The MSJC men's basketball team will kick off their season on Friday November 6th when they play Porterville College in the City College of San Francisco Tournament.
The Eagles enter the 2009-10 season with high expectations and plenty of national recognition. MSJC is coming off a 23-11 season that saw them fall one game short of a Foothill Conference title as well as one game short of the Elite Eight State Tournament. The Eagles lost in heartbreaking fashion at San Diego City in the Southern California Regional Finals to end the year. Gone from that team is All State guard Melvin Goins, who is now at the University of Tennessee, and All Conference guard Mark Williams, but the Eagles believe the combination of returnees and newcomers for this year will more than fill in the gaps.
MSJC has garnered plenty of national attention including a pre-season ranking of #4 in the country by the Sporting News. A large part of that national attention is due to the arrival of D.J. Wright on the MSJC campus. Wright, a 6-8 wing , joins the Eagles squad after winning an NJCAA national championship last season as a member of the Salt Lake City Community College team. During the national tournament last year Wright was named the MVP while averaging 24 points per game. Two other impact transfers join Wright this year for the Eagles. Shooting guard Dominic Tiger-Cortes and point guard DeAndre Williams both are expected to add depth and scoring punch in the back court. Tiger-Cortes played last season at Haskell Indian Nations University, while Williams played at Odessa Junior College in Texas. This trio of transfers will also be bolstered by two stand out local freshmen, Eric Lawton and Dakota Downs. Lawton and Downs played together at West Valley High School and helped lead the Mustangs to a CIF title during their junior season. Lawton originally signed with San Diego State before coming to MSJC.
These newcomers will look to jell with a solid returning core led by first team all conference forward Jeffrey West, leading returning scorer Shenon Johannes, and honorable mention all conference forward Terrance Williams. West averaged 9 points and 7.9 rebounds a game last season while Johannes scored 10.5 per contest.
You can hear all the Eagle action this weekend from the Bay Area on the Eagle Radio Network. Friday's game starts at 2 pm with a pre-game show to proceed at 1:50. You can tune into the Eagle Radio Network at either AM1620 or on the internet at msjc.edu.
D.J. Wright (top) and Jeffrey West (bottom) hope to lead MSJC to a strong 2009-10 season in which they are ranked #4 in the nation by the Sporting News.