Men's Basketball 2013-2014 Season News


Motlow College hosts Basketball Elite Skills Camp

June 19, 2014

Basketball Skills Camp


Motlow men's basketball coach Matt Sligh recently held a basketball elite skills camp inside Nisbett Center on the Moore County campus. Sligh, along with volunteer assistant coaches Robert Hayes, Matt Joines, Cass Barnes and Motlow basketball players Dequon Miller and Clint Nwosuh, worked with campers on a variety of individual and team skills including shooting technique, passing and ball-handling, rebounding, defensive concepts and sportsmanship. Thirty-three campers attended two different sessions during the two-day event. Motlow College photo.

Motlow College sets June dates for summer hoops camp

May 20, 2014

Motlow Bucks head basketball coach Matt Sligh and his staff will host a basketball skills camp on June 16 and 17 inside Nisbett Center on the Motlow College Moore County campus. The deadline for registration is June 9.

Summer Basketball Camp Registration Form (pdf)
Email Coach Matt Sligh


The camp will feature two separate sessions. The first is for kindergarten through sixth-grade students and will begin at 9 a.m. and end at noon both days. The second session is for seventh through 12th graders and will begin at 1 p.m. and end at 4 p.m. both days.

The camp will focus on a variety of individual skills including shooting technique, passing and ball-handling, rebounding and defensive concepts. Campers will play three-on-three and five-on-five games while developing teamwork and sportsmanship.

The cost of the camp is $60 per person. There is a $5 discount per player for two or more campers from the same family. Team groups of eight or more players will receive a $10 discount per player. Late registration is $65.

Campers will receive a Motlow Bucks basketball camp T-shirt and will have the option to purchase additional Bucks basketball gear. Food and drink items will be available for purchase throughout the camp.

Attendees are encouraged to reserve their spot at the camp by visiting MotlowSports.com. Please fill out the form and return it to the address on it along with payment.


Motlow Bucks take Columbia State to the wire before falling in double overtime

Mar. 10, 2014

The Motlow Bucks battled the nation's third-ranked team for 50 minutes Friday in the TCCAA/Region VII Tournament semifinals, falling 122-121 to Columbia State in double overtime in Harriman, Tenn.

The Bucks (14-14) had multiple opportunities to put the Chargers away, leading by as many as 20 points late in the first half, but in the end a familiar albatross reared its head - missed free throws. Motlow missed 18, the same as Columbia State.

The Chargers (26-3) were upset in the tournament championship game 81-79 by Walters State. Both teams will advance to the NJCAA Men's National Championship Tournament, with Walters receiving the league's automatic berth and Columbia receiving an at-large invitation.

After trailing in the first minute, the Bucks grabbed a 5-3 lead on Dequon Miller's 3-point bucket with two minutes played and didn't trail again until 75 second remained in regulation. Motlow went on a 25-3 run early and led 27-8 with 12:13 remaining in the first half.

Much of the early damage for Motlow was done by Greg Mason, who had eight points in that first eight minutes. The Bucks continued to pound the ball inside in the first half to Mason, Trey James and Jordan Riley, and built a 52-32 lead late in the first half, which ended with Motlow leading 54-35.

Columbia State started the second half on a 13-4 run to climb within 58-50 with 17 minutes to play, but Motlow's Reggie Williams hit a pair of 3-pointers to extend the Bucks' lead back to 15, 72-57, with 12 minutes remaining.

The Chargers fought back though, cutting Motlow's lead to three, 76-73, with 7:40 left in regulation. Miller connected on two free throws to give the Bucks an 83-77 lead with 4:25 remaining, but Columbia's T.J. Dunans hit a pair of free throws to give his team the lead, 87-86, with 1:15 showing on the game clock.

Motlow had two opportunities to retake the lead as James missed one of two free throws and Miller missed two attempts from the foul line with 40 seconds remaining, sending the two teams into the first overtime tied 87-87.

The Bucks controlled the action early in the extra five-minute period, jumping out front 101-93 with 1:33 left to play. CJ McEwen came off the bench and scored seven points in the first overtime, but with one minute left and Motlow holding that eight-point lead, Dunans took over.

The Columbia State freshman, who was named the conference Player of the Year, hit three 3-pointers in the final minute to keep his team close. Chargers' sophomore Arturs Bremers hit the miracle shot Columbia needed to send the game into double overtime, connecting on a long 3-pointer with two seconds showing on the clock to tie the score at 108.

The second overtime saw the lead swap back and forth. Brandon Berridge hit the first two baskets for Motlow, and Miller's 3-pointer gave the Bucks a 115-113 lead with 2:08 remaining. Leading 118-117, Motlow turned the ball over with 35 seconds left and Columbia's Kendrick May hit a 3-pointer to give his team a 120-118 lead with 17 second remaining.

Williams hit the final bucket for Motlow, but a pair of missed free throws in the final minute cost the Bucks an opportunity to complete the upset. Regardless of the outcome, it was a fantastic showing by the Bucks in the tournament.

James completed a spectacular season at Motlow, leading the team with 25 points and 15 rebounds. Miller, who was named to the all-conference first team, scored 23 and added five assists and six rebounds. Kytrel Williams, who joined James on the all-conference second team, added 19 points and three assists.

Mason, who sat much of the second half with foul trouble, finished with 17 points and four rebounds. Jordan Riley had a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds, and McEwen completed the double-figure scorers for Motlow with 10 points. Reggie Williams scored nine with four rebounds and Berridge added six points.

Dunans led all scorers with 47 points and pulled down 12 rebounds.


Motlow Bucks Advance to TCCAA/Region VII Tournament Semifinals for 4th Consecutive Year

Mar. 6, 2014

The Motlow Bucks put themselves in position to advance to their fourth consecutive TCCAA/Region VII Tournament championship game with a 78-68 win over Cleveland State Wednesday in the tournament quarterfinals played at Roane State in Harriman, Tenn.

TCCAA/Region VII Tournament Home

Motlow (14-13) is the defending tournament champion and has played in the past three tournament championship games. The Bucks can make it four straight title games if they can beat top-seed Columbia State (25-2) on Friday in the semifinals. Motlow is the fourth seed and will tip off against Columbia State, the nation's third-ranked team, Friday at 1 p.m. central.

The Bucks struggled early against the fifth-seeded Cougars from Cleveland, falling behind 16-7 with 11:30 left to play in the first half. Motlow then went on a 28-5 run, sparked by a four-point play by Dequon Miller, and took a 35-21 lead with 3:38 remaining in the first half. Motlow's lead was 39-25 at halftime.

After extending their lead to 41-25 in the first minute of the second half, the Bucks saw the Cougars stage an admirable comeback and cut the Motlow lead to 51-50 with 8:30 left to play. Motlow extended its lead back to nine, 69-60, with 2:13 remaining, but the Cougars scored the next five points and trailed by four with 1:12 remaining.

Motlow sealed its win by making clutch free throws in the final minutes, something the Bucks have struggled with in recent games. Motlow hit 21-30 free throws, with Miller leading the way by making 13 of his 16 attempts. The freshman from Charleston, WV, who is being heavily recruited by multiple Division I universities, led the Bucks with 25 points and six assists.

However, it was sophomore Trey James who put the Bucks on his back in the second half after Cleveland closed the gap to one point. James, who led the conference in rebounding, finished with 22 points and 15 rebounds. Although the official statistics do not credit him properly, James blocked at least four Cleveland State shots.

The Bucks got seven points and two assists from Kytrel Williams and six points and five rebounds from Greg Mason. Reggie Williams scored six and CJ McEwen, Riley Jordan and Brandon Berridge added four points each.

Miller was named to the TCCAA all-conference first team, while James and Kytrel Williams were named to the all-conference second team. Columbia State's T.J. Dunans was named the TCCAA Player of the Year and Columbia coach Brian Collins was named the Coach of the Year.

Cleveland State won the rebounding battle 46-35, but the Bucks protected the ball extremely well and committed only eight turnovers. Motlow shot 40% from the field and hit six 3-point shots, four by Miller and two by Reggie Williams.

The other men's tournament semifinal game will feature second-seed Southwest Tennessee against third-seed Walters State at 3 p.m. central on Friday. The two semifinal winners will play for the conference championship and a trip to the national tournament on Saturday at 1 p.m. central time.


Motlow Bucks ready to defend TCCAA Tournament title

Feb. 28, 2014

It has been 30 years since a Motlow College men's basketball team entered the Tennessee Community College Athletic Association/National Junior College Athletic Association Region VII Tournament as the defending champion. This year's Bucks carry that banner.

TCCAA/Region VII Tournament Home

Although the head coach and all the players at Motlow are different this year than they were last year, the title of defending champion still applies. Based on the performance of this year's squad, it is unwise to discount the possibility that the Bucks have the potential to make a return trip to the NJCAA Tournament, scheduled for Mar. 17-22 in Hutchinson, Kan.

"Our guys have worked extremely hard throughout the conference season, and earning the 4th seed is a testament to their commitment to our program despite some early season challenges," said Matt Sligh, Bucks' first-year head coach. "We are working hard this week to prepare for what we hope is a memorable four days of basketball in Harriman. I like the way we are playing and know our guys can't wait for the opportunities ahead."

Motlow (13-13, 8-10) closed out its regular season with a 99-66 rout of Dyersburg State last Tuesday in Dyersburg. Dequon Miller led Motlow with 25 points and nine assists. Emmanuel Ezoua scored 15 and pulled down six rebounds. Jordan Riley scored 14 with seven boards, Kytrel Williams had 13 points and four assists and Joshua Stroud scored 13 with four rebounds. Trey James had 11 rebounds with four points and four assists.

In order to make that return trip to the national tournament, the Bucks must win the upcoming TCCAA/Region VII Tournament, which begins on Tuesday, Mar. 4 at Roane State Community College in Harriman, Tenn. The Bucks enter as the No. 4 seed and will face No. 5 Cleveland State on Wednesday, Mar. 5 at 4 p.m. eastern.

"Playing Cleveland State in our first round match-up will be tough," continued Sligh. "They have been playing extremely well as of late, including a road win at Roane State on Thursday night. They have a veteran coach who will have his guys well prepared. They have one of the best players in our league and can really shoot the ball from the perimeter. It's always a challenge to beat a team three times in a season, but that's what we have to find a way to do on Wednesday."

The obvious favorites to win the tournament and advance to the national event are the top two seeds - Columbia State and Southwest Tennessee. The Chargers are ranked 3rd in the nation with a 24-2 record, while the Saluqis enter the postseason with a 22-3 overall record and a No. 13 national ranking.

However, if there is a darkhorse team that could emerge from the pack and disrupt the top two teams' path to the title game it appears to be the Bucks. Motlow beat Southwest 87-73 in mid-January, and then lost to the Saluqis 90-85 two weeks ago in Memphis.

Although the Bucks played their worst game of the season in the their first matchup against Columbia State, losing 111-53 back in early November in Columbia, they battled the Chargers to the end a week ago at Copperweld Arena before losing 79-74.

The Bucks feature one of the most dynamic players in the nation in freshman point guard Miller, who will likely be named first team all-conference and will get strong consideration for All-American honors.

Miller led the TCCAA in scoring with a 20.7 per game average, which ties him for 20th in the nation. His 7.2 assists per game is second in the conference and is tied for fifth in the nation. He connected on 84.1% of his free-throw attempts, leading the conference and finishing 28th in the nation and his assist-to-turnover ratio of 2.8 tied for the conference lead and tied for 38th nationally.

Miller was not the only Buck to put up numbers that ranked at or near the top of the TCCAA. James led the league in rebounding, averaging 12.1 per game, which tied him for the eighth-highest average in the country. Greg Mason connected on 66 percent of his shots, which is second in the conference and seventh in the nation.

Williams, Kentrell Southern, Kerby Lubin, Ezoua, Riley, Reggie Williams, CJ McEwen, Brandon Berridge and Stroud have all played significant minutes for the Bucks this season and will need to make major contributions for Motlow to pull the necessary upsets and make a return trip to Kansas.


Missed free throws mean missed opportunity for Bucks

Feb. 24, 2014

The Motlow Bucks battled visiting Columbia State, ranked fourth in the nation, down to the wire Saturday night before dropping a 79-74 decision to the Chargers at Copperweld Arena. It was the final home game of the season for Motlow.

The Bucks (12-13, 7-10) will travel to Dyersburg State on Tuesday to make up a game that was postponed on Feb. 12 due to inclement weather. Following the trip to Dyersburg, Motlow will begin preparation for the Tennessee Community College Athletic Association Tournament, which begins Mar. 4 at Roane State in Harriman, Tenn.

Missed free throws, which have been a consistent problem for the Bucks recently, kept Motlow from beating a ranked team for the second time this season. Motlow connected on only 16 of its 32 free throw attempts, while the visitors hit 18-24, including their final 10 in a row.

Although poor free-throw shooting was a problem for Motlow, poor shooting in general was the story of the day for the Bucks. Motlow hit only 36% of its shots from the field and 29% of its 3-point opportunities. Columbia State shot 54% from the field. The Bucks dominated the backboards 52-37, but committed 17 turnovers while forcing only 10.

Motlow's first lead came in the first three minutes at 5-3, and they didn't lead again until Dequon Miller hit a 3-pointer with 6:30 remaining in the game to give the Bucks a 61-60 lead. Miller scored eight straight points over a two minute span to give his team a 68-64 lead with 4:44 left to play.

To Columbia State's credit though, the Chargers did not go quietly. T.J. Dunans, who along with Miller appears to be contending for conference player of the year, scored 20 second-half points on his way to a 31-point game. He hit five straight free throws in the final minutes, as did Columbia guard Justin Pride.

Miller led Motlow with 22 points, adding six assists and six rebounds. Trey James added another notch in the Motlow all-time single game record book as he pulled down 20 rebounds to go along with 12 points, three assists, two steals and two blocked shots.

Greg Mason added 13 points with eight rebounds for the Bucks, and Kerby Lubin scored 11 points with four assists and three rebounds.


Motlow Bucks allow Generals to escape Copperweld Arena

Feb. 20, 2014

The Motlow Bucks missed 13 free throws on their home court Wednesday night, allowing Jackson State to lead from start to finish and beat the Bucks 81-74 at Copperweld Arena.

The Bucks (12-12, 7-9) will host the Tennessee Community College Athletic Association (TCCAA) first-place team when Columbia State visits Saturday. Tipoff is scheduled for 4 p.m. The Chargers (22-2, 15-1) are ranked fourth in the nation in the latest NJCAA poll.

Motlow fell behind early, then tied the score at 11-11 with 16:40 remaining in the first half when Trey James was fouled scoring a basket and made his free throw. From that point the visitors went on a 31-18 run and took a 42-29 lead into halftime.

The Jackson lead remained in double digits until five minutes were left to play in the game. After a technical foul was called on each team, the Bucks began to inch closer. Motlow closed the gap to three, 77-74, with 42 seconds to play but was not able to get a defensive stop at that critical point in the game.

Dequon Miller led the Bucks in scoring with 29 points while adding seven assists. James scored 12 points and added 15 rebounds and two blocked shots. Greg Mason added eight points and four rebounds, Kentrell Southern scored seven points, and Brandon Berridge added six rebounds.

Motlow will end its regular season with a trip to Dyersburg State on Tuesday. The game was originally scheduled for Feb. 12 but was postponed due to inclement weather.


Motlow Bucks host Jackson State Wednesday, ranked Columbia State on Saturday

Feb. 17, 2014

The Motlow Bucks will begin their final push to finish in the top half of the Tennessee Community College Athletic Association (TCCAA) standings when they host Jackson State on Wednesday at Copperweld Arena. Tipoff is scheduled for 8 p.m.

The Bucks (12-11, 7-8) traveled to Memphis on Saturday and dropped a 90-85 decision to nationally-ranked Southwest Tennessee, a team that Motlow beat by 14 points at home a month ago. The Bucks remain home on Saturday, Feb. 22 when Columbia State, the nation's sixth-ranked team and the TCCAA standings leader, visits for a 4 p.m. tipoff.

Motlow will close its regular season with a trip to Dyersburg State on Tuesday, Feb. 25. The game was originally scheduled for Feb. 12 but was postponed due to inclement weather.

The Bucks led the Saluqis 42-35 at halftime and 48-44 with 15 minutes remaining before the home team went on a 13-3 run during the next three minutes to take a 57-51 lead with 12 minutes left to play. Motlow pulled to within a point in the final minute, but Southwest connected on its free throws to ice the game.

A total of 93 free throws were shot in Memphis, 48 by Southwest and 45 by Motlow. The Bucks hit 30 and the Saluqis 27, but it was shooting from the field that proved to be the difference. Motlow connected on only 42%, including 5-17 from 3-point range. Southwest hit 49% of its shots and was 7-20 from behind the arc.

Dequon Miller paced the Bucks with 27 points and seven assists. Trey James continued his assault on the record book with 18 points and 15 rebounds. Kerby Lubin scored six points and added five assists, Reggie Williams came off the bench to score 13 points, including three 3-pointers, and Jordan Riley blocked five shots.


Motlow Bucks make Strong Statement with Weekend Sweep

Feb. 10, 2014

The Motlow Bucks sent a message to the rest of the Tennessee Community College Athletic Association (TCCAA) conference over the weekend - if you get a lead on Motlow you better finish them off because the Bucks do not give up when they are down.

The Bucks (12-10, 7-7) came from behind Friday night to beat Roane State 88-87 in overtime, then overcame a seven point halftime deficit Saturday to beat Walters State 77-68. Both games were played at Copperweld Arena, and Saturday's contest was part of Motlow's homecoming celebration.

With the victories the Bucks move into the upper half of the conference standings. Motlow will travel to Dyersburg on Wednesday, Feb. 12 to face Dyersburg State, and then head to Memphis where they will visit Southwest Tennessee on Saturday, Feb. 15. The next home game is Wednesday, Feb. 19 when Jackson State visits Copperweld Arena.

Friday night against Roane State the Bucks led by only three, 35-32, at halftime. The visitors took their first lead at 45-43 with just under 13 minutes remaining and extended the lead to nine, 56-47, with nine minutes left to play.

Dequon Miller, who led Motlow with 27 points, then scored eight of the next nine points to tie the score at 61-61 with 4:18 remaining. The lead swapped back and forth until Motlow's Trey James hit a layup in the final seconds to tie the score at 73. Roane State missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer, sending the game into overtime.

The visiting Raiders took a five-point lead early in the extra period before Miller connected on a 3-pointer to close the gap to two points. From there it was Motlow's Kytrel Williams who finished the job for the Bucks, nailing two big 3-point shots to seal the win.

Miller added nine assists to his 27 points, while Williams scored 20 and had five rebounds. James pulled down 18 rebounds, tying him for eighth place in the Motlow all-time single-game record book. Greg Mason scored 17 and added eight rebounds, and Kerby Lubin scored five points and added four assists.

Saturday against Walters State the Bucks led in the early minutes, but the Senators took the lead six minutes into the first half and went into intermission leading 41-34. Once again it was Miller who sparked the second-half comeback, nailing a 3-pointer with 15 minutes to play to put Motlow back on top 43-42.

Motlow trailed 52-49 with 10:30 remaining when Miller hit another three, tying the game at 52-52. The Bucks gradually extended their lead, thanks in part to clutch free-throw shooting by Miller, Mason and Emmanuel Ezoua, and a key three-point play by James with three minutes remaining.

Miller, who was extended an invitation to play at the University of Mississippi following Friday's win, scored 21 points and dished out six assists with four steals. Lubin scored 13 and added four assists and Williams had 11 points, five rebounds and two assists.

Mason scored 10 points with nine rebounds and two steals, and James had 12 rebounds and two blocked shots to go along with seven points. Ezoua added nine points and two rebounds, and Jordan Riley scored three points with five rebounds and three blocked shots.


Bucks set to welcome TCCAA rivals for Homecoming weekend

Feb. 3, 2014

The Motlow Bucks will have another opportunity to make a significant move up the Tennessee Community College Athletic Association (TCCAA) standings when they host a pair of conference rivals this weekend at Copperweld Arena.

The Bucks (10-10, 5-7) split a pair of conference games on the road over the weekend, beating Cleveland State 90-78 on Friday and falling to Chattanooga State 89-87 in overtime on Saturday.

Friday night Roane State visits Motlow, with tipoff scheduled for 8 p.m. The Raiders (8-9, 6-5) are one of several teams the Bucks have an opportunity to catch and pass in the standings before the conference tournament. Walters State (13-12, 6-7) is another such team, and the Senators will take the Copperweld Arena floor with the Bucks Saturday afternoon at 4 p.m. Motlow College is celebrating Homecoming on Saturday.

Friday night's win in Cleveland against Cleveland State (10-9, 5-8) was a game the Bucks had to win to stay competitive for the top-half of the conference standings. The Bucks did win it, thanks in large part to the tremendous efforts of Dequon Miller and Trey James.

After trailing 45-40 at halftime, the Bucks fought their way back to win Friday night in Cleveland. Miller led the Bucks with 24 points and eight assists, including connecting on all 10 of his free throw opportunities. James added another double-double to his season, scoring 20 points and adding 15 rebounds, five steals and two blocked shots.

Kytrel Williams added 13 points and five rebounds for Motlow, while Kerby Lubin scored eight points and had four assists. Keevin Tyus led Cleveland State with 26 points and 13 rebounds.

Saturday's loss at Chattanooga was especially disappointing to the Bucks, who led 31-17 midway through the first half. The Tigers closed the half on a 28-9 run and took a 45-40 advantage into intermission.

The Bucks trailed for much of the second half before Lubin's three-point play gave them a 68-67 lead with eight minutes remaining. Down 80-77 with five seconds to play, James nailed a 3-pointer to send the game into overtime.

Miller and James were again the catalysts for the Bucks. Miller scored a career-high 33 points and again dished out eight assists in addition to nailing all 11 of his free throw opportunities. James had 19 points and 16 rebounds with three assists, two steals and two blocked shots.

Williams added nine points, seven rebounds and three assists. Greg Mason scored seven points along with seven rebounds and Lubin had five points and three assists.

Homecoming activities are scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. on Saturday inside Nisbett Center on the Motlow College Moore County campus. There is no admission charge and Motlow alumni are encouraged to attend.


Volunteer State holds off Bucks in Final Minute

January 27, 2014

The Motlow Bucks erased a nine-point deficit in the final five minutes, pulling into an 80-80 tie with 43 seconds remaining, before visiting Volunteer State scored the game's final four points and won 84-80 Saturday afternoon at Copperweld Arena.

The Bucks (9-9, 4-6) saw their five-game winning streak end with the loss. Motlow will travel to Cleveland State Friday night and Chattanooga State Saturday afternoon. The next home game is Friday, Feb. 7, when Roane State visits. The following day the Bucks will host Walters State as part of Motlow's homecoming activities.

Volunteer State (8-10, 4-6) took advantage of its opportunities at the free throw line, connecting on 21-26 attempts. Motlow got to the line 15 times, but made only eight of its attempts.

The Bucks started strong behind six first half 3-pointers, jumping out to a 13-4 lead in the first six minutes. The visiting Pioneers fought back though, taking their first lead at 23-21 with eight minutes to play in the first half. Intermission came with the Bucks leading 38-31.

Motlow's last lead was 55-54 and came with 10:40 remaining in the game. From there the Pioneers went on a 17-7 run to lead 71-62 with 5:40 left to play. Dequon Miller then got hot for the Bucks, connecting on a pair of 3-pointers, and his two-point basket tied the score at 80 in the final minute.

Miller led the Bucks with 22 points, including five 3-pointers, and added five assists, four rebounds and a steal. Trey James had a double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds. Kytrel Williams scored 15 points and had four blocked shots and four rebounds, and Greg Mason added 13 points with four rebounds.

Jamaal Brantley scored 28 points for the Pioneers, with 20 coming in the first half. Cameron Brown added 17 points and Jerrod Jenkins scored 11, all in the second half.


Motlow Bucks upset Southwest TN, host Pioneers Saturday

January 21, 2014

The Motlow Bucks extended their winning streak to five games with a 93-39 rout of the Bryan College JV team in Dayton, TN on Monday. Motlow will host conference rival Volunteer State on Saturday, Jan. 25, with tipoff scheduled for 4 p.m.

The Bucks (9-8, 4-5) also made a move towards the upper half of the Tennessee Community College Athletic Association (TCCAA) standings with wins over Dyersburg State and Southwest Tennessee at Copperweld Arena during the past weekend.

Motlow blew out Dyersburg State 96-70 Friday night, and then followed that with an 87-73 upset of nationally-ranked Southwest Tennessee on Saturday. Southwest is coached by former Bucks head coach Jerry Nichols.

Friday night the Bucks were never threatened by visiting Dyersburg State. Motlow shot well from the field, hitting 56% of their shots overall and 47% from behind the three-point line. The Bucks led 52-28 at halftime, and all 12 players that got into the game scored at least two points.

Brandon Berridge led five double-figure scorers with 14 points and added seven rebounds and four blocked shots. Trey James had a double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds, Dequon Miller added 11 points and eight assists, Reggie Williams scored 11, and Greg Mason had 10 points and seven rebounds.

Saturday's matchup against Southwest, which came into the game leading the conference with only one loss, featured the largest crowd of the season. The Bucks did not disappoint as they overcame an early 6-0 deficit with a 9-0 run to take their first lead three minutes in. The Saluqis pulled back out in front 31-30 late in the first half, but a 9-4 Motlow run ended the half with the home team holding a 39-35 advantage.

The Bucks opened the second half on a 10-2 run and never trailed again. Motlow shot the ball very well, connecting on 53% from the field and 48% from the three-point line.

Miller was spectacular, scoring 29 points, including six 3-pointers, and was 7-7 from the free throw line, where the Bucks hit 25-34 attempts. Miller added seven assists and two steals. James had another double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds.

Kentrell Southern also scored 15 points, Kytrel Williams had 12, and Mason and Emmanuel Ezoua each added seven points. Mason also pulled down nine rebounds.

Former Motlow player Perrin Buford led the visiting Saluqis with 22 points and 11 rebounds, while Otis Devine added 14 points.

The Volunteer State Pioneers (7-10, 3-5) are coming off a tough weekend as they dropped home games to both Dyersburg State and Southwest Tennessee.


Bucks Beat Crusaders, Host Conference Rivals this Weekend

January 13, 2014

The Motlow Bucks began the second half of their basketball season the same way they ended the first half, with a victory, when they traveled to Chattanooga and beat the Tennessee Temple JV team 80-66 on Saturday.

Motlow will jump back into Tennessee Community College Athletic Association (TCCAA) play this weekend when they host Dyersburg State on Friday and Southwest Tennessee on Saturday. Tipoff is scheduled for 8 p.m. Friday and 4 p.m. Saturday at Copperweld Arena.

"We are excited to get back to conference play, especially hosting three key conference games during the next two weeks," said Matt Sligh, head coach of the Bucks. "I see improvement in our team, and our upcoming opponents will provide an outstanding test for us."

Dequon Miller continued his strong point-guard play in leading the Bucks past the Crusaders. Miller scored 22 points and dished out 11 assists, while adding four rebounds and three steals. Jordan Riley, Kentrell Southern and Reggie Williams each added 10 points for Motlow.

Trey James set the pace on the boards for the Bucks, hauling down 14 rebounds to go along with seven points and three blocked shots. Brandon Berridge played his first game of the season and had six points, six rebounds and five blocked shots.

The Bucks (6-8, 2-5) have now won two straight games, as their win over Tennessee Temple was preceded by a 65-64 win over Wallace State on Dec. 10 in Hanceville, Ala. Motlow has not played a TCCAA game since falling at Walters State 94-85 on Dec. 7.

"I want to encourage the Motlow community to come out and support our players this weekend, both Friday and Saturday," added Sligh. "I am proud of our guys for continuing to work through a tough stretch to begin the season. We now have an opportunity to get back in the conference race. We would love to see great crowds on hand to support the players and we believe fans will enjoy what they see."

Dyersburg State (4-8, 1-4) dropped a 94-72 decision to Columbia State on Saturday, Jan. 11. The Eagles are currently at the bottom of the TCCAA standings.

Southwest Tennessee (12-1, 6-1) is coached by Jerry Nichols, who spent four years at Motlow before leaving following the 2012-13 season. The Saluqis have won nine consecutive games, including a 73-68 win over previously undefeated Columbia State last weekend.


Motlow Bucks begin second half at Tennessee Temple JV

January 8, 2014

The Motlow Bucks will begin the second half of their basketball season when they travel to Chattanooga to face the Tennessee Temple junior varsity Crusaders on Saturday, Jan. 11. Tipoff is scheduled for 11 a.m. central time.

The Bucks (5-8, 2-5) have not played since ending the first half of the season with a thrilling 65-64 win over Wallace State on Dec. 10, 2013 in Hanceville, Ala.

Following their trip to Chattanooga to face the non-conference Crusaders, the Motlow men will return to Copperweld Arena and join the Lady Bucks in hosting Tennessee Community College Athletic Association (TCCAA) rival Dyersburg State on Friday, Jan. 17. The Lady Bucks will tip off at 6 p.m.

Beginning with Dyersburg State, 11 of the final 12 games for both Motlow teams are against TCCAA opponents. Seven of the 11 conference dates will be played at Copperweld Arena, including Homecoming on Saturday, Feb. 8 against Walters State, and sophomore recognition day, scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 22 against Columbia State.


Buzzer Beater Boosts Bucks to Road Victory

December 13, 2013

Freshman Kytrel Williams hit a shot just before the final horn blew and the Motlow Bucks escaped Hanceville, Ala. with a 65-64 win over Wallace State Tuesday night.

The Bucks (5-8, 2-5) will scatter for the winter break before re-assembling in early January to begin the second half of their season. Motlow will host Dyersburg State in a critical TCCAA contest on Friday, Jan. 17 with tipoff scheduled for 8 p.m. at Copperweld Arena.

The Bucks trailed 30-28 at halftime in Hanceville but managed to overcome a difficult shooting night and get the win. Motlow connected on 44% of its shots from the field, but uncharacteristically hit only 4-19 three pointers.

Dequon Miller led Motlow with 18 points, five assists and five rebounds along with two steals. Williams scored 11 points and added six rebounds, Jordan Riley scored 11 and had four boards and Trey James continued to set the pace for the Bucks in rebounding with 11 along with five points, three blocked shots, two assists and a steal.

The win over a Wallace State team that had beaten the Bucks 86-81 back on Nov. 12 at Copperweld Arena ended a brief two-game losing skid for Motlow and sets the team up with positive momentum heading into 2014.


Motlow Bucks suffer narrow losses in East Tennessee

December 9, 2013

The Motlow Bucks will have to wait for the new year for another opportunity to get their first TCCAA road win after suffering a pair of close losses in East Tennessee over the weekend.

Friday night the Bucks trailed by one point at the half before dropping a 74-71 decision to Roane State in Harriman. Saturday in Morristown, Motlow was on the short end of a 49-46 halftime score and fell 94-85 to Walters State.

The Bucks (4-8, 2-5) have one more opportunity to pick up a win before the holiday break as they travel to Hanceville, Ala. to face non-conference opponent Wallace State on Tuesday, Dec. 10. Motlow's next home game is Friday, Jan. 17 when Dyersburg State visits Copperweld Arena for an 8 p.m. tipoff.

Friday night in Harriman the two teams were tied at 71-71 in the final seconds before the home team hit a basket and free throw to win by three. Motlow connected on 8-17 three pointers, including five by Dequon Miller, but turned the ball over 19 times.

Miller and Greg Mason each scored 20 for the Bucks, with Mason adding 10 rebounds for a double-double. Miller dished out five assists and pulled down four rebounds. Kerby Lubin scored 10 points with six assists and four rebounds and Kytrel Williams scored six points with four rebounds, three assists and three steals.

On Saturday, Motlow was within four points of Walters State with one minute to play before the Senators escaped with the victory. Miller was outstanding, leading the Bucks with 27 points and nine assists.

Lubin scored 15 points with five assists and four rebounds, Jordan Riley had 12 points and four boards and Williams added 10 points, six assists, five rebounds and three steals. Mason added eight points and seven rebounds.


Motlow Bucks set for December road swing

December 2, 2013

The Motlow Bucks will take their three-game winning streak on the road this weekend when they travel to TCCAA opponents Roane State in Harriman on Friday and Walters State in Morristown Saturday.

The Bucks (4-6, 2-3) have an opportunity to significantly improve their position in the conference standings during the weekend. Motlow will complete its pre-holiday schedule with a trip to Hanceville, Ala. to face non-conference opponent Wallace State on Tuesday, Dec. 10. The next home game will be Friday, Jan. 17, 2014 when Dyersburg State visits Copperweld Arena.

After beginning the season losing six of their first seven games, the Bucks have shown significant improvement under first year Head Coach Matt Sligh. Motlow beat Cleveland State and Chattanooga State on successive days, and then routed the Lindsey Wilson College JV just before Thanksgiving.

Motlow is currently tied for fifth in the conference standings, with Roane State (3-6, 3-2) just one game ahead of the Bucks in the loss column. Walters State was recently forced to forfeit all of its wins before picking up a pair of victories during the past week. The Senators are 0-5 in the conference and 2-10 overall.

The Bucks have been paced by point guard Dequon Miller, who averages 18 points and 6.2 assists per game. Trey James has more rebounds than any player in the state and averages 11.2 per game, along with 10 points while shooting 55% from the field.

Kytrel Williams and Greg Mason each average over 10 points per game. Mason shoots 64% from the field, with Williams close behind at almost 60%. Kerby Lubin averages 9.8 points and 4.3 assists per game, and Jordan Riley leads the Bucks at the free throw line, connecting on 81.3% of his attempts.


Motlow Bucks roll to third straight win

Nov. 25, 2013

The Motlow Bucks continued to show marked improvement under first-year Head Coach Matt Sligh when they rolled to a 96-57 win over visiting Lindsey Wilson College JV at Copperweld Arena Tuesday night.

Motlow (4-6, 2-3) will now take a holiday break before returning to conference action Friday, Dec. 6 with a trip to Harriman to face Roane State. The Bucks and Lady Bucks will continue heading east the next day when they play at Walters State in Morristown.

The Bucks had no trouble with Lindsey Wilson, jumping out to a 31-7 lead in the first 13 minutes, with 10 different players scoring in the first half, which ended with Motlow leading 43-21. The same 10 also scored in the second half.

Motlow was led by Josh Stroud's 16 points and eight rebounds, with Reggie Williams scoring 13 and hitting three 3-pointers.

CJ McEwen scored 11 and Kytrel Williams and Kentrell Southern had 10 each. Dequon Miller had eight points and 13 assists, tying him for fifth on the Motlow College all-time single game record list.

Emmanuel Ezoua pulled down a team-high 12 rebounds, with Trey James adding nine. Kerby Lubin was balanced with eight points, five assists, four rebounds and two steals.


Motlow Bucks hold court at Copperweld Arena

Nov. 25, 2013

The Motlow Bucks sent a strong message to the rest of the TSSAA over the weekend - don't count them out just yet.

The Bucks (2-3, 3-6) stunned Cleveland State, who entered the weekend in second place in the conference, with a 98-88 victory Friday night at Copperweld Arena. Motlow followed that wire to wire win with a come from behind 96-89 overtime win over Chattanooga State at home on Saturday.

Motlow will play at home again Tuesday. The Lady Bucks host the Martin Methodist JV Red Hawks at 5:30 p.m. and then the Bucks host the Lindsey Wilson College JV at 7:30 p.m.

The Bucks jumped out to a 7-4 lead over the Cougars from Cleveland in the first three minutes and never trailed, building a 53-39 lead at halftime. The Cougars fought back though, cutting the lead to three with 5:40 to play, but Motlow's Dequon Miller hit a three-pointer and four straight free throws to win it down the stretch.

Cleveland connected on an amazing 29-33 free throws, but the Bucks held their own at the line, hitting 28-36. Motlow's largest lead was 17 points, 71-54, with 13 minutes to play.

Kytrel Williams broke loose for 28 points and seven rebounds to lead the Motlow effort, adding two steals as well. Miller had 18 points and dished out three assists.

Trey James narrowly missed a double-double with nine points and 10 rebounds. He added three assists and three blocked shots. Kerby Lubin and Jordan Riley each scored 10 points, with Lubin adding three rebounds, two assists and two steals; and Riley contributing four rebounds.

Saturday the Bucks trailed at halftime 44-40 against Chattanooga State, but opened the second half on a 10-3 run to take the lead. The Tigers had an opportunity to win the game at the free throw line but missed two straight. James hit 1-2 with one second remaining to send the game into overtime.

In the extra period it was all Motlow, with Miller hitting four free throws and Lubin and James adding four and three points respectively.

Miller had 22 points, six rebounds and two assists, and Lubin scored 20, with 17 coming after halftime while adding five rebounds, five assists and a steal. James and Williams each had 14 points, with James adding 12 rebounds and two blocks and Williams hauling in six rebounds with two blocks. Mason scored 11 with four rebounds.


Motlow Bucks set to welcome TCCAA rivals this weekend

Nov. 19, 2013

The Motlow Bucks will welcome two of their primary Tennessee Community College Athletic Association (TCCAA) rivals to Copperweld Arena this weekend, with action scheduled for Friday night and Saturday afternoon.

The Bucks (1-6, 0-3) narrowly missed getting their first conference win when they dropped a 73-72 decision to Volunteer State in Gallatin Saturday afternoon. The Bucks trailed 39-31 at the half, but their second half comeback attempt fell just short.

Motlow will host Cleveland State Friday night, with tipoff scheduled for 8 p.m. Chattanooga State will travel to Lynchburg on Saturday at 4 p.m. Both games will be broadcast live on The Ticket sports radio.

Free throw shooting proved to be the downfall for the Bucks, who connected on only 16-27 attempts. The Pioneers on the other hand made 22-29 of their free throw attempts. Motlow won the rebounding battle 44-32, but only shot 36% from the field.

Terrell Savala led the Bucks in scoring with 14 points, connecting on 4-8 three pointers. Trey James had another double-double with 10 points and 16 rebounds. Kytrel Williams had 10 points and six rebounds, Dequon Miller scored nine points and led the Bucks with seven assists, and Greg Mason had eight points and six boards. Kerby Lubin scored nine points with four rebounds and Emmanuel Ezoua added three points with eight rebounds for the Bucks.

Jamaal Brantley came off the bench to lead the Pioneers with 25 points. Jerrod Jenkins added 13 points and led Volunteer State with 11 rebounds.


Motlow Bucks' comeback attempt falls short against Lions

Nov. 13, 2013

The Motlow Bucks mounted a furious comeback in the final minute before running out of time as the Wallace State Lions held on for an 86-81 victory over the Bucks at Copperweld Arena Tuesday night.

Motlow (1-5, 0-2) will step back into TCCAA conference play when it travels to Gallatin to face Volunteer State on Saturday. The Bucks will return home the following weekend, hosting Cleveland State on Friday, Nov. 22 and Chattanooga State the following day. Wallace State (3-1) beat Volunteer State by five points earlier this season.

"We played much better than the previous weekend," said Bucks Head Coach Matt Sligh. "We are still finding our strengths and identity as a team. Wallace State is a good club and they are going to win a bunch of games.

"We are getting closer though. We missed a lot of open shots at the rim, but we played better and we have taken some steps to improve. We will go to Gallatin on Saturday and see how we match up against Volunteer State. They are a quality team and this will be a good test for us."

The lead swapped back and forth in the early part of the first half. The Bucks led 6-1 after three minutes, but the Lions scored the next six points to take their first lead 7-6. Motlow's last lead of the game came with 9:40 remaining in the first half, 18-17. Wallace State took a 42-32 lead into the intermission.

Greg Mason kept the Bucks in the game in the first half, scoring 12 of his 16 total points. Wallace State extended its lead to 15 points, 53-38, with 17:38 left to play. The Bucks slowly crept closer to the visitors from that point, closing the gap to 63-60 with nine minutes remaining as Dequon Miller, who led the Bucks with 25 points, hit back-to-back three-point shots.

After trailing 85-74 with a minute to play, Miller hit a three, stole the inbounds pass and made a layup, then made another basket to cut the deficit to 85-81 with 16 seconds left to play. The Bucks just ran out of time though as Wallace State was able to run out the clock and seal the victory.

Miller added seven assists to his team-high 25 points, including four three-point baskets. Kytrel Williams added 16 points, nine rebounds, two blocked shots and four assists for Motlow. Mason had 10 rebounds to go along with his 14 points.

Trey James had 16 rebounds to lead the Bucks on the boards, tying him for eighth on Motlow's all-time single game rebounding record list. James added nine points and two blocked shots. Terrell Savala had 10 points and Kerby Lubin pulled down five points and had two assists.

Lee Moore led the visiting Lions with 27 points, including four three-pointers, and hauled down eight rebounds. Marcus Johnson scored 17 for Wallace State and Justin Lewis added 13.

The Bucks connected on 13-22 free throws, while the visitors hit 15-21 from the charity stripe. Motlow had 14 turnovers on the night and forced the Lions into 11 miscues.


Motlow Bucks host Wallace State Tuesday

Nov. 11, 2013

The Motlow Bucks will look to get back on the winning track when they host Wallace State on Tuesday, Nov. 12 at Copperweld Arena. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

The Bucks opened conference play this past weekend, falling at Jackson State 120-101 and at Columbia State 111-53.

Tuesday's contest will be broadcast live on The Ticket sports radio on AM 740, 105.1 FM, TheTicketRadio.com and the TuneIn Radio smartphone app.


Motlow Bucks ride Mason, Miller to first win

Nov. 6, 2013

The Motlow Bucks handed new Head Coach Matt Sligh the first victory of his young coaching career when they hosted and beat the Atlanta Sports Academy (ASA) 109-97 Tuesday night at Copperweld Arena.

The Bucks (1-2, 0-0) will now jump into Tennessee Community College Athletic Association (TCCAA) play this weekend with a Friday night trip to Jackson State followed by a Saturday afternoon contest at Columbia State. Motlow returns home next Tuesday, Nov. 12, when it hosts Wallace State at 7:30 p.m.

Motlow didn't have an easy time with the visiting ASA Spartans from Atlanta. The Bucks trailed 22-15 with nine minutes remaining in the first half before Dequon Miller, who finished with a team-high 25 points, connected on four straight three-point shots to send the Bucks to the intermission leading 48-46.

The Bucks led the entire second half, but their cushion was never comfortable until the final eight minutes, when Motlow stretched a 74-72 advantage to 88-76 with five minutes remaining.

Seven Motlow players scored in double figures, with Greg Mason adding 11 rebounds to his 16 points for the first double-double of the season and the first of Mason's Motlow career. Miller was the sparkplug, adding seven rebounds, four assists and two steals. Miller had 17 points in the first half.

Trey James scored 11 in the second half and finished with 12 points, seven rebounds and two blocked shots. Emmanuel Ezoua scored 12 and added seven boards and two assists; Kerby Lubin scored 12 points and led the team with five assists; Jordan Riley had 10 points and four rebounds and Reggie Williams added 10 points.

The Bucks connected on only 8-19 free throws and hit six three-point shots, with Miller hitting five and Kentrell Southern the other. ASA made 22-27 free throws, which helped keep them in the game in the second half, and hit 10 three-pointers. Keymont Jenkins led the Spartans with 25 points, scoring 19 in the first half, and Keith Windwright scored 24, with four three-pointers in the second half.

Jackson State has not released results on its early season contests yet, but the Columbia State Chargers are 3-0 on the season, including a 73-71 win over Wallace State in their season opener. The Bucks' game in Jackson is set to tip off at 8 p.m. Friday night, with Saturday's game in Columbia set for a 4 p.m. tip.


Bucks set for home opener on Tuesday

Nov. 5, 2013

Motlow basketball fans will get their first opportunity to see the reigning state champions in action when the Bucks host the Atlanta Sports Academy on Tuesday, Nov. 5 at 8 p.m. at Copperweld Arena. The game will follow the Lady Bucks contest against Lawson State, which is set to tip off at 6 p.m.

The Bucks (0-2, 0-0) opened the season with a pair of losses to nationally-ranked teams at the Quality Inn Classic in Niceville, Fla. over the weekend. The Bucks fells 95-84 to Northwest Florida State College on Friday after leading the 10th-ranked Raiders 45-41 at halftime. On Saturday the Bucks trailed Tallahassee Community College, ranked 23rd in the country, by one early in the second half before falling 81-61.

"I am very proud of how are guys battled the 10th-ranked team in the country in front of a raucous crowd," said Matt Sligh following his first game as Bucks head coach. "We played through some difficult elements and did not blink. We are disappointed we did not get the victory, but we did force a very big, physical team to play our style which is a great sign. Unfortunately, they were able to match our up-tempo approach and make a few more plays than us."

Northwest Florida shot 42 free throws and made 26, while the Bucks only went to the charity stripe 16 times and made 11. Motlow forced the Raiders into 21 turnovers but committed 23. Northwest won the rebounding battle 31-29. Motlow shot 58% from three-point range and 57% overall.

Dequon Miller led the Bucks with 20 points, six steals, five assists and four rebounds. Kerby Lubin scored 15 and had six rebounds and three assists. Kytrel Williams scored nine, Trey James had six points, six rebounds and two steals and Greg Mason added six points and four rebounds. Terrell Savala scored 11 points off the bench.

On Saturday against Tallahassee the Bucks trailed by 18 in the first half before fighting back to pull within one early in the second half. Sligh expects Tallahassee to contend for the national title and was proud of how his team fought from behind.

"Tallahassee is one of the finer teams I have seen, at any level," added Sligh. "We started very slow falling behind by 18 points, battled back to cut the lead to 12 at halftime and then came out with an 11-0 run to start the second half to cut the lead to 1. Unfortunately, their length and size took over the game and we did not shoot the ball very well. We got away from running the floor and sharing the ball offensively and did not get stops at crucial times."

Miller was the only Motlow player to score double figures with 16 points and also led the team with three assists. James pulled down a team-high 10 rebounds and scored seven. Mason just missed a double-double with nine points and seven rebounds and Lubin had nine points and four rebounds.


Motlow Bucks open season Friday on the road

October 28, 2013

The Motlow Bucks will officially begin the Matt Sligh era when they open the 2013-14 basketball season with a pair of games at Northwest Florida State College in Niceville, Fla. this weekend.

Motlow will face the host team at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, then turn around and play Tallahassee Community College in the Northwest gym on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. Both Northwest Florida and Tallahassee are nationally-prominent programs, and Northwest has played for the national championship each of the last two seasons, losing both championship games.

"Our schedule gives us an opportunity to play against two of the finer teams in the nation and it's an honor to be invited to play in Florida," said Sligh. "We hope these early-season games will prepare us for our conference schedule."

Sophomores taking the floor for the Bucks this season will be Kerby Lubin from Orlando, Fla., Tre'von James from Darlington, S.C., Emmanuel Osama from Houston and Brandon Berridge from Estill Springs, who played high school basketball for one season at Tullahoma.

Freshmen who have previously spent one season as college redshirts include Terrell Savala from Edmond, Okla. and Joshua Stroud from Clarksville.

Freshmen playing their first year of college basketball are Dequon Miller from Charleston, W.Va., Kytrel Williams from Memphis, C.J. McEwen from Nashville, Emmanuel Ezoua from Ivory Coast, Greg Mason from Washington D.C., Reggie Williams from Murfreesboro, Jordan Riley from Durham, N.C. and Kentrell Southern from Winchester.

Jahaad Lyons from Oakland High School in Murfreesboro and Dezon Dozier from Antioch are members of the squad and will be redshirted this season.


Motlow Bucks set to begin Matt Sligh era with new roster

October 8, 2013

2013-14 Motlow Bucks basketball team
2013-14 Motlow Bucks - front row, from left: Jordan Solomon, Raleigh, N.C.; Emmanuel Osama, Houston; Terrell Savala, Edmond, Okla.; Kerby Lubin, Orlando; Dequon Miller, Charleston, W. Va.; C.J. McEwen, Nashville; Kentrell Southern, Winchester and Emmanuel Ezoua, Ivory Coast. Second row: Robert Hayes, assistant coach; Jahaad Lyons, Murfreesboro; Joshua Stroud, Clarksville; Jordan Riley, Durham, N.C.; Greg Mason, Washington D.C.; Brandon Berridge, Estill Springs; Trey James, Darlington, S.C.; Reggie Williams, Murfreesboro; Kytrel Williams, Memphis; Dezon Dozier, Antioch and Head Coach Matt Sligh. Motlow College Photo.


The nature of community college sports is from year to year, due to graduation and transfer, rosters seldom have a high degree of continuity. In basketball if a head coach has a half-dozen returning players then he has a very experienced team.

Even if returning players do not have a lot of game experience, they at least provide some familiarity to coaches and fans.

Then there are the 2013-14 Motlow Bucks. The defending Tennessee Community College Athletic Association (TCCAA) regular season and tournament champions return no players. Although that is unusual, new Head Coach Matt Sligh does not believe it has to be considered a negative.

"We face two major challenges," said Sligh. "First, each student-athlete is adjusting to life at Motlow College for the first time. The lack of familiarity with surroundings and day-to-day life of a student-athlete can be a shock to some. Our guys have settled into a routine now and are becoming comfortable with their new home.

"Secondly, instilling trust in our system and in each other can be challenging," Sligh continued. "We must be unified as a basketball family in order to achieve success both on and off the court. Our guys have shown growth in their trust, and we look forward to that continuing."

The Bucks will open the season Nov. 1 and 2 in Niceville, Fla. against Northwest Florida State College and Tallahasee Community College. Motlow will then return to Lynchburg and join the Lady Bucks in hosting Lawson State on Tuesday, Nov. 5, with the women's tipoff scheduled for 6 p.m. at Copperweld Arena.

"Our schedule gives us an opportunity to play against two of the finer teams in the nation and it's an honor to be invited to play in Florida," added Sligh. "We also play an outstanding Lawson State team in our home opener. We hope these early-season games will prepare us for our conference schedule."

Despite the complete overhaul of the roster, Sligh has brought in a number of highly-skilled student-athletes. Motlow basketball fans can expect an up-tempo approach to offense and a solid defense.

"We talk every day about playing fast, physical and together," Sligh continued. "We work on this in practice and our guys have done a nice job so far. I think this will be an exciting brand of basketball for our community to enjoy. The key will be for us to be consistent not only in practice but for 40 minutes each game."

Sophomores taking the floor for the Bucks this season will be Kerby Lubin from Orlando, Fla., Tre'von James from Darlington, S.C., Emmanuel Osama from Houston and Brandon Berridge from Estill Springs, who played high school basketball for one season at Tullahoma.

Freshmen who have previously spent one season as college redshirts include Terrell Savala from Edmond, Okla. and Joshua Stroud from Clarksville.

Freshman playing their first year of college basketball are Dequon Miller from Charleston, W.Va., Kytrel Williams from Memphis, C.J. McEwen from Nashville, Jordan Solomon from Raleigh, N.C., Emmanuel Ezoua from Ivory Coast, Greg Mason from Washington D.C., Reggie Williams from Murfreesboro, Jordan Riley from Durham, N.C. and Kentrell Southern from Winchester.

Jahaad Lyons from Oakland High School in Murfreesboro and Dezon Dozier from Antioch are members of the squad and will be redshirted this season.

Regardless of where it comes from, every successful team has strong player leadership. Sligh has an idea of who his leaders will be early, but it remains to be seen who will lead during the season. Either way, one thing he knows is that his freshmen are going to have to step up early for this team to be successful.

"I expect our primary ball handlers to provide leadership," added Sligh. "We will place a high level of responsibility on Dequon and Kerby, but we also have other sophomores with experience. Our point guards must lead early and others will establish themselves as leaders through consistent performance each day in practice."

Many of Motlow's basketball games this season can be heard live on WHMT sports radio The Ticket. Listen on AM 740, 105.1 FM, TheTicketRadio.com, the TuneIn Radio smartphone app, and in Tullahoma on LightTUBe channel 11. Video replays can be seen on LightTUBe channel 23. Veteran broadcaster Lucky Knott will provide play-by-play.

New-Look Motlow Bucks to be tested early

September 17, 2013

When Matt Sligh took over as head coach of the Motlow Bucks basketball program this summer, he said he wanted to test his squad early in the season against quality competition.

View the Bucks schedule

He, and the Bucks, will get that test.

Motlow College recently released the 2013-14 basketball schedule for Sligh's first season as head coach of the Bucks. The first game is scheduled for Friday, Nov. 1, in Niceville, Fla. against Northwest Florida State Community College.

"Needless to say, we face a tough start to our season when we open against national power Northwest Florida," said Sligh. "They are coming off back-to-back seasons as national tournament runner-up. Our second game in Niceville will also be very difficult, as we play another outstanding program in Tallahassee Community College. Both teams return several key players from the prior season."

The two-day stay in Florida opens an extremely challenging schedule for the defending Tennessee Community College Athletic Association (TCCAA) champions, but Sligh is ready to get started and ready to see how his team responds.

"We are excited for the challenges our schedule presents," he continued. "It is my hope that by playing a difficult schedule we will be best prepared for the challenging conference slate. Even our preseason scrimmages are against well-coached four-year programs."

The first scrimmage will be Saturday, Oct. 12, with Bryan College visiting Copperweld Arena for a 2 p.m. tipoff. A week later the Bucks will participate in the Juco Jamboree in Atlanta. The final scrimmage will be Saturday, Oct. 26 in Sewanee against the University of the South.

"The jamboree in Atlanta will be against stiff competition," added Sligh. "It will give our program great exposure, especially with coaches from four-year universities throughout the country."

The Bucks will open their home schedule on Tuesday, Nov. 5, when they host Lawson State, with tipoff scheduled for 8 p.m. The first conference game is Friday, Nov. 8 at Jackson State, and the first home conference game is Friday, Nov. 22, when Cleveland State visits Copperweld Arena.

Motlow will celebrate homecoming on Saturday, Feb. 8, with Walters State visiting Copperweld Arena. The final regular season game is at home against Columbia State on Feb. 22, when Motlow's sophomore basketball players will be recognized between the women's and men's contests.

The TCCAA tournament, held last year at Motlow, will be at Roane State in Harriman this season beginning Tuesday, Mar. 4 and ending Saturday, Mar. 8. Motlow will be aiming for a return trip to the National Junior College Athletic Association tournament, scheduled to begin Mar. 17 in Hutchinson, Kan.


Two countries, eleven states represented in first dozen Motlow men's basketball recruits

Aug. 13, 2013

The Motlow Bucks men's basketball roster has now expanded to a dozen players as Head Coach Matt Sligh recently announced four more additions, including power forward Greg Mason from Baltimore, guard Kerby Lubin from Orlando, wing Emmanuel Osama from Houston and forward Emmanuel Ezoua from Ivory Coast, West Africa.

Sligh continues to add players from across the country who he expects to make an immediate impact for the Bucks this season. He will announce one more group of signees next week as the Bucks head toward the beginning of practice on Oct. 1.

GREG MASON

Mason, a 6' 6" power forward, played last season for Raleigh's Finest Sports Academy in Oklahoma City, Okla., where he averaged 17 points and 13 rebounds per game. As a high school senior in 2012 he averaged 20 points and 12 rebounds per contest at Henry Lackey High School in Charles County, Md.

Raleigh's Finest Head Coach Kenneth Gordon said, "Greg's work ethic and leadership ability will allow him to be a very successful college player at Motlow and perhaps beyond on the Division I level."

"Greg is a crucial piece of our 2013 recruiting class," said Sligh. "His ability to score in the post as well as facing the basket, alongside his ability to rebound will be vital to our team. Our staff is thrilled for the opportunity to coach Greg and looking forward to him growing in our program over the next two seasons."

KERBY LUBIN

Lubin, a 6' 2" sophomore transfer guard from Seminole State Community College, played at Raleigh's Finest two years ago after graduating from Dr. Phillips High School in Orlando, Fla. in 2011. He battled injuries at Seminole State, but scored 16 and 19 points in the two games he played healthy.

At Raleigh's Finest two years ago, he averaged 23 points, seven assists and eight rebounds per game, leading the team to a 34-3 record and a runner-up finish in the prep school national championship. Coach Gordon said, "Kerby received major college recruiting interest and would have signed if not for an NCAA ruling regarding classes he took as a high school sophomore. He is a high-level prospect and is set to have a huge year at Motlow."

"Kerby is an extremely talented guard who has outstanding court vision and can score in multiple ways," added Sligh. "He is tough and experienced and a proven winner. We were surprised a player of his caliber came available in August and we are excited to welcome him to the Motlow basketball family."

EMMANUEL OSAMA

Osama is a 6' 4" sophomore wing who comes to Motlow after spending his freshman season as a teammate of Lubin at Seminole State, where he also saw limited action due to injury. He prepped at God's Academy in Dallas two years ago, averaging 18 points and six rebounds per game, after graduating from Alief Hastings High School in Houston in 2011.

"Emmanuel is an athletic wing who had an outstanding high school and prep school career," said Sligh. "He can attack the rim as well as score from the perimeter, and we are excited he chose to be a Motlow Buck. His experience at the junior college level is extremely valuable to our team."

EMMANUEL EZOUA

Ezoua is a 6' 4" forward who played his high school basketball at Lanier County High School in Lakeland, Ga., after moving to the United States in 2008 from Ivory Coast, West Africa. He scored over 2,000 points and hauled down over 1,500 in his four-year career at Lanier County, and was named 1st team all-state three of his four years in Georgia.

"Ezoua brings the Bucks incredible energy and toughness," added Sligh. "He is physical and takes great pride in giving full effort every second he is on the floor. He can finish, rebound and defend at a high level. He has had a long journey in finding his way to Motlow College, and we are very blessed to have him join our family."


Motlow Bucks' national recruiting strategy paying off

Aug. 6, 2013

When Motlow College men's basketball coach Matt Sligh arrived on campus in mid-July he inherited a program that had no players and a timeline that was short. His challenge was to assemble and build a team that will be ready to begin practice on Oct. 1.

Although it remains to be seen how successful the Bucks will be in the win-loss column this season, it has become obvious that Sligh knows how to find players and knows how to convince them to come to Moore County to continue their basketball careers and their education.

First, sophomore Tyler Clayborne from Manchester announced he would return to Motlow to play his final season. Sligh then announced that Shooting 4 Greatness Academy (NC) teammates Dequon Miller and Jordan Solomon had become his first two signees late last month.

Motlow now welcomes four more additions to the roster, and the trend is becoming clear that Sligh will not allow state borders or regions to contain his relentless search for the best available players.

Tre'von James

Tre'von James is a 6' 5" sophomore transfer who saw limited action his freshman year at Coastal Carolina University (SC). He averaged 21 points and 12 rebounds as a high school senior at Darlington (SC) High School, earning him a spot on the all-state team. He becomes Sligh's first Division I transfer, and brings much-needed size and experience to the Bucks.

"Tre'von comes highly recommended from Coastal Carolina, where he was privileged to be part of a program led by hall-of-fame coach Cliff Ellis, one of the top 30 winningest coaches in Division I history," said Sligh. "He is an outstanding person who gives us great athleticism and length, with an ability to slash to the basket, defend at a high level and rebound the basketball."

Terrell Savala

Terrell Savala is a 6' 2" guard from Edmond, Okla., who spent a season at Seminole (OK) Community College but still has two years of eligibility remaining. Savala was also named all-state following his senior year at Edmond Memorial High School.

"Terrell is a strong-bodied guard who is gifted offensively," said Sligh. "He will have an opportunity to make an immediate impact next season. He comes from an outstanding high school and AAU program and he is highly motivated to succeed."

Josh Stroud

Joshua Stroud is a 6' 5" forward out of Fairdale High School in Louisville, Kent., and has not played since he graduated in 2011. He was ranked as one of the top 20 players in the state of Kentucky, and averaged 20 points and 8.5 rebounds per game as a senior. He ended his high school career having scored over 1,300 points.

"Josh brings outstanding athleticism and a relentless motor to the program," continued Sligh. "He is versatile, talented, and eager to get his athletic career going again at Motlow College. He is hungry to improve and we look forward to seeing him develop over the next two years."

Jordan Riley

Jordan Riley becomes the third member of this new Bucks team to play at Shooting 4 Greatness Academy following his senior year at Durham (NC) High School. The 6' 6" forward averaged 11 points and eight rebounds per game at S4G, and his chemistry with Miller and Solomon should be a bonus for the Bucks.

"Jordan brings much-needed size and strength to the frontcourt," added Sligh. "He has outstanding feet and is very skilled. He is able to face up effectively and score as well as post up and score.

"We are excited to welcome each of these young men to Motlow College," concluded the coach. "We look forward to helping them develop on the basketball court and in the classroom. We continue to work extremely hard in assembling a basketball team that Motlow fans will enjoy watching and one that they can be proud of."


Manchester's Tyler Clayborne lone returnee to Motlow Bucks basketball program

July 31, 2013

When the Motlow Bucks officially hit the practice floor Oct. 1, they will have at least one connection to last season's Tennessee Community College Athletic Association (TCCAA) champions - Manchester redshirt sophomore Tyler Clayborne.

Tyler Clayborne
A Coffee County product who used one season of eligibility at Volunteer State two years ago, Clayborne carefully considered his options during the summer, ultimately choosing to be part of a new era in Motlow College basketball.

"I'm a small-town guy and I really love living here," said Clayborne. "Not knowing what direction Motlow was going in basketball, I had to consider all of my options.

"When Coach (Matt) Sligh was hired as the new head coach I met with him and immediately had a good feeling about coming back to Motlow. Coach Sligh is a really good guy and is going to be a great coach. I am looking forward to joining with my new teammates and continuing the winning tradition that Motlow has established."

"I am extremely excited to have Tyler back with the Bucks for the upcoming season," said Sligh, who continues to gather players to join Clayborne on the Copperweld Arena hardwood this season.

Having spent last season practicing daily against one of the nation's best teams, Clayborne has become bigger, stronger and better. Knowing the ins and outs of Motlow as a student should also help him be a leader and a mentor to his new teammates.

"Tyler used his redshirt season to improve tremendously and is ready to compete for a significant role on the floor," Sligh added. "He will bring leadership to our team and his familiarity with our program's winning tradition will be a huge asset. Tyler exemplifies a true student-athlete, and Motlow College is lucky to have him."

Clayborne, a 6-3 guard, was named to the all-District 6-AAA first team as a Coffee County High School senior following the 2010-11 season.

Motlow College announces Dequon Miller, Jordan Solomon as first freshmen signees of Matt Sligh era

July 26, 2013

Everything has to start somewhere.

For new Motlow Bucks head basketball coach Matt Sligh, the process of building his first basketball squad in Lynchburg begins with 5-11 guard Dequon Miller and 6-3 guard Jordan Solomon, who become the first freshmen signees by Sligh since being announced as head coach in mid-July.

Miller comes to Motlow from Charleston, W. Va. via the Shooting 4 Greatness Academy in Raleigh, N.C., where he spent last season refining his athletic and academic skills. Solomon was a teammate of Miller's at Shooting 4 Greatness, where his father Kyle is the head coach. Solomon is originally from Yonkers, N.Y.

"Dequon brings an outstanding ability to score the ball in multiple ways alongside great court vision to find his teammates," said Sligh. "He is gifted athletically and is an ultimate competitor and great teammate. He loves the game and has a strong desire to improve. We are extremely excited to welcome him to the Bucks basketball family and grateful to have him put his trust in our staff as our first signee."

Miller graduated from Capital High School in Charleston in May 2012, where he led his team in assists both his junior and senior years, and will have two years of eligibility at Motlow. He averaged 28 points, eight assists and three steals per game last year, leading his Shooting 4 Greatness team in all three categories.

He scored over 40 points in each of his team's first two games at the national prep school tournament last season, and scored 20 points with 15 assists against Hargrave Military Academy, who was ranked #1 in the nation at the time.

Solomon averaged 20 points, six rebounds and five assists per game last season. He led the team in 3-point shooting, averaging six made 3-pointers per game. He played his senior high school season at Stevens Prep Academy, where he averaged 22 points per game and made 203 shots from 3-point range.

"Jordan is a gifted shooter with excellent range from the 3-point line," Sligh continued. "He has a great feel for the game and a high basketball IQ. He loves to win and is a team-first player. Being a coach's son, he has been around the game his entire life and is committed to putting in the work to be a great player. We welcome him with great excitement to the Bucks family."


Motlow names Matthew Sligh men's head basketball coach

July 16, 2013

Motlow College has hired former William Jewell College assistant coach Matthew Sligh as its new men's head basketball coach, according to Tori Raby-Gentry, Athletic Director.

Matthew Sligh
Sligh has spent the previous three seasons as the top assistant with William Jewell, located in Liberty, Mo., and has been instrumental in the success of the Cardinals over that time. During his first season, Sligh helped lead Jewell to a 25-8 record and a berth in the NAIA DI National Tournament. Last year Jewell moved up to the Division II level of NCAA competition and completed a 13-14 record.

"I am humbled, honored, and thankful to be the head men's basketball coach at Motlow College," said Sligh. "I would like to thank the Motlow administration for giving me this opportunity. I understand and embrace the program's basketball success over the past six years and look forward to continuing the focus on academic success and the tradition of excellence."

Sligh is indeed familiar with Motlow, having recruited multiple former Bucks to play at William Jewell. Mark Mason played at Motlow in 2010 and became an all-conference guard at Jewell. Sligh was also instrumental in landing four players from Motlow following the 2012 season - Ricky Tisdale, Andrew Scofield, John Taylor and Chris Jordon.

"We are very excited to have a coach of Matt's caliber to take over our men's basketball program," said Raby-Gentry. "Matt has proven himself to be an outstanding recruiter at William Jewell. He is familiar with Motlow and the Tennessee Community College Athletic Association, and he knows the quality of player it takes to win in this league."

He is a 2005 graduate of Covenant College (GA). While at Covenant College, Sligh participated on the men's soccer, basketball and golf teams. During his only season with the golf team, Sligh played the #1 position, earned a tournament victory, and was named an all-conference selection. He was a two-time academic all-American at Covenant.

Preceding Covenant, Sligh graduated from Lakeland (Fla.) Christian School in 2001. During his time at LCS, Sligh lettered in four varsity sports including basketball, soccer, golf, and track. He finished his basketball career with 1135 points, currently fifth on the school's all-time scorers list. He was an all-state selection in both basketball and soccer, and was a four-time all-conference, all-district, and all-county golfer.

He graduated with honors with a bachelor's degree in Psychology from Covenant College in May 2005 and earned a master's degree in health and physical education from Northwest Missouri State in August 2012.

He becomes the 11th coach for the Motlow Bucks since the school began playing men's basketball in 1969, and inherits one of the nation's most successful junior/community college programs over the previous half-dozen years. Motlow men's basketball has a 131-43 record during the past six years, a 75-percent winning percentage.

Sligh comes into a challenging situation at Motlow. The Bucks won their first TCCAA tournament championship in 30 years last season and made their first-ever trip to the National Junior College Athletic Association tournament. Half the 2012-13 team graduated, and it is unclear how many eligible players from last year will return for the coming season.

Central Florida ends Motlow Bucks dream season

March 21, 2013

The most successful season in Motlow College men's basketball history ended Wednesday night with a 79-63 loss to College of Central Florida in the second round of the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) national championship tournament in Hutchinson, Kan.

For the Bucks (26-4) it was a disappointing end to the school's first trip to the national basketball tournament. Motlow entered as the #14 seed and beat Connors State College 70-66 in the opening round. The 26 wins is the second most in school history, surpassed only by the 28 wins in 2007-2008.

The Bucks, forced to play games on back-to-back days due to their seeding, gave the Patriots everything they had in the first half, which ended with Central Florida leading 35-32. There were six tie scores and 10 lead changes in the first half alone. However, in the second half the Patriots never trailed, stretching their halftime advantage to a nine point lead in the first three minutes.

But the Bucks didn't go easily, fighting their way back to within five points at 52-47 with just under 12 minutes to play. That would prove to be the closest Motlow would get though, as the Patriots went to the free throw line over and over in the final 10 minutes and made the most of their opportunities.

Motlow's defense was once again stellar, forcing the Patriots into 26 turnovers. However, the Bucks committed 20 turnovers themselves, made only 8-33 shots from 3-point range and only 41 percent of their field goal opportunities. Central Florida shot 62 percent from the field and hit 21-28 free throws.

From the start it was clear that for Motlow to win they would have to connect on their 3-point opportunities. The Patriots controlled the paint and drove the lane, resulting in free throws and plus-one chances, while Motlow got very few looks inside the paint. The Bucks have put a lot of teams away this season with 3-point shots, but on this night they simply didn't go in on a consistent basis.

After the Patriots opened the scoring with a lob into the paint for a dunk, Motlow's Chris Hawkins evened the score at two with a drive to the basket. Back-to-back buckets by Sean Gardner, including a 3-pointer, gave the Bucks a 7-4 lead with 16:40 to play in the first half.

Central Florida then went on an 11-2 run that gave them a 15-9 lead with 11 minutes remaining in the half. Raul Tutton's 3-pointer pulled the Bucks within 15-12, and after five straight points by Hawkins, who finished the game with 11, the Bucks were back on top 17-15.

The lead continued to swap back and forth. DJ Jones, who led the Bucks with 12 points, hit a 3-pointer to give Motlow a 20-19 lead with 6:30 left in the half. JC Bonny's 3-pointer with 4:30 on the clock pushed the Bucks to a 26-23 lead, and his 2-point basket with 2:26 remaining before intermission gave Motlow its biggest lead of the game, 30-26.

The final lead for the Bucks came moments later when Hawkins connected to push Motlow back in front 32-31. From there the Patriots scored the next 10 points and never trailed again. They led 41-32 with 18:07 left to play, and after Motlow pulled within five points a couple of times, Central Florida stretched the lead to 70-57 with five minutes remaining.

Jones added three steals and a pair of rebounds to his 12 points, and Hawkins had three rebounds to go along with his 11 points. Sean Gardner scored six points with three rebounds and led the Bucks with five assists. Bonny and Andre Brown each scored seven, and Raul Tutton, Jr. scored five points and had four rebounds.

Kerrell Davis hit a 3-point basket and added six rebounds, three assists and three steals. Perrin Buford added three points, while Kevonta Black, Jerron Washington, Darryl Bond and Sterling Smoak had two points each and Jeff Graham added one.

Central Florida dominated the rebounding battle 53-38 and had five players score in double figures, led by Rasham Suarez with 16 and Eugene McCrory with 15.

Only one team gets to leave Hutchinson with a victory and a championship, but all 24 teams participating in the tournament can take pride in the fact that they are among the top teams in the nation. For the Bucks the loss is disappointing, but for the players, coaches and fans, the 2012-13 season is one that will never be forgotten.


Defense leads Motlow Bucks into NJCAA second round

March 19, 2013

Motlow's defense held Connors State without a field goal for over 12 minutes of the second half and forced a critical turnover with five seconds left as the Bucks beat the Cowboys 70-66 in the opening round of the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) championship tournament on Tuesday.

The #14 seeded Bucks (26-3) advance to the 'Sweet 16' round, where they will play #3 seed College of Central Florida at 6 p.m. Wednesday. The Patriots are 30-3 on the season and finished the regular season as the nation's 8th-ranked team.

Although held to only four points for the game, Motlow's Chris Hawkins hit the biggest shot - a running six-footer off the glass with 12 seconds remaining to break a 66-66 tie and give the Bucks the lead for good.

The Bucks hit five 3-point shots in the first half on their way to a 32-31 lead. The largest lead of the game for Motlow came with two minutes remaining in the half as an Andre Brown 3-pointer extended the Bucks' advantage to 32-25. However, the Cowboys finished the half on a 6-0 run.

The second half was as close as any game could be, with the two teams swapping the lead, and tying the score, over and over again. Hawkins, who averaged 22 pointers per game and was the MVP of the TCCAA/Region VII Tournament, picked up his third foul less than a minute into the second half and his fourth with 10 minutes to play.

It was J.C. Bonny who stepped up huge for Motlow in the final minutes, scoring 12 second-half points and leading the team overall with 14 points. He gave the Bucks a 56-54 lead with 8:30 on the clock with two free throws, and hit a 3-pointer with 6:40 remaining to break a 58-58 tie. Still, Motlow trailed 64-62 with 3:15 left to play.

Andre Brown's rebound and put-back with 1:50 left to play gave Motlow a 66-64 lead, but a pair of Connors State free throws again tied the score with 90 seconds to play. Motlow's defense then made the plays it had to make when it counted the most, and the Bucks extended their first trip to the national tournament for at least one more day.

D.J. Jones hit two first half 3-pointers and scored 12 points with five rebounds for Motlow, while Sean Gardner also hit two 3-pointers and scored 10 points. Kerrell Davis scored nine points with 10 rebounds and Perrin Buford also added nine points.

Brown finished with five points, Hawkins had four, Raul Tutton, Sterling Smoak and Jerron Washington each scored two, and Michael Tomlin had one. Jamarcus Weatherspoon led the Cowboys with 14 and Josh Cameron added 12.

All tournament contests can be seen live on the internet on NJCAA-TV.


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