Men's Basketball 2012-2013 Season News


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.


Bucks open NJCAA tournament with tough draw

March 14, 2013

JeffReedPhotograpy.com
Sophomore center Darryl Bond (44) will be counted on to battle the Cowboys for rebounds. Jeff Reed Photography.
The Motlow Bucks will play the first National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) men's basketball tournament contest in school history when they face Connors State College of Oklahoma in the opening round on Tuesday, March 19 at 10 a.m. at the Sports Arena in Hutchinson, Kan. The tournament begins on Monday with six first-round contests.

Watch live on NJCAA-TV | NJCAA Tournament Website

The Bucks (25-3) won the Tennessee Community College Athletic Association (TCCAA) regular season and tournament championship. Motlow represents District 7 in the NJCAA, and is the 14th seed in the tournament, with the first eight seeds gaining first-round byes. Bucks' head coach Jerry Nichols had hoped to get one of those byes.

"I hoped we would get a higher seed than 14th," Nichols said. "Playing at 10 a.m. against a quality program like Connors State will be a big challenge for us. Hopefully we can get a win and play again. I am confident that our guys will give everything they have."

The Connors State Cowboys (24-8) are a member of District 2 in the NJCAA and enter the tournament as the 19th seed. They were upset in the Region II championship game by Eastern Oklahoma State College, and received an at-large bid to the tournament, their seventh tournament appearance and first since 2010.

The winner of Tuesday morning's contest will face 3rd-seeded College of Central Florida (30-3), the District 8 champions. Iowa Western Community College (31-2) is the top seed in the tournament, while the nation's only undefeated team, Spartanburg Methodist College from South Carolina, is the No. 2 seed.
JeffReedPhotograpy.com
Freshman Perrin Buford has been one of the Bucks' most consistent performers. Jeff Reed Photography.
The Cowboys reached the final four in Hutchinson in 2009 and won the national championship in 1990. They are led by sophomore guards Josh Cameron, who averages 15.8 points and 2.2 assists per game, and Hakeem Harris, who averages 12.5 points and 3.3 assists. Connors State has four players who average double-digit scoring.

As a team the Cowboys average 74 points per game and shoot 45 percent from the field, 35 percent from the 3-point line, and 71 percent from the foul line. They are 3-2 on neutral courts this year and are 7-3 in their previous 10 contests. Their 63.4 rebounds per game average is fifth in the nation.

The Bucks also have four players who average 10 or more points per game, led by Chris Hawkins at 13.4. Hawkins averaged 21.3 points per game during the TCCAA tournament and was named MVP. DJ Jones averaged 12.5 points per game this season, Perrin Buford 11 and Sean Gardner 10.9.

Hawkins also leads the Bucks in rebounds with 7.2 per game, while Buford averages 5.7 and Michael Tomlin 5.5 Kerrell Davis leads Motlow in assists with 4.7 per game and in steals with 1.5.

The Bucks average 84 points per game, the 17th-highest average in the nation, and have shot just over 50 percent from the field, which is tied for fifth nationally. Motlow shoots 37.7 percent from the 3-point line and 63.5 percent from the foul line. The Bucks have won 11 straight games and are 20-1 since November 27.

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

Motlow Bucks claim TCCAA tournament title

March 11, 2013

Motlow College Photo
The Gold Ball will be placed in the Motlow College trophy display area at the entrance to Nisbett Center.
It didn't come easy, but then seldom does anything good come easy.

And this was very, very good.

Watch live on NJCAA-TV | NJCAA Tournament Website

The Motlow Bucks beat the Walters State Senators 71-60 on Saturday to win the Tennessee Community College Athletic Association/National Junior College Athletic Association Region VII men's basketball tournament at Copperweld Arena.

"I'm so proud of this team and how they have fought through adversity this year," said Bucks head coach Jerry Nichols. "We have had injuries and other things happen during the year, and each time someone else stepped up and played well. I feel blessed to be a part of this."

With the victory the Bucks (25-3) claimed the school's first TCCAA men's basketball tournament title since 1984 and will now take their tournament and regular season championships to the NJCAA national tournament in Hutchinson, Kansas beginning March 18. Motlow has never appeared in the national basketball tournament.

"This win is not just for this team but also for the guys that came before them and helped build this program," added Nichols. "Guys like Freddie Goldstein, Darryn Frazier and Zamarius McLendon are part of this as well. To go to three straight tournament championship games and finally win one is fantastic."

Due to an expansion of the NJCAA tournament format, Walters State (17-16) will also be invited to Hutchinson as the conference runner up. Motlow is seeded #14 in the national tournament and will play its first game Tuesday, March 19 at 10 a.m. against #19 Connors State College from Oklahoma.

"I hoped we would get a higher seed than 14th," Nichols added after learning of Motlow's national tournament seed. "Playing at 10 a.m. against a quality program like Connors State will be a big challenge for us. Hopefully we can get a win and play again. I am confident that our guys will give everything they have."

The Bucks beat Chattanooga State 89-82 in the quarterfinals on Thursday and Jackson State 86-82 in the semifinals on Friday to advance to Saturday's championship game. Motlow trailed early in all three contests before pulling away in the final 30 minutes.

On Thursday the conference announced its regular season awards, which included Nichols being selected as Coach of the Year for the second time in three seasons. Motlow's Chris Hawkins, Sean Gardner, Perrin Buford and DJ Jones were all named first team All-Conference, while JC Bonny was selected to the second team.

The Walters State Lady Senators (29-1) dominated the women's tournament and captured the championship with an 80-44 rout of Volunteer State (23-4). Both teams will advance to the national women's tournament in Salina, Kansas beginning March 18.

Bucks 71 Walters State 60

The championship game saw the Bucks come out cold from the floor except for freshman DJ Jones, who hit three first half 3-pointers. Motlow trailed early 10-5 but took their first lead 17-16 with 13:30 remaining in the first half and extended the lead to 42-33 at intermission.

The Senators stayed within reach until Motlow's Andre Brown nailed a 3-pointer with 9:30 remaining in the game to give the Bucks a 59-43 lead. The Bucks' largest lead was 19 points, 68-49, before the Senators outscored the Bucks 11-3 in the final minutes.

Redshirt freshman Hawkins led Motlow with 16 points and was named the tournament Most Valuable Player. Jones and JC Bonny were named to the all-tournament team and finished with nine and five points respectively. Bonny added two assists and two steals.

Darryl Bond scored 11 points and pulled down seven rebounds, Sean Gardner scored six points and had four assists, Perrin Buford scored five points with five rebounds and four assists, and Kevonta Black added four points, three rebounds and three assists.

Cedarius Taylor led Walters State with 15 points and dished out a game-high five assists.

"It is an honor to have coached against my former coach and mentor Bill Carlyle at Walters State," added Nichols, who won the tournament championship as a player at Walters. "He is a class act all the way and he did a great job getting his team to the championship game. I wish him the best of luck in Hutchinson."

Bucks 86 Jackson State 82

Friday's contest against Jackson State was a tight battle from start to finish, with Motlow holding a slim 38-37 halftime advantage. The Bucks heated up after intermission though, hitting 54 percent of their floor shots and 13-16 free throws. The Generals stayed close by making 30 of 37 free throw attempts.

Hawkins was dominant in the final minutes, leading the Bucks with 22 points and 13 rebounds. Bonny added 18 points and dished out four assists, Gardner scored 15 with three assists, and Jones had 14 points and three rebounds. JaMichael McKinnie led the Generals with 25 points and 10 rebounds.

Bucks 89 Chattanooga State 82

The Bucks opened the tournament against the Tigers Thursday afternoon, and once again it was Hawkins who led the way down the stretch, finishing with 26 points and six rebounds. Motlow led 42-37 at halftime, but the Tigers pulled even at 52 with 14 minutes to play.

Motlow surged to a 10-point lead, 67-57 with eight minutes to play, but the Tigers pulled back within four with five minutes left and kept the outcome in doubt until the final minute. The Bucks shot only 42 percent from the floor and hit only 6-21 3-point attempts. However, Motlow dominated the rebounding 51-36.

Jones scored 18 points and added five rebounds, Gardner had 11 points with four rebounds, and Andre Brown scored nine points and led the team with seven rebounds. Nick Ross, who was named the Player of the Year in the TCCAA for the regular season, led the Tigers with 45 points.

Bucks reach one goal, prepare for another

February 25, 2013

The number one goal coach Jerry Nichols set for his Motlow Bucks before the season started was to win the TCCAA regular season championship and clinch the first trip to the NJCAA tournament in school history.

Check.

The Bucks finished off the regular season with an 82-73 win over Jackson State in Jackson Saturday afternoon. Although most TCCAA teams still have at least one conference game remaining this week, the Bucks have over a week to prepare for the conference tournament.

Now that the national tournament trip is secure, the next goal is to win the TCCAA tournament, which begins Tuesday, March 5 at Copperweld Arena. The Bucks are the top men's seed and will play their first game on Thursday, March 7 at 2 p.m.

A tournament championship would increase Motlow's seeding position at the national tournament in Kansas significantly. Any team that enters the tournament as both regular season and tournament champion of any of the NJCAA's sixteen regions is bound to get a favorable seed.

The Bucks (22-3, 17-1) will have to win three games to accomplish the next goal, which would push their record to 25-3 heading to Hutchinson, Kan. on March 18 for the national event. With that record and both titles, it seems a safe bet that the Bucks could be a top ten seed.

Although it is very difficult to compare the Bucks with some of the other top teams across the nation, having never seen those other teams play, Motlow certainly passes the eye test as a team that has the potential to compete for the national championship.

Motlow has it all on the court - great guard play from Kevonta Black, Kerrell Davis, JC Bonny, and DJ Jones; versatile and long wing players like Sean Gardner, Perrin Buford, Jerron Washington, Bryan Thomas and Raul Tutton; powerful forwards such as Chris Hawkins, Andre Brown, Jeff Graham and Charles Waters; and a physical post presence with Michael Tomlin, Sterling Smoak and Darryl Bond.

All 16 of these players have played in almost all of Motlow's games this season as the Bucks have blown away most of their opponents. Their three losses came against Lawson State, Gadsden State and Volunteer State, with the first two coming back-to-back in late November. That means the Bucks have lost one game in the previous three months.

The 2012-13 season has been one that will not be forgotten by the history books. However, there are still goals to be accomplished, trophies to be hoisted, and dreams to be realized.


Bucks storm past Chargers in second half

February 21, 2013

The Motlow Bucks overcame a 10-point first half deficit, opening the second half on a 17-3 run and beating the Columbia State Chargers 80-63 Wednesday night in Columbia.

The win was the seventh straight for the TCCAA regular season champion Bucks (21-3, 16-1). Motlow, ranked 21st in the nation in the latest NJCAA poll, will conclude its regular season with a trip to Jackson State on Saturday. Tipoff for the women's contest is scheduled for 2 p.m., with the men to follow at approximately 4 p.m.

Motlow will then host the TCCAA/Region VII Tournament at Copperweld Arena beginning March 5. Men's and women's tournament champions will be crowned on Saturday, March 9.

Columbia State (10-13, 7-8) brought the action to the Bucks strong in the first half, jumping out to an 18-9 lead midway through the first 20 minutes. Bucks' sophomore Sean Gardner nailed a 3-point shot to tie the score at 25 with 2:30 remaining in the first half, which ended with the Chargers clinging to a 29-28 lead.

After the intermission it was Motlow that took control, slowly inching away from the Chargers until J.C. Bonny's 3-pointer gave the Bucks a 45-32 lead with 12 minutes remaining. Jerron Washington's 3-pointer increased the lead to 55-39 with eight minutes remaining, and the Bucks enjoyed their largest lead of the game at 75-55 with three minutes to play.

Freshman D.J. Jones continued his torrid 3-point shooting, connecting on four shots from beyond the arc to lead the Bucks with 16 points. Perrin Buford added 14 points, Sean Gardner 13, and Chris Hawkins scored 11 for Motlow.

Jackson State (12-6, 8-6) still has an outside chance of finishing second in the conference standings and placing themselves opposite the Bucks in the tournament bracket. However, they must upset Motlow on Saturday to have any chance of overtaking Volunteer State, which currently sits in second place with five conference losses.


Motlow Bucks rout Eagles for 20th win

February 18, 2013

The Motlow Bucks continued their march through the TCCAA conference with a 98-72 thumping of Dyersburg State Saturday afternoon at Copperweld Arena in the final home game of the regular season.

Motlow (20-3, 15-1) will close out the season with a trip to Columbia State Wednesday night and Jackson State on Saturday. The TCCAA/Region VII Tournament begins March 5 at Copperweld Arena, with Motlow as the host school.

The Bucks were never seriously challenged by the visiting Eagles, who shot only 32 percent from the field despite connecting on 12 three pointers. Motlow shot 50 percent from the field and hit 9-23 three-point attempts. The Bucks won the rebounding battle 38-29.

Chris Hawkins made 12-13 of his field goal attempts and led the Bucks with 29 points along with eight rebounds. His 12 baskets ties him for sixth on the school’s all-time single game record list. Demarco Stepter holds the record, hitting 17 two-point buckets in January of 2008.

Perrin Buford scored 18 points and led the team with 11 rebounds while adding seven assists. Sean Gardner scored 12 with five rebounds, five assists and two steals, Michael Tomlin scored 12 points and pulled down five rebounds, and DJ Jones had 11 points and six assists.

Marty Wilkerson led Dyersburg State (5-15, 1-11) with 23 points.


Motlow Bucks rout Southwest TN; clinch conference title

and national tournament berth

February 14, 2013

The Motlow Bucks made history Wednesday night, clinching the Tennessee Community College Athletic Association (TCCAA) regular season championship and a berth in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) national championship tournament with a 94-75 win over Southwest Tennessee at Copperweld Arena.

Motlow College photo
Bucks head coach Jerry Nichols celebrates his team's TCCAA championship.
It is the first national tournament trip in the 43-year history of Motlow men's basketball. The Bucks (19-3, 14-1) are ranked 22nd in the nation in this week's NJCAA poll and will host Dyersburg State on Saturday, with the women's tipoff scheduled for 2 p.m. Sophomore players will be recognized between the men's and women's contests.

The TCCAA/Region VII Tournament will be held at Motlow College beginning March 5. The Bucks will have an opportunity to add a tournament title to their impressive resume'. The tournament champion will advance to the national tournament as well. If Motlow wins the tournament, then the runner up team will advance to the national tournament.

Motlow dominated the visiting Saluqis (8-7, 11-8) from start to finish in front of a large, loud crowd that created a true home court advantage. The visitors' only lead was 3-2 in the first 90 seconds, but after that it was all Motlow as the Bucks built a 56-32 halftime lead and cruised to victory.

The night ended with the Motlow student section rushing the court and joining the Bucks in a wild post-game celebration. Head coach Jerry Nichols took the ceremonial Gatorade bath at mid-court, joining a select group of people that has won state championships as both a player and a coach.

Sophomore Sean Gardner was the first-half spark for the Bucks, exploding for 15 points in the first 20 minutes including three three-pointers. Gardner finished with 22 points and added seven rebounds. Motlow hit nine three-point buckets and connected on 12-16 free throw attempts.

Freshman Perrin Buford also had a strong first half, scoring 14 of his 17 points, and hauling down five rebounds. Classmate D.J. Jones provided the second-half spark the Bucks needed when Southwest threatened to make a game of it. Jones had 10 second-half points and put an exclamation point on the win with a blocked shot on the defensive end, followed by a reverse layup basket on offense that sent the crowd into a wild frenzy.

Chris Hawkins added 10 points, eight rebounds and three assists for Motlow, while Raul Tutton, Jr. had 10 points, four rebounds and three assists. JC Bonny led the Bucks with five assists and added five points, all from the free throw line. Marshun Newell led the Saluqis with 26 points while Chris Sledge added 18 and Justin Street 16.

Bucks can clinch title with win Wednesday

February 11, 2013

The next win will be the most significant in the 43-year history of men's basketball at Motlow College.

The Bucks can clinch the regular season Tennessee Community College Athletic Association (TCCAA) championship and an automatic berth in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) tournament with their next victory.

Southwest Tennessee visits Copperweld Arena Wednesday night. Tipoff is scheduled for approximately 8 p.m.

Motlow (18-3, 13-1) put itself in this historical position by sweeping Walters State 73-59 and Roane State 74-72 this past weekend on the road in East Tennessee.

"Our guys fought hard this weekend through some adversity," said Bucks head coach Jerry Nichols. "Their hard work and dedication showed through. They put the team before themselves in pursuit of a common goal, which is to get to the national tournament. Now we have an opportunity to achieve that goal."

The weekend wins, combined with Volunteer State losses to both Walters and Roane, leaves the Bucks one win away from the school's first-ever trip to the national tournament. Volunteer was the only team remaining entering the weekend that had a mathematical chance to catch the Bucks in the standings.

The Bucks have won regular season titles before; in fact, they did it just two years ago. However, this is the first year the NJCAA has expanded its tournament field from 16 to 24 teams.

"We are very excited about the opportunity to reach the nationals," added Nichols. "This is a great stepping stone for our program and our school. It takes a lot of preparation and practice to be in this position. Credit goes to these young men who spend a lot of time at the gym and put a lot of things aside and give great effort. They sacrifice a lot to play for the Bucks."

The additional eight teams will come from four national wild cards, chosen by committee, and four regular season champions among the NJCAA's 16 regions. Region VII, made up of 10 Tennessee schools, was randomly chosen as one of the first four regions to receive an automatic berth.

Motlow has an opportunity to not only win the regular season title but the tournament title as well. The college will host this year's TCCAA/Region VII Tournament at Copperweld Arena beginning March 5, with men's and women's champions to be crowned Saturday, March 9. Both tournament champions receive an automatic berth to the national tournament.

"History can be made and we would love to see the gym packed on Wednesday," Nichols said. "This is not just for us but for all our fans and supporters who have been there for us through thick and thin."

The Bucks dominated the Walters State Senators on the boards Friday night in Morristown, holding a 52-38 rebounding advantage. Motlow led by only six points at intermission and overcame a difficult 39 percent shooting performance.

Sophomore Michael Tomlin had a strong performance inside the paint for the Bucks, leading the team with 16 points and 12 rebounds and two blocked shots. Perrin Buford scored 14 points and dished out a team-high six assists. Sean Gardner scored nine points with six rebounds and four assists. D.J. Jones added 12 points, six rebounds and three assists off the bench.

Saturday afternoon the Bucks had to withstand a pesky Roane State team that battled until the very end. Motlow trailed 72-71 with 2.3 seconds to play when Jones, who has been the Bucks' leading scorer during the second half of the season, connected on a three-point shot to secure the hard-fought victory and put his team within one win of history.

Chris Hawkins scored 17 and pulled down nine boards, two assists and three steals. Jones had 14 points. Raul Tutton scored 13 points and Perrin Buford had six points, five assists and seven rebounds. Motlow will host Dyersburg State on Saturday, when it will recognize its sophomore basketball players.


Bucks take big steps towards ultimate goal

February 4, 2013

The Motlow Bucks took two big steps toward their goal of a Tennessee Community College Athletic Association (TCCAA) championship with wins over Chattanooga State and Cleveland State this past weekend at Copperweld Arena.

Friday night the Bucks beat Chattanooga State 93-77, then turned around on Saturday and handled Cleveland State 91-77.

Motlow (16-3, 11-1) will face another pair of big tests this coming weekend when the Bucks travel to East Tennessee, facing Walters State on Friday night and Roane State on Saturday. The Bucks return home to host Southwest Tennessee on Wednesday, Feb. 13, with tipoff at 8 p.m.

Freshman D.J. Jones was the catalyst Saturday afternoon as Motlow enjoyed its Homecoming 2013 celebration. Cleveland State broke a 40-40 halftime tie with six straight points to open the second half before Jones caught fire.

He hit two straight three pointers, and five in the second half on his way to a team-high 26 points unofficially, with 21 coming after intermission. Motlow used a 17-3 run over a five minute span midway through the second half to put the pesky Cougars away.

Chris Hawkins added 12 and Raul Tutton, Jr. scored 11 for Motlow. The Bucks connected on 24-31 free throws. Trey Suttles led Cleveland State (11-7, 6-5) with 24 points and Ralph Eason added 21.


Motlow homecoming Saturday as part of rivalry weekend

January 28, 2013

Motlow College will celebrate homecoming on Saturday as a pair of TCCAA rivals visit Copperweld Arena for weekend basketball games.

Friday night the Bucks and Lady Bucks will host Chattanooga State, with tipoff scheduled for 6 p.m. Saturday's homecoming festivities begin at 1 p.m., with Cleveland State the opponent for a 2 p.m. tipoff. The 2013 homecoming king and queen will be crowned at halftime of the men's game on Saturday.

The Bucks and Lady Bucks will be hoping to put a pair of weekend losses behind them as both fell at Volunteer State on Saturday. The Pioneers edged the Bucks 88-85, while the Lady Pioneers toppled the Lady Bucks 67-35.

Shaky free throw shooting against Volunteer State (12-5, 7-3) cost the Bucks (14-3, 9-1) a chance at an undefeated conference season in Gallatin. After trailing 52-46 at halftime and for much of the second half, the Bucks took a late lead before seeing it slip away in the final minutes.

Motlow connected on only 22-38 free throw attempts, while the home team hit 23-31 from the charity stripe. The Bucks won the rebounding battle 46-40 and forced the Pioneers into 14 turnovers, but couldn't get the big shot to fall at the end.

D.J. Jones led Motlow in scoring with 15 points, followed by Perrin Buford and Chris Hawkins with 14 and Sean Gardner with 10. Hawkins added eight rebounds and five assists, while Buford had seven boards and three assists. Kerrell Davis scored nine points with eight rebounds and five assists. Alex Marzette led the Pioneers with 22 points.

The Lady Bucks (4-12, 2-8) held the taller Lady Pioneers (15-1, 9-1) in check for the first 20 minutes as Motlow entered the intermission with a 22-21 lead. The home team scored the first 18 points of the second half though, ending Motlow's hopes of a road upset.

Lekera Taylor and Presley Owen each scored eight points for the Lady Bucks, while Chelsey Wiseman led the way with seven rebounds and two steals. LaShaundra Rice had a pair of assists and Lacy Gaines added two steals for Motlow. Heather Vann and Sara Bliss tied for scoring honors with 14 points each for Volunteer State.


Bucks sweep weekend, halfway to Kansas

January 22, 2013

The Motlow Bucks completed the first half of their Tennessee Community College Athletic Association (TCCAA) schedule with a spotless 9-0 record, beating both Southwest Tennessee and Dyersburg State this past weekend on the road.

Friday night in Memphis, the home area of eight members of Motlow's team, the Bucks (13-2, 9-0) broke out of a halftime tie to beat Southwest Tennessee 72-59. The Saluqis (7-4, 5-4) entered the contest right behind the Bucks in the conference standings.

On Saturday the Bucks traveled to Dyersburg and overcame the challenge of back-to-back road games by beating the Eagles 84-73. Dyersburg (4-7, 1-5) had no answer for Motlow freshman Perrin Buford, who scored a career-high 28 points and pulled down 10 rebounds.

The Bucks will now step outside the conference with a trip to Columbia, Kentucky on Wednesday night to face the Lindsey Wilson College JV squad. Motlow returns to conference play on Saturday at Volunteer State in Gallatin. Tipoff is scheduled for 4 p.m.

The regular season conference champion will earn an automatic berth in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) tournament, as will the conference tournament champion. With the tournament scheduled for Copperweld Arena in early March, the Bucks appear to be in great position to earn the school's first appearance at the national tournament in its 44-year men's basketball history.

In Memphis the Bucks featured a balanced offensive attack with four double-digit scorers. Chris Hawkins recorded his first double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds. D.J. Jones added 13 points, while Sean Gardner and Michael Tomlin each scored 10. Gardner led the Bucks with eight assists and added six rebounds. Motlow shot 56% from the field and won the rebounding battle 41-24.

Saturday in Dyersburg Motlow continued to shoot the ball well, building a 10-point halftime lead on the way to their eighth consecutive victory. Buford added two assists and three blocked shots to his impressive performance. The Bucks shot 52% from the field and had 51 rebounds.

Hawkins narrowly missed a second consecutive double-double, scoring 11 points and hauling in nine rebounds. Gardner again filled up the stat sheet with 10 points, six rebounds and three assists. Tomlin added nine points and six rebounds.

Four of Motlow's nine remaining conference games are at home, beginning with a Feb. 1 contest against Chattanooga State. Motlow will host Cleveland State the following day and will crown its homecoming king and queen at Copperweld Arena.


Bucks ready for road trip after crushing Cougars

January 14, 2013

All 15 Motlow Bucks who played scored at least two points and pulled down at least one rebound during a one-sided 134-43 trouncing of visiting Mid-Continent College JV at Copperweld Arena Saturday afternoon.

The Lady Bucks' scheduled contest against the Nashville All-Stars was cancelled.

Both Motlow squads will step back into TCCAA action for the first time since Dec. 8 when they travel to Memphis to face Southwest Tennessee on Friday, with the women's tipoff scheduled for 6 p.m. The season's longest road trip will continue the following day at Dyersburg State, and then end on Saturday, Jan. 26 at Volunteer State in Gallatin.

Six Bucks scored in double figures Saturday, led by Sean Gardner with 20, including 18 in the first half, and Perrin Buford with 18. Joining them was Chris Hawkins with 11 and Charles Waters, J.C. Bonny, and Kerrell Davis with 10 points each.

Motlow (11-2, 7-0) led 19-0 before the Cougars scored their first point and 24-2 before the visitors hit their first shot from the floor. The Motlow lead ballooned to 65-22 at halftime and 100-31 with nine minutes to play.

The Bucks hit 12 three-point shots during the contest, including four by Gardner in the first half. The Bucks forced the visitors into 23 turnovers while committing only eight.

D.J. Jones scored seven points with four assists and four steals, Kevonta Black had six points along with three rebounds, five assists and two steals, Darryl Bond scored six and pulled down six rebounds, and Buford added three rebounds, five assists and two blocked shots to his 18 points.

The scoring outburst fell five points shy of the all-time single game scoring record for Motlow basketball. The Bucks scored 138 points against Chattanooga State in 1994. The 43 points allowed was the fifth-fewest in a single game in school history.


Bonny buries bucket to complete Bucks comeback

January 10, 2013

Sean Gardner stole an inbounds pass with 25 seconds to play and the score tied, then found teammate JC Bonny for an open 12-foot basket that proved to be the game winner as the Motlow Bucks overcame an eight point deficit with five minutes to play and beat Snead State 67-65 at Copperweld Arena on Wednesday.

The win raised the Bucks record to 10-2 overall heading into a Saturday afternoon home contest with non-conference opponent Mid-Continent College, with tipoff scheduled for 4 p.m. Motlow will then embark on a four-game road trip, beginning with a stop in Memphis to face TCCAA rival Southwest Tennessee on Friday, Jan. 18.

Motlow's Kevonta Black hit his only bucket of the night to give his team a 28-27 lead early in the second half after they trailed 27-24 at halftime. It proved to be the last lead Motlow would hold in the game until the final basket, which came seconds after Bucks' forward Perrin Buford scored to create the 65-65 tie.

The visiting Parsons surged to a 50-37 advantage with 12 minutes remaining before Motlow's Chris Hawkins began to take over. Hawkins, playing in his first game since early in the season due to an injury, repeatedly drove to the basket and either scored or got fouled, or both, as the Bucks chipped away at the lead.

Motlow still trailed by seven points, 65-58, when Gardner connected on a three-point shot with 1:50 left to play to cut the deficit to four.

Unofficially, Hawkins led Motlow in scoring with 17 points and had five rebounds and two assists. Gardner scored 12 points, while Bonny had all 10 of his points in the second half. Darryl Bond led the Bucks with seven rebounds, while Buford added six.


Bucks primed for run at NJCAA tournament berth

January 3, 2013

With the second half of the basketball season quickly approaching, the Motlow Bucks are in position to compete for their second regular-season conference championship in the past three years.

The Bucks (9-2, 7-0) resume action following a month-long holiday break when they host non-conference opponent Snead State on Wednesday, Jan. 9. Tipoff for the men is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at Copperweld Arena. The Bucks edged the Parsons 72-68 back on Nov. 12 in Boaz, Ala.

Motlow currently stands alone at the top of the Tennessee Community College Athletic Association (TCCAA) standings, a full two games ahead of Cleveland State and Southwest Tennessee who each have two conference losses.

Head coach Jerry Nichols knows his team ended the first half of the season on a four-game winning streak, but he also realizes that regaining that momentum will not come easily.

"We hope guys come back healthy, fresh and ready to do something special," said Nichols. "We just need to keep winning games any way we can. We have a great chance to get to the national tournament for the first time in school history if we can keep playing well."

Due to an expansion in the number of teams the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) will invite to the national tournament in Hutchinson, Kan. in March, the Bucks have two opportunities to make it.

In past years the NJCAA tournament consisted of only the 16 tournament champions from its 16 regions across the country. Motlow plays in Region VII and has finished as tournament runner-up the past two seasons. In 2010-11 the Bucks won the regular season title, only to fall in the championship game to Chattanooga State. Last year Motlow lost a heartbreaking 56-53 decision to tournament champion Columbia State.

"The NJCAA has expanded its tournament to 24 teams now," continued Nichols. "Four regular season region champions will be added as well as four wild card selections. Region VII is among the four regions that will send its regular season champion as well as its tournament champion to the national tournament this season. Those regions will rotate every season, but we were fortunate to be chosen in a random drawing to be one of the first four regions in this new format."

The TCCAA/Region VII Tournament will be held at Motlow this season, beginning Tuesday, Mar. 5 and ending with both men's and women's champions being crowned on Saturday, Mar. 9 at Copperweld Arena.

The Bucks will resume conference play in two weeks when they make their annual trip to West Tennessee, first to Memphis to take on Southwest Tennessee on Friday, Jan. 18, then to Dyersburg the following day to face Dyersburg State.


Bucks roll into holiday break with conference lead

December 10, 2012

The Motlow Bucks connected on 12 three-point shots, including eight in the first half, on their way to an 81-59 rout of visiting Roane State on Saturday at Copperweld Arena.

The win came on the heels of Friday's equally dominating 74-53 win over Walters State. Motlow will now break for the holidays, with its next game scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 9, when non-conference opponent Snead State visits Lynchburg.

Walters State box score
Roane State box score


The Bucks (9-2, 7-0) stand alone at the top of the Tennessee Community College Athletic Association (TCCAA) standings, the only team undefeated in conference play. Head coach Jerry Nichols knows there are still plenty of games to play, but he is happy with where his team is at the break.

"We played well in stretches this weekend," said Nichols. "We could have been better because we had slow starts in both games. We found a way to win though and right now we are where we need to be. We have a great chance to get to the national tournament for the first time in school history if we can keep playing well."

Like all other junior and community college teams, the Bucks will now take their holiday break. Nichols expects his team to enjoy their break and the holidays, but he also expects them to return in January with their eyes on the prize.

"Every team has a break this time of year," he added. "We hope guys come back healthy, fresh and ready to do something special. We just need to keep winning games any way we can."

Roane State (1-8, 0-5) didn't look like a team at the bottom of the standings when it jumped out to a 16-8 lead with 12:25 to play in the first half against a Motlow squad struggling to get loose after Friday's big win over Walters.

The Bucks caught fire behind the three-point shooting of Kerrell Davis and D.J. Jones. Davis' first three pointer pulled Motlow within one at 20-19 with 7:30 to play in the half. Charles Waters' basket a moment later gave Motlow the lead for good at 21-20.

The Bucks pulled away to a 44-31 lead at the half as Davis scored all 11 of his points, including three from behind the arc, while Jones had 10 first-half points on his way to a team-high 20 points, including four of five three-pointers.

The visiting Raiders fought their way back to trail by only eight points, 61-53, with 7:10 left to play. That's when Motlow sophomore Sean Gardner put the game on ice with three consecutive three-point baskets.

Michael Tomlin scored 12 points for the Bucks, including 10 in the second half, and pulled down seven rebounds. Perrin Buford joined Tomlin, Davis, and Jones in double-figure scoring with 10 points. Waters joined Tomlin in leading the team with seven rebounds, while Kevonta Black led the Bucks with six assists and two steals.

Friday night the visiting Walters State Senators (7-8, 3-4) jumped out to a 26-25 halftime lead as Motlow came out with a cold shooting hand.

It was the defensive effort by the Bucks that kept them within striking distance in the first half before they got untracked offensively after the intermission. Motlow held Walters State to 32% shooting from the field, including only 15% from three-point range.

Gardner led the Bucks Friday night with 16 points and six rebounds, while Tomlin scored 13 and added six boards. Buford had a fine overall game with 11 points, seven rebounds and three assists. Davis and Black each dished out five assists. Jones had nine points, three assists and three rebounds.


Bucks stand alone at top of TCCAA standings

December 3, 2012

Heading into the final weekend of basketball games before a month-long holiday break, the Motlow Bucks are right where they want to be - in first place.

The Bucks (7-2, 5-0) earned their top spot in the Tennessee Community College Athletic Association (TCCAA) men's standings with wins at Cleveland State 66-58 and Chattanooga State 109-99 this past weekend.

Chattanooga State box score
Cleveland State box score


Motlow will host Walters State this Friday, with the men tipping off at 8 p.m. at Copperweld Arena. Roane State then visits on Saturday, with tipoff at 4 p.m. The women's contest tips off at 6 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. on Saturday.

Friday night in Chattanooga the Bucks led the Tigers (6-2, 2-2) 53-44 at halftime before extending their lead to 20 points midway through the second half. Motlow blistered the nets, shooting 60% from the field, including 9-16 three-pointers.

Kerrell Davis logged the first double-double of his Motlow career with 19 points and 10 assists, and added five rebounds. Motlow featured balance scoring with five players in double figures.

Raul Tutton scored 16 points with six rebounds, J.C. Bonny scored 16 and had four assists, D.J. Jones had 15 points while hitting 4-5 three-pointers, and Mike Tomlin scored 10 and pulled down five rebounds. Darryl Bond joined Tutton with six rebounds, and Kevanta Black joined Bonny with four assists.

Saturday afternoon in Cleveland the Bucks battled the Cougars (9-2, 5-1) for first place in the conference. It was a tight game the entire way, with Motlow enjoying its biggest lead at the end.

Black scored five quick points to give the Bucks a 12-7 lead early, but Cleveland rode a 19-8 run to go ahead 26-20 with 7:30 left in the first half. The Bucks struck back though, as Sean Gardner nailed a three and Sterling Smoak scored a bucket. Perrin Buford's slam dunk with three minutes left in the half put Motlow back on top, and the Bucks led 35-34 at intermission.

Jones hit a pair of three-point shots midway through the second half to put Motlow on top 52-51. With the Bucks clinging to a 61-58 lead with 51 seconds to play, Motlow's Andre Brown and Jones each connected on a pair of clutch free throws to seal the victory.

Buford led the scoring for Motlow with 12 points and added four rebounds and three assists. Jones scored 11 and had four rebounds and two assists. Tutton scored nine with four rebounds.

Brown had a solid effort, scoring seven points and leading the team with eight rebounds. Tomlin added eight points and had seven boards, and both Black and Davis each dished out four assists, with Davis chipping in four rebounds and two steals.

The Walters State Senators are traditionally one of the strongest programs in the TCCAA. The Senators (6-6, 3-2) struggled early during the season but are playing better at the midway point. Roane State has not had a good season to this point, but the Raiders (1-6, 0-3) always bring a talented team to the court.

Saturday's contests against Roane State will be broadcast live on the Tullahoma Sports Network at 105.1 FM, Tullahomaradio.com, and LightTUBe channel 11.


Bucks head east looking for wins

November 28, 2012

The Motlow Bucks look to break a two-game losing streak and stay on top of the TCCAA standings with a weekend trip to east Tennessee.

The Bucks (5-2, 3-0) fell to Lawson State 78-69 Tuesday night at Copperweld Arena, their second straight loss to a non-conference opponent.

Motlow will travel to Chattanooga State on Friday night and Cleveland State on Saturday to face two of their most intense TCCAA rivals.

The Chattanooga State Tigers are 6-1 overall and 2-1 in the conference, with their only loss coming to Southwest Tennessee. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. central in Chattanooga.

Cleveland State has one loss and is ranked 13th in the latest NJCAA poll. Saturday's games from Cleveland will be broadcast on the Tullahoma Sports Network, with tipoff scheduled for 3 p.m. central.. Listen live at TullahomaRadio.com.


Hot-shooting Bucks race past Volunteer State

November 19, 2012

The Motlow Bucks jumped out to an 11-2 lead in the first three minutes and never looked back on their way to a 90-66 rout of Volunteer State at Copperweld Arena Saturday afternoon.

Volunteer State at Motlow boxscore

Motlow head coach Jerry Nichols was pleased with his team's effort against one of the top challengers in the conference, but he also knows there is plenty of room for improvement.

"I'm proud of the effort we gave on defense, especially in the first half," said Nichols. "We let up a little bit towards the end of the game so I'm not happy about that, but Saturday showed the potential we have, and we just need to keep trying to get better each game."

The Bucks (5-0, 3-0) will step outside the Tennessee Community College Athletic Association (TCCAA) when they travel to Gadsden, Ala. Wednesday night to take on Gadsden State. Motlow returns home to host non-conference opponent Lawson State on Tuesday, Nov. 27.

Saturday's contest in front of the largest crowd of the early season was never in doubt after the Bucks got early three-point buckets from Sean Gardner, Perrin Buford, and Raul Tutton. The first-half lead fluctuated between five and nine points until D.J. Jones' three-pointer stretched it to 10 just before the intermission.

Leading 38-28 as the second half began, Motlow raced to an 11-3 run in the first five minutes to stretch its lead to 49-31. J.C. Bonny, who led Motlow with 16 points, sparked the second half run with the first of his three three-point baskets.

Joining Bonny in double figures for Motlow was Jones with 13, Tutton with 11, and Mike Tomlin scored 10. Tomlin completed a double-double with 10 rebounds to lead the team, while Tutton pulled down seven boards and Andre Brown added six.

Kerrell Davis dished out a team-high four assists and joined Jones in leading the team with three steals each.

Motlow improved its free-throw shooting from recent games, nailing 23-28 shots from the charity stripe. Motlow shot 51% from the field, including 9-19 three pointers. Volunteer State was led in scoring by Martez Harris with 16 points and Treshawn Coleman with 12.


Unbeaten Bucks look to extend streak Saturday

November 14, 2012

Playing three games in four days is tough on any team in any sport, especially when the final game involves a long road trip.

The Motlow Bucks won for the third time in four days, and extended their season-opening winning streak to four, with a hard-fought 72-68 victory over non-conference opponent Snead State in Boaz, Ala. Monday night.

The Bucks (4-0, 2-0) will now have a few days to catch their breath and get their legs back before hosting Tennessee Community College Athletic Association rival Volunteer State at Copperweld Arena Saturday afternoon, Tipoff is scheduled for 4 p.m.

"We played good in spurts against Snead State," said Bucks head coach Jerry Nichols. "We still have a long way to go to be one of the elite teams in the country though, and there are a lot of areas where we need to improve.

"I'm proud that we can play three games in four days and find a way to win those games," added Nichols. "That kind of schedule is a lot like playing in the TCCAA Tournament, so I hope this will help us down the road."

The Volunteer State Pioneers (3-1, 1-1) won their first three games before falling to Columbia State 91-69 in Gallatin last Saturday. The Pioneers are also off all week heading into Saturday's contest in Lynchburg.

Motlow entered the National Junior College Athletic Association's national poll this week, receiving 18 points to place 32nd in the first poll released since the regular season began. The Bucks are the only TCCAA team to be ranked among the top 35 teams.


Bucks unplug Chargers and dismantle Generals

November 12, 2012

The Motlow Bucks used their pressure defense, superior depth, and balanced scoring to win a pair of Tennessee Community College Athletic Association contests this past weekend at Copperweld Arena.

The Bucks will travel to Boaz, Ala. tonight to face non-conference opponent Snead State, then return home Saturday as Volunteer State visits for a 4 p.m. tipoff.

Motlow (3-0, 2-0) got a whopping 58 points, 27 rebounds, and 13 assists from its bench Friday night in a 77-64 beating of Columbia State. The Chargers are the defending TCCAA champions, but could not contend with the Bucks shooting 50% from the field.

Saturday the visiting Jackson State Generals battled the Bucks to a 40-40 tie at halftime, then watched Motlow race away in the second half and cruise to an 86-65 win. Five players scored in double figures for the Bucks as they once again shot 50% from the field.

Columbia State box score
Jackson State box score


Motlow got its revenge Friday night against Columbia State despite missing 20 of its 38 free throw attempts. The Bucks committed only nine turnovers and got 20 assists on their 26 baskets made.

Jerron Washington led the Bucks in scoring with 12 points while D.J. Jones added 10. Darryl Bond, Chris Hawkins, Mike Tomlin, and Andre Brown each had five rebounds. Kerrell Davis led the Bucks with five assists, with Jones adding four. The two point guards also had three steals each to lead Motlow.

Saturday the visiting Generals controlled much of the first half, leading from the outset. Their lead maxed out at seven with 4:30 left until intermission, but the Bucks fought back and took their first lead on JC Bonny's three-point shot with 1:40 left in the half.

After Jackson State led by one 43-42, the Bucks increased the tempo and dominated the final 18 minutes. Motlow's lead stretched to six with 16 minutes left, 12 with 14 minutes remaining, and 18 with four minutes to play.

Sean Gardner led five double-figure scorers for the Bucks with 15 points. Perrin Buford added 14, Jones and Bonny each had 13, and Davis added 10.

Buford led the team with eight rebounds, followed by Hawkins with seven, and Gardner and Bond with six each. Davis led the way with five assists, with Jones adding four. The Bucks hit 75% of their free throws, with Jones nailing six of eight and Hawkins connecting on all four of his attempts.


Bucks win opener, host defending champs Friday

November 5, 2012

The Motlow Bucks turned a seven point halftime lead into a 34 point rout as they opened the 2012-13 basketball season with a 96-62 win over the Bryan College JV Lions in Dayton, Tenn., Friday night.

View the box score

The Bucks will open Tennessee Community College Athletic Association (TCCAA) play this Friday when they host defending conference champion Columbia State at 8 p.m. at Copperweld Arena.

The home game weekend will continue on Saturday, Nov. 10, with Jackson State scheduled to visit for a 4 p.m. tipoff. Saturday's contest will be broadcast live on WHMT radio at 105.1 FM, TullahomaRadio.com, and LightTUBe channel 11.

"In the first half we faced some adversity, but by the second half we put it together and pulled away from Bryan," said Bucks head coach Jerry Nichols. "We have guys trying to figure out their role and trying to learn what it takes to play as a team at the college level. The teams that win titles play like teams, so we have to learn to do that. We have to buy into that concept to be a great team."

Sophomore Sean Gardner led the Bucks with 24 points, including six of nine from behind the three-point line, with most coming in the second half. Gardner connected on nine of his 13 total shots, dished out three assists, and pulled down three rebounds.

The Bucks led 38-31 at halftime before outscoring Bryan 58-31 after intermission. Motlow shot 53% from the field, including 34% from behind the three-point line. The Bucks hit only 11-21 free throws, but dished out 27 assists for their 38 field goals, pulled down 47 rebounds, had 13 steals, and turned the ball over 15 times.

Sophomore Michael Tomlin and freshman Perrin Buford joined Gardner in double figure scoring. Tomlin hit all six of his field goal attempts and finished with 12 points and three rebounds. Buford scored 10 points in his first game as a Buck, and also added four assists, seven rebounds, and a pair of steals.

Motlow's point guards distributed the ball well. Sophomore transfer Kerrell Davis had a team-high six assists along with nine points, seven rebounds and a steal. Freshman DJ Jones had five assists, six points, and three rebounds.

Redshirt freshman Chris Hawkins had a strong all-around game with nine points and seven rebounds. Raul Tutton added six points, including 4-5 free throws, three assists and three rebounds. JC Bonny led the team with three steals and added four rebounds and one point.

The Columbia State Chargers edged the Bucks 59-56 last march to win the TCCAA/Region VII Tournament championship. The two teams split their games during the regular season in 2011-12, with each winning on the opponents' home floor.


Nichols, Motlow Bucks set goal of Kansas in March

September 27, 2012

Ending the season as runner-up in your conference tournament is a noteworthy accomplishment.

Doing it two years in a row is frustrating.

Jeff Reed Photography
JC Bonny is one of seven returning sophomores for the Bucks. Jeff Reed Photography.
Head coach Jerry Nichols and his Motlow Bucks have been there, done that - twice. With a solid group of sophomores returning and an influx of new talent, plus a revamped national tournament that offers Tennessee teams two opportunities to make it to Kansas, Nichols feels this is the year that Motlow brings home the gold ball.

"We don't shy away from saying that winning our conference and playing in the NJCAA tournament is our goal at Motlow College," said Nichols. "With the new format of the national tournament we are confident that we have the talent and experience to be both the regular season champions and win the state tournament."

In past years the NJCAA tournament consisted of only the 16 tournament champions from its 16 regions across the country. Motlow plays in Region VII and has finished as tournament runner-up the past two seasons. In 2010-11 the Bucks won the regular season title, only to fall in the championship game to Chattanooga State. Last year Motlow lost a heartbreaking 56-53 decision to tournament champion Columbia State.

"The NJCAA has expanded its tournament to 24 teams now," continued Nichols. "Four regular season region champions will be added as well as four wild card selections. Region VII is among the four regions that will send its regular season champion as well as its tournament champion to the national tournament this season. Those regions will rotate every season, but we were fortunate to be chosen in a random drawing to be one of the first four regions in this new format."

Motlow will open the 2012-13 season on the road at Bryan College in Dayton, Tenn. The first home game is a rematch of last year's Tennessee Community College Athletic Association (TCCAA) Region VII Tournament championship game when Columbia State visits Copperweld Arena on Friday, Nov. 9. The Chargers advanced to the national tournament with a 59-56 win over the Bucks last March.

Nichols returns eight sophomores from last year, including four who started a significant number of games. He has added a group of talented freshmen and a pair of experienced sophomore transfers to go along with three players who redshirted for the Bucks last season.

"This roster has the talent to be among the top junior college teams in the country," added Nichols. "That will only happen though if they play unselfish basketball and come together as a team with one unified goal."

Returning sophomores include Sean Gardner, JC Bonny, Michael Tomlin, Raul Tutton, Jr., Darryl Bond, Jeff Graham and Bryan Thomas. Chris Hawkins also returns after sitting out a redshirt season to recover from injury.

Gardner is the top returning player statistically, averaging 10.7 points, four rebounds, two assists and 1.5 steals per game. Nichols traditionally plays every player on the team in almost every game, which makes statistical comparisons difficult in defining the contributions made by players. Each of the sophomores had shining moments last season and each played important roles.

The three redshirts who will see their first action for Motlow are Kevonta Black from Nashville, Charles Waters from Memphis, and Andre Brown from Clarksville.

Transfers include Kerrell Davis from Northwest Florida and Sterling Smoak from Northeast Community College in Nebraska. Former Coffee County star Tyler Clayborne also joins the Bucks after one season at Volunteer State.

The freshman class includes DeVante' Jones from Chicago, Perrin Buford from Decatur, Ala., Jerron Washington and Jalen Blackwell from Memphis, and DeAndre McKinnie from Bolivar.

Each of the incoming freshmen and transfers bring impressive resumes to the program. How they perform as a unit is yet to be determined, but early workouts indicate that game days at Copperweld Arena will be must-see for area basketball fans.

Bucks have talent, experience to break down barrier

August 27, 2012

The Motlow Bucks have been on the brink of reaching the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) basketball tournament for the past two years. With a strong nucleus of returning sophomores and redshirt freshmen, and a recruiting class with sterling credentials, this might just be the year for the Bucks to break through.

Head Coach Jerry Nichols enters every season with the goal of winning the Tennessee Community College Athletic Association (TCCAA) tournament title and advancing to the national tournament. This season not only the tournament champion, but also the regular season champion, will advance to the national tournament. Nichols likes his teams' chances.

"We don't shy away from saying that winning our conference and playing in the NJCAA tournament is our goal at Motlow College," said Nichols. "With the new format of the national tournament we are confident that we have the talent and experience to be both the regular season champions and win the state tournament."

In past years the NJCAA tournament consisted of only the 16 tournament champions from its 16 regions across the country. Motlow plays in Region VII and has finished as tournament runner-up the past two seasons. In 2010-11 the Bucks won the regular season title, only to fall in the championship game to Chattanooga State. Last year Motlow lost a heartbreaking 56-53 decision to tournament champion Columbia State.

"The NJCAA has expanded its tournament to 24 teams now," continued Nichols. "Four regular season region champions will be added as well as four wild card selections. Region VII is among the four regions that will send its regular season champion as well as its tournament champion to the national tournament this season. Those regions will rotate every season, but we were fortunate to be chosen in a random drawing to be one of the first four regions in this new format.

"Our guys have worked hard during the offseason," added Nichols. "We sent nine players to the Juco Journal Invitational camp in July, which is the most we have ever sent. We have the pieces to be an outstanding basketball team, but it remains to be seen if those pieces can come together to complete the puzzle. I think they can and I know my guys believe they can."

The Bucks will begin practice on October 1 and play their first game in early November. Motlow home basketball games are played at Copperweld Arena inside Nisbett Center on the Moore County campus. There is no admission charge.


Motlow basketball players invited to prestigious Juco Journal hoops camp

July 16, 2012

Nine Motlow Bucks basketball players, including five returning sophomores, two incoming transfers, and two redshirt freshman have been invited to the prestigious Juco Journal basketball camp in Crestview, Florida.

The 2012 Juco Journal Summer Invitational will be held at Crestview High School in late July. The camp annually attracts over 200 college basketball coaches from across the country.

Returning sophomores Raul Tutton, Jr., Sean Gardner, JC Bonny, Michael Tomlin, and Darryl Bond are among the invitees. All played significant minutes for head coach Jerry Nichols during the 2011-12 season, and all will be counted on for major contributions during the coming season.

In addition, redshirt freshman Christopher Hawkins has also been invited, despite sitting out last season at Motlow with a knee injury. Hawkins was highly recruited out of Sun Prairie, Wisconsin before being sidelined with the injury. He has completely recovered and has been working out throughout the summer.

Redshirt freshmen Andre Brown comes to Motlow from Austin Peay, where his was a walk-on but did not play last season. Brown averaged 27 points and 10 rebounds two years ago as a senior at Clarksville Northwest.

Incoming sophomore Kerrell Davis will also participate in the camp. Davis played his freshman season at Northwest Florida State College, part of the squad that finished runner-up to South Plains College, Texas in the NJCAA Tournament.

Another sophomore who has transferred to Motlow and will join in camp activities is center Sterling Smoak, who spent last season at Northeast Community College in Norfolk, Nebraska.

Motlow did not have any players participate in the Juco Journal camp last season. In 2010 the Bucks sent returning all-state performers Freddie Goldstein, Zamarius McLendon, and Darryn Frazier to the Crestview Invitational event.

All three are preparing for their senior college seasons at four-year universities. McLendon and Frazier both were major contributors this past season at Francis Marion University in Florence, SC, while Goldstein was the second-leading scorer for the University of South Alabama.


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