a furious comeback. Led by Marcus Cole, Diandre Wilson and Shawn Pardee, the Bears sprinted out on a 20-5 run punctuated by a Cole dunk that put Mott up one midway through the second half.

The Monarchs (22-4) led by freshman Dwight Burton responded with a 9-2 run of their own. The Bears, with their best forward Robert McCalley on the bench with four fouls, couldn’t get the stops they needed down the stretch. McCalley ultimately fouled out with less than five minutes left in the game.

Freshman point guard Darwin Weis cut the Macomb lead to one with under three minutes to play before Macomb’s Antonio Capaldi responded immediately with a triple to put the Monarchs back up four. Macomb made its free throws down the stretch to put the game away.

 

 

 

“We battled back; we made a few mistakes but our guys hung tough,” Schmidt said. “They are in first place for a reason. Really Proud of the effort. I liked a lot of things.”

Mott split the season series. They beat the Monarchs 66-58 at home January 25.

Wilson, the Bears’ leading scoring, led Mott with 26 points. Cole poured in 18 points with eight rebounds. Freshman guard Austin Walker added 13 points off the bench.

Listen to Mott basketball all season long on MRSN.us.  

2017 NJCAA District 10 Men’s Basketball Tournament
March 7, 9, 11, 2017
St. Clair County CC, Port Huron, MI

Tuesday, March 7, 2017
Campus Sites, Higher Seed

Game 1 – Eastern Conference 6th Place vs. Eastern Conference 3rd Place, 7:00 or 7:30 PM
Game 2 – Eastern Conference 7th Place vs. Eastern Conference 2nd Place, 7:00 or 7:30 PM
Game 3 – Eastern Conference 5th Place vs. Eastern Conference 4th Place, 7:00 or 7:30 PM

Thursday, March 9, 2017
St. Clair County CC, Port Huron, MI

Game 4 – Winner of Game 1 vs. Winner of Game 2, 1:00 PM
Game 5 – Winner of Game 3 vs. Eastern Conference 1st Place, 3:00 PM

Saturday, March 10, 2017
St. Clair County CC, Port Huron, MI

Game 6 – Winner of Game 4 vs. Winner of Game 5, 1:00 PM

Winner advances to NJCAA Division II National Tournament in Danville, IL

No. 10-ranked Mott falls to no. 13 Schoolcraft,73-65

Posted: February 15, 2017 by Jared Field in Mott

The biggest game of the season didn’t go as planned for the no. 10-ranked Mott Community College Bears Wednesday night.

Mott lost its first home game of the season to no. 13-ranked Schoolcraft, 73-65. The Bears had been tied for second place with the Ocelots coming in to the game. After the loss, Mott will need some help to win the MCCAA’s Eastern Conference this season. Fortunately, the Bears still have another shot at Macomb, currently the top team in the MCCAA.

“Let’s give credit where it’s due; (Schoolcraft) deserved to win tonight,” Mott head coach Steve Schmidt told MRSN radio. “Every hustle play they seemed to get. But all you can do is keep plugging away.”

Mott has a great chance to run the table in the final five games of the regular season. It would be hard to envision any other road to the conference title.

The Bears trailed by 11 at the half, and by as many as 16 in the second half, before cutting the lead to nine with 10 minutes left in regulation. Four minutes later, a basket by Schoolcraft’s Tariiq Jones gave the Ocelots a 15-point lead.

The Bears cut the lead to eight points late but couldn’t get any closer.

“We have to use this game in the right way; this loss is on all of us,” Schmidt said. “We have to take collective responsibility.”

Mott (19-5) was led by freshmen Shawn Pardee and Marcus Cole  who scored 16 points apiece. Sophomore Diandre Wilson added 13 points.

The Bears return to action Saturday afternoon at Delta. The game tips at 3 p.m.

Listen to Mott basketball all season at MRSN.us.

 

 

Mott improves to 19-4 with road win over Henry Ford, 84-73

Posted: February 8, 2017 by Jared Field in College, Mott

Mott Community College has one week to prepare for its biggest game of the season next Wednesday night at home versus Schoolcraft.

The Bears dispatched Henry Ford 84-73 on Wednesday night in Dearborn thanks to a pair of timely offensive outbursts against the Hawks.

Henry Ford is not a team to be taken lightly. The Hawks, a longtime rival of the Bears, have wins over Oakland and Schoolcraft this season. Mott struggled to put Henry Ford away in the second half.  The Hawks have been notoriously tough at home for many years.

Mott head coach Steve Schmidt was not discouraged by his team’s play defensively, and seemed pretty impressed by some of the shots that were falling for the opposition.

“Everything for us starts with Darwin Weis defensively,” Schmidt told MRSN Radio after the game. “He brings a lot of energy to the game … but they hit some tough shots … (Henry Ford) is a good team. They’re going to knock off some teams in front of them before the season is over.”

Mott (19-4) trailed in the first half before cutting loose on a 20-4 run to take a 14-point lead. Henry Ford responded with a 16-6 run of their own to cut the lead to six with four minutes left in regulation. From that point, it was all Bears.

Mott scored the game’s next eight points. Freshman sharpshooter Shawn Pardee buried a huge 3-pointer from the corner with three minutes left in the game to extend the lead to nine. Mott cruised to victory from the charity stripe and got out of Dearborn with an important victory.

The Bears are still very much in control of their own destiny in the MCCAA Eastern Conference.

Sophomore guard Diandre Wilson led the Bears with 20 points. Freshman Marcus Cole added 18.

Jerris Cargile had 24 points for Henry Ford (10-9).

Listen to Mott basketball live all season online at MRSN.us. Wednesday night’s big game against Schoolcraft tips at 7:30 p.m.

 

 

No. 7-ranked Mott blows out no. 12 Oakland, 96-80

Posted: February 4, 2017 by Jared Field in Mott

 

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Mott sophomore Diandre Wilson

The top JUCO guard in the state poured in 37 points to lead no. 7-ranked Mott over no. 12 Oakland on the road Saturday afternoon, 96-80.

Mott sophomore Diandre Wilson, fresh off being named the NJCAA player of the week, scored 25 points in the second half to turn a tight game into an easy victory. He added six assists and six rebounds.

The Bears led by four at the half and nursed a three point lead early in the second half before Wilson led the Bears on a 20-7 run. Back-to-back triples by Wilson put the Bears up 16 midway through the second half and they held serve for the rest of the game.

“It’s a hell of a win,” said Mott head coach Steve Schmidt to MRSN radio after the game.
“They’re a really good team and they’re awfully tough (at home)…this was a man’s game. We had some men step up today.”

The Bears desperately needed this win after letting one get away in the final seconds Wednesday night at Wayne County, 62-60.

“If we’d played like that the other night, we wouldn’t have lost,” Schmidt said. “I’m really happy with this win. We control our own destiny.”

Mott freshman Marcus Cole scored 18 points with six rebounds and a thunderous dunk. Freshmen Shawn Pardee and Sidney Mason added 14 and 10 points, respectively.

 

 

 

The Bears are now 7-2 in conference and 18-4 overall. That puts Mott in a tie for second place behind Macomb, which has a hellish schedule down the stretch of the season. The Monarchs only loss in conference came to Mott last month. The Bears will get another crack at Schoolcraft, currently tied with Mott in second place, at home on February 15.

The Bears have another tough game on the road Wednesday night against Henry Ford. The Hawks have played great of late including a win this week over Oakland (17-5).

Listen to Mott Bears basketball live all season online at MRSN.us.

 

No. 8-ranked Mott knocks off Macomb, 66-58

Posted: January 25, 2017 by Jared Field in Mott

FLINT, Michigan — The Mott Community College Bears improved to 16-3 on the season after a  hard-fought 66-58 victory over Macomb Wednesday night in Flint.

The Monarchs, ranked no. 16 in the nation, were previously unbeaten in conference play.

The Bears led by nine points early the game before the Monarchs caught fire from behind the arc, rattling off 14 of the game’s next 20 points.

Macomb (15-3) led by one at the at the break before Mott finally got it going early in the second half. After an acrobatic and-one by freshman guard Shawn Pardee, Mott led the Monarchs by six midway through the half. The Monarchs clawed their way back and actually led by three with six minutes left.

From there it was all Mott. The Bears, sparked by freshman guard Darwin Weis, finished the game on a 13-2 run. Weis, a reserve point guard from Detroit, put the Bears up five with a clutch 3-pointer with 3:34 left in regulation. From that point, the Mott defense, again sparked by Weis, put the game away.

The Bears struggled mightily from the field all game, but managed to get to the rim with regularity. Mott forced Macomb into 20+ turnovers and cashed in from the foul line, hitting 23-of-34 free throws.

Mott sophomore Diandre Wilson led all scorers with 16 points and five assists. Shawn Pardee and Robert McCalley added 13 and 10 points, respectively.

Kavon Bey led Macomb with 11 points and eight rebounds.

The Bears have won three straight games and will add another one to the win column at 3 p.m.  Saturday at home versus Alpena. The Lumberjacks (0-10) are the worst team in the MCCAA this season.

Listen to Mott all season at MRSN.us. 

No. 12-ranked Mott knocks of Henry Ford in double OT thriller

Posted: January 7, 2017 by Jared Field in Mott

 

FLINT, Michigan — There was a very conspicuous absence on the floor at Steve Schmidt Gymnasium on Saturday afternoon in Flint. One of the top JUCO guards in the nation, Mott sophomore Diandre Wilson, was in uniform but he never stepped on the floor.

Even so, the shorthanded Bears pulled off a double overtime victory over Henry Ford, 93-90. The victory is Mott’s ninth in a row.

Wilson injured his hamstring in the second half of Mott’s win over Oakland on Wednesday night. He probably could have played in a pinch, but Mott head coach Steve Schmidt said he did not want to risk tweaking it again.

Ironically, it was a player little known to Mott fans who ultimately won the game for the Bears. Louis Taborn, a 6-4 reserve forward, had seen a precious little playing time this season through 14 games. In fact, he didn’t log a minute of action against Oakland Wednesday night. That is about to change drastically.

Every time the Bears needed a big play, he delivered against the Hawks. A clutch free throw? Check. A huge 3-pointer? Check. Take a charge? Sure. Offensive rebound? He got that, too.

Taborn is a hard-working hustler in the mold of former Bear Matt Place. He finished the game with six points, 12 rebounds (six on the offensive end) and a flair for the dramatic.

With Mott down two and just 37 seconds left, Taborn’s defender backed off leaving a wide open 3-pointer, which he buried to give the Bears the lead.

With Mott nursing a three-point lead, Taborn drew a charge with 26 seconds left in the first overtime.

With the Bears up 91-90, Henry Ford’s athletic freshman guard, JaShean Green, had a free throw to tie the game with eight seconds left in the second overtime. He missed and, you guessed it, Taborn came down with the rebound. He tossed it to Marcus Cole who was fouled. Cole made both free throws. A desperation 3-point attempt by the Hawks’ John Merrieweather was long. Taborn got that one, too.

Game over.

Lost in all the hoopla surrounding Taborn’s play off the bench was the performance of Mott sophomore Robert McCalley. The 6-4 forward from Chicago had his best game as a Bear, scoring 32 points on nine shot attempts with nine rebounds. That’s not a misprint. McCalley was 18-for-20 from the foul line.

Henry Ford (3-8) was led by Merrieweather’s 21 points. Green added 18 points including a couple impressive dunks.

Freshman guards Marcus Cole and Austin Walker scored 17 and 16 points, respectively for Mott (13-2). Freshman sharpshooter Shawn Pardee added 14 points including a clutch three-pointer with a minute left in double overtime.

Mott will return to action on Saturday at Schoolcraft. The Ocelots (10-3) may be the best team the Bears face this season. Listen live on MRSN.us.