Jaylen Barford among greatest student-athletes in Motlow State history

Apr. 22, 2016

With his Motlow State Community College playing career over and his time as a student-athlete drawing to a close with graduation May 7, Jaylen Barford has cemented his place as one of the greatest players in any sport in the history of Motlow athletics.

Barford will continue as a student-athlete next year at the University of Arkansas, becoming the first player in recent memory from Motlow to earn an opportunity to play in the Southeastern Conference.

His accomplishments, accolades and school records are many. Before the 2015-16 basketball season even started, Barford was announced by multiple scouting and recruiting services as the top junior college basketball player in the nation.

He more than lived up to the preseason hype, leading the nation in scoring with a 26.2 points-per-game average and being named a First Team All-American by the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA). Although records from the early years at Motlow are not fully complete, Barford is believed to be only the fourth player in school history to be honored on the first team; joining baseball players Mark Shuler (1978) and Tyler Murphy (2012), and softball star Cassandra Jo Sharp (2000).

Barford was named the men's basketball Player of the Year by the Tennessee Community College Athletic Association (TCCAA) and earned first team all-tournament honors. He led his Bucks' team to a sparkling 25-7 overall record during the recently completed season and an overall record of 48-13 during his two seasons wearing the green and gold. The Bucks advanced to the semifinals of the conference tournament in 2014-15 and played for the tournament championship last season, falling 73-68 to Southwest Tennessee.

Motlow State men's basketball individual school records are dominated primarily by those who played during the early years of the program. Names such as Bob Martin, Jack Battle and Larry Mackin remain near the top of most career and single season statistical categories. More than any player since all-time leading scorer Tim Fant graduated in 1990, Barford has earned his place among those superstars from the 1970s.

Barford is second in career points with 1,393, trailing only Fant who scored 1,551 during his brilliant career. Barford passed legendary figures such as Martin, Battle, Billy Holt and John Gales during the late stages of the 2015-16 season, which included his brilliant 45-point effort during the semifinal round of the conference tournament.

His 23.6 points-per-game career scoring average is fourth all-time, with Fant leading the way at 26.7. Barford is fifth in total rebounds with 423, with Martin holding down the top spot with 773 during his career from 1974-76. Martin also leads in the rebounds per game category, averaging an amazing 14.4. Barford is sixth on that list at 7.2.

Perhaps what set Barford apart from many of those great players from the past, with the exception of Battle, was his versatility. Prior to Barford, Battle was the only player in Motlow history to rank in the top ten on the career list in scoring, rebounding, assists and steals.

Barford not only joined Battle in those categories, but passed him in most. Barford's 287 career assists is sixth all-time, with Mackin holding the top spot at 584 total assists and a 9.7 assists-per-game average. Barford's 4.9 average is also sixth on the all-time list.

Mackin had held the all-time steals total record of 153 for 40 years until Barford tied him with a steal late in the conference championship game. Barford averaged 2.6 steals-per-game, tied with Mackin for second all-time.

Barford's place in the single season record book is equally impressive. He scored 837 points this past season, second all-time behind Martin's 860 during the 1974-75 campaign. Barford averaged 26.2 points each game, third behind Martin and Fant.

His 45-point performance against Columbia State in the TCCAA tournament tied him with Martin for the fourth-best all time. Fant set the record of 50 in 1989 and repeated it in 1990. During that thrilling win over the Chargers, Barford connected on 19-22 free throws, the second-best charity stripe shooting day in Bucks history. Andy Baits hit 21-23 free throws in 1985.

Finally, Barford is only the second player in Motlow men's basketball history to be named an All-American following both of his seasons. Freddie Goldstein was named Honorable Mention in both 2010 and 2011.

Visit the official website of Motlow Athletics at www.motlowsports.com for rosters, schedules, stats and more. Interact with Motlow Athletics on Facebook and Twitter.

Jaylen Barford
Jaylen Barford throws down a slam dunk during his freshman season. Barford, who came to Motlow State after a stellar prep career at Jackson South Side High School in Jackson, Tenn., cemented his position as one of the greatest student-athletes to ever play, in any sport, at Motlow. Barford will continue his career next season at the University of Arkansas. Photo by Jeff Reed Photography.

Motlow State Bucks end season with narrow loss in TCCAA/Region VII title game

Mar. 7, 2016

One of the best seasons in the 47-year history of Motlow State Community College men's basketball came to a disappointing end Friday afternoon when the Bucks fell to Southwest Tennessee 73-68 in the championship game of the TCCAA/Region VII Tournament in Gallatin.

Under first-year head coach J.T. Burton, the Bucks (25-7) led 43-41 at halftime and 61-57 with nine minutes to play. However, late foul trouble and a difficult day shooting three pointers (2-15) allowed the Saluqis to escape with the victory and advance to the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Tournament, which begins Mar. 14 in Hutchinson, Kan. Motlow hoped for one of four at-large invitations, but did not receive one.

Motlow advanced to Friday's championship game with a 96-85 win over Columbia State on Thursday. That game saw Jaylen Barford score 45 points, tied for the fourth most in a single game in Motlow history. The Bucks opened the tournament with a narrow 77-75 win over Jackson State, with Barford connecting on a pair of free throws with 1.6 seconds left in the game.

Southwest Tennessee came out of the gates shooting lights out on Friday, hitting five of their first six three pointers and grabbing an early 10-point lead. The Bucks battled back, taking the lead at halftime, but with six minutes remaining the Saluqis took the lead back 63-62 and never trailed again.

Barford and JaQualis Matlock led Motlow with 17 points each, while Stephaun Adams scored 15. Matlock, a freshman who will be the centerpiece for the Bucks next year, added eight rebounds, two assists, two steals and a blocked shot. Adams, who will play at Tennessee Tech next year, had five rebounds and four assists.

Barford will take his talents to the University of Arkansas after completing his career as one of the top players in Motlow history. His 837 points are the second most in a single season, and his 1,393 career points are also second on the all-time list. He is only the second player in school history to finish in the top 10 in career scoring, rebounding, assists and steals.

He was named the TCCAA Player of the Year and chosen for the all-tournament team. He was an honorable mention All-American last year and likely a first-team honoree this year, in addition to being one of the top contenders for national player of the year. Barford has been rated the No. 1 junior college player in the nation by multiple recruiting and scouting services.

The Motlow men's basketball program continues to establish itself among the best junior college programs in the nation. The Bucks have won over 20 games in six of the past nine seasons. The 48 combined wins during the past two season's ties the 2001-02 teams for the second best back-to-back seasons in school history. Motlow won 50 games total during the 2008-09 seasons.

Visit the official website of Motlow Athletics at www.motlowsports.com for rosters, schedules, stats and more. Interact with Motlow Athletics on Facebook and Twitter.

Motlow Bucks
Motlow State Community College players and coaches display their runner up trophy and plaque following the Tennessee Community College Athletic Association tournament last week in Gallatin. The Bucks advanced to the championship game with a 96-85 win over defending champion Columbia State, but lost the title game 73-68 to Southwest Tennessee. Motlow State photo.

Late free throws lift Bucks in opening round; Columbia State looms next in TCCAA tournament

Mar. 2, 2016

Jaylen Barford calmly sank a pair of free throws with 1.6 seconds showing on the clock and the No. 2 seed Motlow Bucks narrowly avoided the upset by No. 7 seed Jackson State 77-75 Tuesday night at the TCCAA/Region VII Tournament in Gallatin.

The Bucks (24-6) will now face Columbia State in the semifinals at 4 p.m. on Thursday. The Chargers, who are the two-time defending league champions, knocked off Cleveland State to advance to the semifinals. Southwest Tennessee and Chattanooga State will play in the other men's semifinal game at 2 p.m. Thursday.

Motlow held a seemingly comfortable 49-34 lead at halftime against the Generals, who the Bucks had beaten by 35 points at Copperweld Arena just 10 days ago. Jackson State, despite having only seven available players on the roster, mounted an impressive comeback and took the lead multiple times in the final minutes.

The Generals shot the ball well, connecting on 54 percent from the field including 9-23 three-pointers. The Bucks shot 46 percent from the field and made 8-20 from behind the arc. Motlow uncharacteristically had more turnovers than assists, 13-10, and narrowly won the rebounding battle 33-27.

Barford, who was named the TCCAA Player of the Year before the game, led all scorers with 27 points and added five rebounds, three assists and two steals. Jared Pearson scored 15 with seven rebounds, JaQualis Matlock added 11 points and seven rebounds, Alex Magnuson had 11 points, and Stephaun Adams scored 10 points with four rebounds and two assists.

Marcus Lytle, a first team all-conference player, led Jackson State with 25 points.


Motlow Bucks roll into postseason; Jaylen Barford named TCCAA Player of the Year

Feb. 25, 2016

The Motlow Bucks completed a sweep of their final three regular season games when they beat Volunteer State 96-80 Monday evening at Copperweld Arena. The win came two days after the Bucks hammered visiting Jackson State 99-64.

Men's Basketball Tournament Bracket (pdf)

Motlow (23-6, 14-4) will enter next week's Tennessee Community College Athletic Association (TCCAA)/Region VII Tournament as the No. 2 seed. The Bucks will play the winner of the No. 7/10 contest on Tuesday, Mar. 1 at 6 p.m. If the Bucks win they will play again Thursday at 4 p.m. and the championship game is Friday at 2 p.m. This year's tournament will be played at Volunteer State in Gallatin.

Sophomore Jaylen Barford was named the TCCAA Player of the Year, while his teammates Darius Joell, Stephaun Adams and JaQualis Matlock were named second-team all-conference. Barford led the league in scoring this season and is currently second on Motlow's all-time career scoring list. He will finish in the top ten in career rebounding, assists and steals as well.

The Bucks were never threatened against Jackson State Saturday, leading 49-24 at intermission. Barford led the scoring with 22 points, followed closely by Joell with 20, including hitting 6-11 three-point shots. Adams added 14 points, Jade Patrick had 12 along with 10 rebounds, Ryan Jones scored 12 and Matlock scored 11 with seven rebounds.

Monday's win over Volunteer State was more competitive as the Bucks led 49-38 at halftime but didn't pull away from the visitors until a 20-point lead shrunk to nine points. Barford closed the deal with multiple late baskets and finished with a game-high 32 points. He also pulled down 11 rebounds and added four assists and three steals.

Jones scored 13 points and Matlock added 10. Jared Pearson pulled down 14 rebounds and Adams added nine points, seven rebounds, six assists and five steals.

Tickets for the tournament are $5 per day, and children under the age of 12 get in free. Southwest Tennessee will enter the tournament as the No. 1 seed. The tournament opens with a pair of men's play-in games on Monday.

Visit the official website of Motlow Athletics at www.motlowsports.com for rosters, schedules, stats and more. Interact with Motlow Athletics on Facebook and Twitter.

Jaylen Barford
Motlow State sophomore Jaylen Barford was recently named the Tennessee Community College Athletic Association Player of the Year. Barford, from Jackson, has signed to continue as a student-athlete at the University of Arkansas. Heading into the conference tournament, Barford averages 26 points, 7.1 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 2.8 steals per game. Photo by Jeff Reed Photography.

Bucks host Jackson State, honor sophomores Saturday

Feb. 18, 2016

The Motlow Bucks will honor eight players who have helped the team enjoy one of its best single seasons in school history during Sophomore Recognition Day Saturday afternoon at Copperweld Arena. Motlow will host Jackson State at 2 p.m. and the sophomore ceremony will take place immediately following the game.

The Bucks (21-6, 12-4) will look to rebound from an 87-83 defeat at the hands of Columbia State Wednesday night. The loss leaves Motlow and Columbia State tied for second place in the Tennessee Community College Athletic Association (TCCAA) men's basketball standings. If Motlow can win its final two games then it will finish as the No. 2 seed in the upcoming TCCAA/Region VII Tournament, which begins in Gallatin Mar. 1.

Among those who will be spotlighted Saturday are Ryan Jones, Stephaun Adams, Axel Magnuson, Reid Pierce, Jared Pearson, Jade Patrick, Darius Joell and Jaylen Barford. Pierce, Magnuson and Barford have played two seasons at Motlow, and with two games remaining have helped the program to 44 wins during their careers. Barford was an All-American last season and has led the nation in scoring throughout the season this year.

The contest between the Bucks and the Chargers was a close, highly contested match from start to finish. The Bucks surged ahead 29-21 with just over eight minutes remaining in the first half behind three 3-pointers from Adams, but Columbia State closed the gap to 41-39 at the intermission.

The visitors (19-5, 11-4) maintained their momentum as the second half opened, extending their lead to six points with 12 minutes remaining. The Bucks, behind a 10-point second half from Patrick, regained the lead 72-71 with six minutes to play. The score was tied 83-83 with 1:20 left to play, and the Chargers made the plays in the final minute to escape with the victory.

Adams hit four 3-pointers and led the Bucks with 22 points. Barford scored 16, Patrick had 12 and added 12 rebounds, and Ryan Jones scored 10 points.

The Bucks will have another home game on Monday, Feb. 22, when they host Volunteer State in a game that was postponed on Jan. 23 due to inclement weather. The men will tip at 5:30 p.m. Monday at Copperweld Arena.

Visit the official website of Motlow Athletics at www.motlowsports.com for rosters, schedules, stats and more. Interact with Motlow Athletics on Facebook and Twitter.

Darius Joell
Motlow sophomore Darius Joell knifes through three Columbia State defenders during Wednesday's contest between the Bucks and Chargers at Copperweld Arena. Joell is one of eight Motlow men's basketball players who will be honored Saturday during Sophomore Recognition Day. The ceremony will be held following the Bucks' contest against Jackson State at 2 p.m. Photo by Zach Birdsong.

Strong second half shooting carries Motlow Bucks past Dyersburg State

Feb. 15, 2016

After leading by only one point at halftime, the Motlow Bucks turned in a 59 percent shooting night from the floor and beat Dyersburg State 96-81 Saturday afternoon in Dyersburg. The Tennessee Community College Athletic Association (TCCAA) win came on the heels of a 70-64 loss to Southwest Tennessee in Memphis Friday night.

The Bucks (21-5, 12-3) have three games remaining during the regular season and all will be played at the friendly confines of Copperweld Arena. Motlow hosts Columbia State Wednesday at 5:30 p.m., Jackson State Saturday at 2 p.m., and Volunteer State in a weather makeup game Monday, Feb. 22, at 5:30 p.m. Motlow is one game ahead of Columbia State and can go a long way towards clinching the second seed in the upcoming TCCAA/Region VII Tournament with a win over the Chargers.

Balanced scoring was a key for the Bucks in their win over Dyersburg as Jaylen Barford's 21 points led five double-figure scorers. Jared Pearson, who had a double-double against Southwest Tennessee on Friday, narrowly missed another Saturday with 17 points and nine rebounds. Ryan Jones and Stephaun Adams scored 13 and Darius Joell added 10.

Adams, who leads the TCCAA in assists per game, increased his average with eight assists and added six rebounds and three steals. Barford pulled down five rebounds with five assists and four steals, and Joell dished out six assists.

Motlow led by a point at halftime Friday night in Memphis, but Southwest Tennessee held Barford in check and shot 59 percent from the field to beat the Bucks for the second time this season. The Saluqis are closing in on the regular season conference championship and the top seed in the tournament.

Shaky free throw shooting cost Motlow, as the Bucks connected on only 19-28 attempts and shot 37 percent from the field. Adams led all scorers with 22 points and Pearson had 13 to go along with 10 rebounds. Barford scored only nine points, his lowest output of the season, but chipped in with a pair of rebounds and five assists.

Visit the official website of Motlow Athletics at www.motlowsports.com for rosters, schedules, stats and more. Interact with Motlow Athletics on Facebook and Twitter.

Jared Pearson
Jared Pearson, a sophomore from Woodbridge, N.J. shown during a game earlier this season, scored a combined 30 points and pulled down 19 rebounds as the Motlow Bucks split a pair of games over the weekend in west Tennessee. The Bucks will host Columbia State in a critical TCCAA contest Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. at Copperweld Arena. Photo by Jeff Reed Photography.

Bucks sweep home weekend, prepare to face conference leader on the road

Feb. 8, 2016

The Motlow Bucks, ranked No. 30 in the latest National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) poll, positioned themselves to take over the top spot in the Tennessee Community College Athletic Association (TCCAA) standings when they swept a pair of league contests over the weekend.

The Bucks (20-4, 11-2) remain in sole possession of second place in the TCCAA after beating Walters State 85-71 Friday night and Roane State 84-60 Saturday afternoon. Motlow will travel to Memphis to face conference leader Southwest Tennessee (20-3, 11-1), currently ranked No. 14 in the NJCAA poll, Wednesday with tipoff scheduled for 5:30 p.m. The final road game of the regular season is Saturday at Dyersburg State.

The Bucks trailed by a point at halftime against Walters State, who had beaten Motlow earlier in the season in Morristown, before outscoring the Senators 46-31 in the second half as Darius Joell and Stephaun Adams each hit three 3-pointers after intermission. Ryan Jones led all Motlow scorers with 18 points and added four rebounds, four assists and two steals.

Jones led five Motlow players who scored in double figures, including Adams with 16, Joell with 11, and Reid Pierce and Jaylen Barford with 10 points each. Jared Pearson, JaQualis Matlock and Pierce each pulled down seven rebounds, while Adams dished out six assists and had four steals.

Saturday afternoon the Bucks dominated the action from start to finish against Roane State. Barford, who has led the nation in scoring since the season opened and currently averages 27 points per game, was hot early with 14 points at halftime and 28 for the game. The Bucks led 43-22 at intermission.

Barford added seven rebounds, five assists and four steals to his game totals. Joell got hot after halftime and finished with 21 points, while Adams had eight points, six rebounds, five assists and three steals. Anton Cowherd, Matlock and Pearson had six points each, with Matlock adding nine rebounds and Pearson seven. Jones joined Barford and Adams with five assists and also had four steals.


Bucks sweep home weekend, prepare to face conference leader on the road

Feb. 8, 2016

The Motlow Bucks, ranked No. 30 in the latest National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) poll, positioned themselves to take over the top spot in the Tennessee Community College Athletic Association (TCCAA) standings when they swept a pair of league contests over the weekend.

The Bucks (20-4, 11-2) remain in sole possession of second place in the TCCAA after beating Walters State 85-71 Friday night and Roane State 84-60 Saturday afternoon. Motlow will travel to Memphis to face conference leader Southwest Tennessee (20-3, 11-1), currently ranked No. 14 in the NJCAA poll, Wednesday with tipoff scheduled for 5:30 p.m. The final road game of the regular season is Saturday at Dyersburg State.

The Bucks trailed by a point at halftime against Walters State, who had beaten Motlow earlier in the season in Morristown, before outscoring the Senators 46-31 in the second half as Darius Joell and Stephaun Adams each hit three 3-pointers after intermission. Ryan Jones led all Motlow scorers with 18 points and added four rebounds, four assists and two steals.

Jones led five Motlow players who scored in double figures, including Adams with 16, Joell with 11, and Reid Pierce and Jaylen Barford with 10 points each. Jared Pearson, JaQualis Matlock and Pierce each pulled down seven rebounds, while Adams dished out six assists and had four steals.

Saturday afternoon the Bucks dominated the action from start to finish against Roane State. Barford, who has led the nation in scoring since the season opened and currently averages 27 points per game, was hot early with 14 points at halftime and 28 for the game. The Bucks led 43-22 at intermission.

Barford added seven rebounds, five assists and four steals to his game totals. Joell got hot after halftime and finished with 21 points, while Adams had eight points, six rebounds, five assists and three steals. Anton Cowherd, Matlock and Pearson had six points each, with Matlock adding nine rebounds and Pearson seven. Jones joined Barford and Adams with five assists and also had four steals.


Bucks prepare for homecoming with weekend road sweep over Chattanooga, Cleveland

Feb. 1, 2016

The Motlow Bucks shook off the rust from a 10-day layoff due to weather and went on the road to win a pair of Tennessee Community College Athletic Association (TCCAA) contests over the weekend.

Friday night Motlow got 28 points and 10 rebounds from sophomore Jaylen Barford and dominated in the second half in a 76-56 win over Chattanooga State. On Saturday, the Bucks traveled to Cleveland State and held the Cougars to 36 percent shooting in a 79-58 victory.

Motlow (18-4, 9-2) will host two more TCCAA rivals this coming weekend. Friday night Walters State, who handed the Bucks a three-point loss at their place back in early December, comes to Copperweld Arena for a 5:30 p.m. tipoff.

Saturday, Motlow State will celebrate homecoming when it welcomes Roane State to its home floor. Homecoming activities are scheduled to begin at 1 p.m., with tipoff for the men's game at 2 p.m. Motlow’s 2016 homecoming king and queen will be crowned at halftime of the men's contest. Former Motlow baseball pitcher David Weathers will be inducted into the TCCAA Hall of Fame following the men's game on Saturday.

The Bucks led by only two points, 36-34 at halftime, before blowing Chattanooga State away in the second half on Friday. Stephaun Adams and Ryan Jones joined Barford in double-figure scoring with 14 points each. JaQualis Matlock had 10 rebounds, and Adams added six rebounds, six assists and six steals.

Saturday in Cleveland the Motlow defense was suffocating as the Bucks completed the road trip sweep. Barford led with 24 points while adding eight assists and six rebounds. Darius Joell scored 16 points with four steals and Adams added 13 points with six assists and three steals.

The Ticket radio can be heard on 105.1 FM and 740 AM in southern middle Tennessee. In addition, listeners around the world can hear Motlow games on TheTicketRadio.com and the Tune-In Radio smartphone app by searching for WHMT the Ticket. In Tullahoma, LightTUBe subscribers can listen live on channel 11.


Motlow Bucks end home stand Saturday when they host Volunteer State

Jan. 21, 2016

Deep in the middle of a four-way battle for Tennessee Community College Athletic Association (TCCAA) men's basketball supremacy, the Motlow Bucks will host conference rival Volunteer State Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m. at Copperweld Arena.

The Bucks (16-4, 7-2) are fresh off a 119-50 win over visiting non-conference opponent Bryan College JV on Tuesday. Motlow trails Southwest Tennessee by one game in the TCCAA standings and is tied with Walters State. The Senators and Bucks are just one game ahead of surging Columbia State.

The Pioneers of Volunteer State (3-12, 1-8) have struggled this season, although they scored 130 points against Dyersburg State recently in their first TCCAA victory.

Motlow was on cruise control against Bryan College, leading 51-28 at the half and shooting 60 percent from the floor. The Bucks hauled in 60 rebounds and continued their unselfish play, dishing out 41 assists on 45 made field goals.

Jaylen Barford led five double-figure scorers with 25 points, along with six rebounds, three assists and three steals. Jade Patrick put his name into the Motlow men's basketball single game record book by hauling in 19 rebounds, the tenth-most ever recorded. Demarco Stepter set the record with 28 rebounds on Jan. 26, 2008.

Patrick added eight points and seven assists to his amazing rebounding total. Axel Magnuson hit six 3-pointers and scored 18 points, C.J. McEwen added 17, Reid Pierce scored 13 with six rebounds, and Jared Pearson scored 14 and had 11 rebounds, five assists and four steals.


Bucks Bounce Back to Beat Eagles

Jan. 19, 2016

The Motlow Bucks bounced back from a narrow loss to nationally-ranked Southwest Tennessee Friday night and beat visiting Dyersburg State 98-91 Saturday afternoon at Copperweld Arena.

The Bucks (15-4, 7-2) will step outside of the Tennessee Community College Athletic Association when they host the Bryan College JV tonight at 5:30 p.m. Motlow will return to conference play Saturday, Jan. 23, with Volunteer State visiting for a 2 p.m. tip.

Motlow controlled the action from the outset against the visiting Eagles Saturday, leading 25-17 seven minutes into the game and 54-47 at halftime. The Bucks pulled away in the second half, leading by as many as 18 points, before Dyersburg ended with a late rally to pull within seven.

JaQualis Matlock had a monster game for Motlow, scoring 25 points and hauling in 16 rebounds along with six assists and a pair of steals. Jaylen Barford scored 22, Darius Joell added 19, Ryan Jones scored 13 and Jade Patrick had 11.

The Bucks battled No. 24 Southwest Tennessee down to the wire Friday night before the visitors escaped with their first victory on Motlow's home floor since Jerry Nichols left Lynchburg for Memphis and became the head coach of the Saluqis.

Motlow trailed 40-36 at halftime, and 81-72 with two minutes to play before the closing the gap to three points at the end.

Barford was spectacular, leading all scorers with 34 points and pulling down seven rebounds with three assists and three steals. Stephaun Adams had 16 points with six rebounds and six assists, Matlock added 13 points with eight rebounds, and Joell scored eight with five rebounds.


Bucks, Lady Bucks host Southwest TN Friday and Dyersburg State Saturday

Jan. 13, 2016

Almost two months removed from their last conference game, the Motlow Bucks and Lady Bucks will return to Tennessee Community College Athletic Association (TCCAA) play this weekend when they host a pair of games both Friday night and Saturday afternoon at Copperweld Arena.

The Bucks (14-3, 6-1) tuned up for their weekend with a resounding 116-43 win over visiting Martin Methodist College JV Monday night. The Lady Bucks' scheduled contest against MMC was cancelled due to the visitor's lack of JV players.

Southwest Tennessee is the opponent Friday night, with the men tipping off at 5:30 p.m. and the women's game following at approximately 7:30 p.m.

The Saluqis (14-3, 6-1) are ranked No. 27 in the latest National Junior College Athletic Association poll and are tied with the Bucks for first place in the TCCAA standings. Southwest Tennessee is coached by former Motlow coach and athletic director Jerry Nichols.

The Lady Bucks (7-6, 3-4) will host the Lady Saluqis (7-9, 3-3) in Friday's second contest. Both teams are battling to finish as one of the top four teams in the conference, which would earn them a first-round bye in the TCCAA/Region VII Tournament scheduled for March 1-6 in Gallatin.

Saturday the Bucks and Lady Bucks will host Dyersburg State, with the men scheduled to tip off at 2 p.m. and the women at 4 p.m. Both games Saturday will be broadcast live on Tullahoma sports radio The Ticket.

The Bucks were never challenged by the visiting Red Hawks Monday night behind Jaylen Barford's triple-double. The sensational sophomore from Jackson increased his nation-leading scoring average to 28.1 points per game by dropping in 33 points along with 10 rebounds, 10 assists, three steals and a blocked shot.

Joining Barford in double figures for Motlow was Darius Joell with 16 points, JaQualis Matlock and Axel Magnuson with 12 each, and Reid Pierce with 11. Jade Patrick, Stephaun Adams and Jared Pearson each added nine points and Anton Cowherd scored five.

Patrick and Pierce pulled down seven rebounds each while Joell, Magnuson and Cowherd had six. Ryan Jones and Matlock had six assists each and Adams dished out five assists and led the team with four steals.

Motlow connected on a blistering 60 percent of its shots from the field, including 12-27 three-pointers. The Bucks hit 12-16 free throws, pulled down 56 rebounds, and showed their unselfishness by accumulating 32 assists on 46 made baskets.


Motlow Bucks in position for TCCAA hoops title run

Jan. 4, 2016

The Motlow Bucks will begin the second half of their basketball season tied at the top of the Tennessee Community College Athletic Association (TCCAA) standings with a legitimate opportunity to win the conference regular season and/or tournament title and make an appearance in the National Junior College Athletic Association tournament in J.T. Burton's first season as head coach.

JaQualisMatlock
Freshman JaQualis Matlock has been a strong post presence for the Motlow Bucks through the first half of the season, averaging 7.3 points, 8.9 rebounds and one blocked shot per game. Jeff Reed Photography.
The Bucks (13-3, 6-1) ended the first half of the campaign with an 80-71 win over TCCAA rival Roane St. on Dec. 5 in Harriman. Their next conference game will be Friday, Jan. 15, when Southwest Tennessee visits Copperweld Arena for a 5:30 p.m. tipoff. The Saluqis (12-3, 6-1), coached by former Motlow head coach Jerry Nichols, are tied with the Bucks for first place in the TCCAA standings.

Motlow will get one opportunity to prepare for the first-place showdown against Southwest with a non-conference home game against the Martin Methodist College JV team on Monday, Jan. 11. Tipoff is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. at Copperweld Arena.

The Bucks are led by sophomore Jaylen Barford, who leads the nation in scoring with a 27.8 points-per-game average. With his final bucket against Roane St. in December, Barford became only the seventh player in Motlow men's basketball history to score 1,000 career points. The Jackson native is also fifth in the nation in steals with 46, and averages 7.6 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 2.9 steals per contest.

Barford is joined in double-figure scoring average by Darius Joell at just over 13 points per game. Jared Pearson, Stephaun Adams, Ryan Jones and JaQualis Matlock each average more than seven points per contest.

Matlock, a freshman from Hopkinsville, Ky., leads the team averaging almost nine rebounds per game with Pearson close behind at 7.8. Adams has been the top assist man for the Bucks, dishing out 6.1 per contest with Jones close behind Barford at 4.1. Adams closely trails Barford in steals with 2.7 per game, and Matlock is the team leader in defensive rejections, averaging a blocked shot each game.

As a team the Bucks are averaging 83.3 points per game offensively while only allowing their opponents to score 58.3. Motlow has out-rebounded the opposition 46.6-25.4 and has shared the ball extensively, averaging 19.7 assists per game.

One significant change that Motlow basketball fans should take note of heading into the second half of the season is the men's and women's starting times will be reversed during conference games, with the men tipping off first at 5:30 p.m. on weeknights and 2 p.m. on Saturdays. The women will follow at 7:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. The time swap begins with the non-conference games on Jan. 11.

Men's Basketball 2015-2016 Season News


Motlow Bucks break for holidays after East Tennessee road split, Barford joins 1,000-point club

Dec. 7, 2015

The Motlow Bucks concluded the first half of their basketball season with an 80-71 win over Roane State Saturday afternoon in Harriman. The win came on the heels of a hard-fought 83-80 loss to Walters State Friday night in Morristown, the first Tennessee Community College Athletic Association loss of the season for Motlow.

Jaylen Barford
Motlow State Community College sophomore Jaylen Barford is the seventh player in school history to score 1,000 points during his career as a Buck. Jeff Reed Photography.
The Bucks (13-3, 6-1) will now break for the winter holidays, with their next contest scheduled for Monday, Jan. 11, when the Martin Methodist College JV comes to Copperweld Arena. Tipoff is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. The next conference game is Friday, Jan. 15, with Southwest Tennessee coming to Lynchburg.

Motlow sophomore Jaylen Barford became only the seventh player in school history to score 1,000 points during their career with his final basket against Roane St. Saturday. Barford scored 556 points last season and now has 444 already this year. He leads the nation, averaging 27.8 points per game.

Saturday's contest against Walters St. went right down to the wire. The Bucks trailed 82-80 with 21 seconds remaining but missed a pair of free throws that would have tied the game. Walters then hit a free throw to seal the victory.

Walters St. led 43-39 at the half and ultimately had too much depth for the Bucks to overcome. Motlow won the rebounding battle 42-34 but committed 15 turnovers. The Bucks could have won the game at the free throw line but only connected on 10-22 attempts.

Barford led Motlow in scoring with 33 points while adding four rebounds, eight assists and two steals. Darius Joell scored 23 points with five rebounds and three assists, JaQualis Matlock had nine points and eight rebounds, Jared Pearson scored eight with 11 boards, and Axel Magnuson added six points and two assists.

Saturday the Bucks shot the ball much better in their win over Roane St., connecting on 56 percent of their shots from the floor and almost 70 percent of their 26 free-throw attempts. Motlow had 18 assists on its 28 made field goals, which signals the Bucks played unselfishly and shared the basketball.

Barford was again the leading scorer and showed his all-around versatility with 29 points, 14 rebounds, four assists, four steals and one blocked shot. Stephaun Adams stepped up with 22 points, five rebounds, five assists and four steals.

Joell scored seven and Ryan Jones had six points with four assists. Matlock pulled down eight rebounds to go along with four points, and Pearson had seven boards while scoring two points. Jade Patrick added five points and five rebounds and Reid Pierce scored five with four boards.

Bucks take seven-game winning streak into TCCAA weekend road trip

Dec. 3, 2015

The Motlow Bucks put the finishing touches on their non-conference schedule for the first half of the season when they traveled to Pulaski and beat the Martin Methodist College JV team 103-60 Wednesday night.

The Bucks (12-2, 5-0) have now won seven consecutive games and will put their unbeaten conference record on the line this weekend. Motlow heads to Morristown to face Walters State (7-4, 3-2) on Friday, then completes the 2015 portion of their schedule against Roane State (4-6, 2-3) Saturday afternoon in Harriman. After that, the Bucks won't play again until they host Martin Methodist on Monday, Jan. 11, 2016.

After three games of being held well below his average, Motlow sophomore Jaylen Barford regained his touch on Wednesday, leading all scorers with 30 points while pulling down 13 rebounds and adding five assists and six steals. Barford is now 62 points shy of becoming the seventh player in Motlow men's basketball history to score 1,000 points.

As a team the Bucks shot 49 percent from the field and connected on 10-29 three-point baskets. Axel Magnuson hit 4-11 from beyond the arc and had his best scoring game of the season with 18 points.

Reid Pierce was one point shy of a double-double as he scored nine with 12 rebounds. Ryan Jones had 14 points, three assists and two steals. Jared Pearson scored 11 with seven rebounds. Darius Joell added seven points, JaQualis Matlock had six, Jade Patrick scored five and Stephaun Adams had three.


Adams, Joell spark Motlow Bucks to win over Northeast Mississippi

Nov. 25, 2015

Stephaun Adams scored 11 consecutive points midway through the second half and Darius Joell scored 21 for the game as the Motlow Bucks blew open a close contest late and beat Northeast Mississippi 79-68 Tuesday night at Copperweld Arena. Motlow has now won five straight games.

The Bucks (10-2, 5-0) will now break for the Thanksgiving holiday before resuming play on Tuesday, Dec. 1, when they host the Tennessee Wesleyan JV team at 5:30 p.m. That will be the final home game of 2015, and the last until Motlow hosts the Martin Methodist JV team on Monday, Jan. 11, 2016.

After jumping out to a 10-2 early lead, Motlow season scoring leader Jaylen Barford picked up three fouls and was forced to the bench. The visiting Tigers took advantage and tied the score 34-34 with 1:20 remaining in the half, which ended with Motlow clinging to a 36-35 lead.

Barford, who went into the game leading the nation in scoring, picked up his fourth foul early in the second half and again took a seat on the Bucks' bench. The visitors whittled away at the Motlow lead, finally cutting it to 54-53 with 7:20 left to play. That's when Adams took over.

The lanky guard, who has already signed to play his final three seasons with Tennessee Tech, hit back-to-back 3-pointers, then a 2-point basket and three consecutive free throws to give the Bucks a comfortable 67-55 lead with 4:10 remaining in the game. Adams finished with 16 points, six rebounds, six assists and five steals.

Joell was consistent throughout the game, scoring 10 in the first half and 11 in the second to lead the Bucks in scoring. He becomes the first player other than Barford to lead Motlow in scoring this season. He added four steals and hit three 3-pointers.

Despite limited playing time before fouling out with two minutes remaining, Barford still scored 14 points and pulled down four rebounds. After scoring 30 or more points in seven consecutive games, the Arkansas signee has been held to 16 and 14 in Motlow's last two contests.

Ryan Jones added nine points and three assists for the Bucks, JaQualis Matlock scored eight and pulled down a team-high 11 rebounds along with three steals, Reid Pierce had five points and five rebounds, Jade Patrick scored four with a pair of steals, and Jared Pearson added two points.

The Bucks won the rebounding battle 38-32 and forced the visiting Tigers into 36 turnovers. The Bucks connected on an amazing 20-21 free throws and shot 43 percent from the field.


Bucks winning streak at five after sweep of TCCAA rivals, host NE Mississippi Tuesday

Nov. 23, 2015

The Motlow Bucks overcame the fatigue of back-to-back conference games Saturday afternoon to beat Cleveland St. and earn a weekend sweep to remain unbeaten in the Tennessee Community College Athletic Association (TCCAA).

JaQualis Matlock
Motlow freshman JaQualis Matlock battles for rebounding position between two Cleveland St. players on Saturday. Matlock had 16 points and 20 rebounds over the weekend in Motlow's two wins. Jeff Reed Photography.
The weekend started on a positive note as Jaylen Barford scored 31 points to lead Motlow to an 80-69 win over Chattanooga St. Friday night. It was the seventh consecutive game that Barford, who leads the nation in scoring, had dropped in at least 30 points.

Saturday the streak was broken as Barford managed 'only' 16 points. The rest of the team picked up the slack though and held off a late charge by visiting Cleveland St. to win 62-57. Motlow is tied with Southwest Tennessee at the top of the TCCAA standings.

The Bucks (9-2, 5-0) will step outside the conference on Tuesday, Nov. 24, when they host Northeast Mississippi (4-1) at Copperweld Arena. Tipoff is scheduled for approximately 7:30 p.m., or 20 minutes following the women's contest which begins at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday's games can be heard live on sports radio The Ticket.

Friday night the Bucks jumped out in front of visiting Chattanooga St. and were never seriously threatened in front of a large, loud crowd at Copperweld Arena. After leading 44-30 at halftime, Motlow allowed the Tigers to creep within five, 70-65, with 3:50 remaining before Barford scored six straight points to seal the victory.

Motlow shot 47 percent from the field and had one of its best games shooting 3-pointers, connecting on 7-17 for 41 percent.

Barford had five rebounds, six assists and three steals to go along with his 31 points. JaQualis Matlock added another double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds, Ryan Jones scored 10 with four rebounds and four assists, Jared Pearson had seven points and 10 rebounds, Darius Joell scored nine, Jade Patrick had seven, and Stephaun Adams and Reid Pierce each scored three. Adams led the Bucks with seven assists.

Saturday the going was tougher against Cleveland St., with Motlow letting an early 15-8 lead slip into a one-point deficit after the Cougars went on an 8-0 run. The Bucks regained their footing though and led 28-27 at intermission.

The visitors led 33-31 with 15 minutes to play when Barford, Adams and Reid Pierce strung together baskets to extend the lead to 46-38 with 7:50 remaining. Motlow held on, thanks in part to a pair of late free throws from both Barford and Adams.

Pierce had one of his best games as a Buck, pulling down a team-high 10 rebounds to go along with eight points. Barford had five boards, three assists and three steals in addition to his 16 points. Joell scored 11 and added four rebounds, while Adams had eight assists, eight points, six rebounds and three steals.

Matlock had another 10-rebound game along with six points and two blocked shots, Jones scored six with four rebounds, three assists and three steals, Pearson had nine rebounds along with five points, and Patrick had six rebounds to go with two points.

The Bucks held Cleveland St. to only 36 percent shooting, while connecting on 43 percent of their own shots. Motlow only hit three of 15 three-point attempts, but Cleveland wasn't much better as the visitors made 5-17 behind the 3-point line.

Following their home date with NE Mississippi on Tuesday, the Bucks will have a week off for the Thanksgiving holiday before hosting the Tennessee Wesleyan JV team on Tuesday, Dec. 1 at 5:30 p.m.

Motlow Bucks set for weekend showdown with TCCAA rivals at Copperweld Arena

Nov. 19, 2015

After disposing of non-conference opponent Snead St. 85-66 on Tuesday, the Motlow Bucks will welcome two of their biggest Tennessee Community College Athletic Association (TCCAA) rivals to Copperweld Arena this weekend.

Jared Pearson
Motlow freshman Jared Pearson (No. 3 in white) scored 17 points and pulled down 15 rebounds in the win over Snead St. Photo by Jeff Reed Photography.
The Bucks (7-2, 3-0) are tied at the top of the TCCAA standings, joining Southwest Tennessee as the only teams who have not yet lost a conference game. Motlow will be seriously challenged this weekend though, with Chattanooga St. (6-2, 2-2) visiting for a 7:30 p.m. tipoff Friday night and Cleveland St. (3-4, 2-2) at Copperweld Arena for a 4 p.m. start Saturday afternoon. Both games will be broadcast live on Tullahoma's sports radio The Ticket.

Motlow never trailed against Snead St from the opening three-point basket by Jade Patrick on the Bucks' first possession. The lead was 37-30 at halftime, and was still only eight points, 45-37, with 16 minutes to play in the game. That’s when Motlow's Jaylen Barford, who leads the nation in scoring, took over. Barford stole the ball and raced to the other end of the court for slam dunks on back-to-back plays, increasing Motlow's lead to 57-43. The visiting Parsons would never get any closer.

Barford, who averages 30.1 points per game and had 30 against the Parsons, has now scored at least 30 in six consecutive games. He also added seven rebounds, six assists and five steals to the win over Snead St.

Sophomore Jared Pearson had his best game as a Buck with 17 points, 15 rebounds and a blocked shot. Jade Patrick scored 16 points and added 10 rebounds, two assists, two steals and two blocked shots. JaQualis Matlock had six points and six rebounds, Ryan Jones scored seven with five assists, Anton Cowherd had five points and five rebounds with two steals, and Reid Pierce had four points and two rebounds.

Admission to Motlow athletic events is free and alumni, fans and supporters are encouraged to come to the Moore County campus and cheer for the Bucks and Lady Bucks. Copperweld Arena is located inside Nisbett Center.

Barford buzzer beater brings Bucks back to beat Pioneers

Nov. 16, 2015

Sophomore Jaylen Barford hit a six-foot shot in the paint as time expired and the Motlow Bucks kept their Tennessee Community College Athletic Association (TCCAA) record spotless with an 88-87 win over Volunteer St. Saturday afternoon in Gallatin.

The Bucks (6-2, 3-0) will step outside of conference play when they host Snead St. on Tuesday, Nov. 17 at Copperweld Arena, with tipoff scheduled for 7:30 p.m. This weekend features a back-to-back TCCAA home doubleheader, with Chattanooga St. visiting Friday night and Cleveland St. on Saturday.

Barford leads the nation in scoring at 30.1 points per game, and has led the Bucks in every game this season. Saturday in Gallatin was no exception as the Jackson, Tenn., native poured in 38 points. After trailing 46-42 at halftime, the Bucks fought their way back and trailed by one in the final seconds.

After missing a free throw that would have tied the game, and a teammates missed shot, Barford rebounded the ball and created a shot for himself through three defenders that fell through the net as time expired. The win keeps the Bucks tied at the top of the TCCAA men's standings.

Barford completed a double-double by adding 10 rebounds to his 38 points, and also had four assists, two steals and three blocked shots. Ryan Jones scored 15 points with six assists, and JaQualis Matlock also had a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds, while also dishing out six assists and adding two steals.

Reid Pierce added seven points and nine rebounds, while Jade Patrick, Jared Pearson and Anton Cowherd each scored five points. Pearson had six rebounds, while Patrick added five boards, two assists and two steals.

Tuesday, Friday and Saturday games this week will be broadcast live on Tullahoma's sports radio the Ticket.

The Ticket can be heard in southern middle Tennessee on 105.1 FM and 740 AM, and around the world at TheTicketRadio.com and on your smartphone with the Tune In Radio app (search for WHMT). Those in Tullahoma who are LightTUBe subscribers can also listen live on channel 11.

Interact with Motlow Athletics on Facebook and Twitter.


Short-handed Bucks fall to Wallace State

Nov. 12, 2015

The Motlow Bucks gave their best effort to overcome the absence of two of their top players Wednesday night, but visiting Wallace St. had too much depth as they wore down and beat the Bucks 76-70 in front of a large, loud crowd at Copperweld Arena.

Motlow (5-2, 2-0) saw its five-game winning streak come to an end against one of the best non-conference teams they will play all season. The Bucks return to Tennessee Community College Athletic Association (TCCAA) play when they join the Lady Bucks and travel to Gallatin on Saturday, Nov. 14, for a pair of contests against Volunteer St. Tipoff for the men's game is approximately 4 p.m.

Guards Stephaun Adams and Ryan Jones were both unavailable to the Bucks for various reasons, forcing head Coach J.T. Burton to alter his rotation. The visiting Lions took advantage by double and sometimes triple-teaming Motlow's Jaylen Barford, who still scored 34 points. It was the fourth consecutive game that Barford, who was named the national player of the week for the second straight week, has scored at least 30 points.

The Bucks started quickly, jumping out to a 15-5 lead with 13 minutes remaining in the first half. Darius Joell hit an early three-pointer and inside players Reid Pierce, Jared Pearson and JaQualis Matlock each had early buckets for the Bucks. However, the Lions withstood the early deficit and clawed their way back by going on an 11-0 run to take their first lead with 6:30 remaining in the half, which ended with Wallace St. leading 33-27.

Barford was spectacular in the final 20 minutes, scoring 24 of his points. His teammates combined for only 19 points in the second half though, as the visitors stretched their lead at one time to 13. The Bucks never got closer than four points after intermission.

Barford added seven rebounds, three assists and a steal to his 34 points. Joell scored 13 and had a pair of steals, rebounds and assists; and Pearson had nine points, including 7-12 from the free-throw line, and added seven rebounds. Pierce scored six and also had a team-high 10 rebounds, while Axel Magnuson had four points and two assists. Matlock didn't scored after his early bucket but added six rebounds. Anton Cowherd and Jade Patrick each scored one point, with Patrick adding five rebounds and three steals.

Free-throw shooting was costly for Motlow as the Bucks connected on only 26-40 attempts. Motlow shot 42 percent from the field and pulled down 39 rebounds.


Matlock's board work carries Bucks past Pikeville

Nov. 10, 2015

Kentucky native JaQualis Matlock pulled down 20 rebounds, the seventh-most for a single game in Motlow basketball history, and Jaylen Barford scored 30 points for the third straight game as the Motlow Bucks beat the Pikeville (Ky.) University junior varsity team 83-60 Monday night at Copperweld Arena.

Motlow (5-1, 2-0) was never threatened as they built a 39-23 halftime lead and coasted home with their fifth consectutive victory. The Bucks will join the Lady Bucks in hosting Wallace State on Wednesday, Nov. 11, with the women tipping off at 5:30 p.m.

Barford, who was named the national player of the week last week, has scored 36, 31 and 30 in his last three games. He added 10 rebounds, seven assists and four steals to his 30 points. Matlock, a freshman from Hopkinsville, Ky., added six points, five steals and four assists to his 20 rebounds.

Darius Joell scored 14 points and had four steals, Reid Pierce added 13 points with 10 rebounds and five steals, Jade Patrick scored two and had seven rebounds, and Jared Pearson pulled down eight rebounds to go along with 10 points and two steals.

Wallace State was ranked among the top 35 teams in the nation by the NJCAA in its preseason poll. Both Motlow games Wednesday can be heard live on Tullahoma's sports radio The Ticket., with pregame beginning at 5:20 p.m.


Bucks sweep TCCAA road weekend, open home stand Monday night

Nov. 9, 2015

The Motlow Bucks return to the friendly confines of Copperweld Arena Monday night after sweeping their first Tennessee Community College Athletic Association (TCCAA) road trip over the weekend.

Motlow (4-1, 2-0) saw a 16-point lead almost slip away Friday night in Columbia before holding on for an 84-79 win over Columbia State. On Saturday, the Bucks overcame fatigue to beat Jackson State 80-72 in Jackson.

The Bucks will open their home schedule when they host the Pikeville (Ky.) University JV squad at 6 p.m. tonight at Copperweld Arena. There is no admission charge. Both Motlow teams will play at home on Wednesday, Nov. 11, when Wallace State visits for a pair of non-conference contests. Tipoff for the women's game is 5:30 p.m., with the men to follow at approximately 7:30 p.m.

After being named the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Player of the Week for last week's efforts, Motlow sophomore Jaylen Barford had an even better weekend this time around. Barford combined for 67 points, 16 rebounds, seven assists and four steals during the two Motlow wins.

After leading 39-34 at halftime in Columbia Friday night, the Bucks surged to a 56-40 lead with 12 minutes to play behind two early three-pointers by Ryan Jones. Columbia went on a roll though, cutting the lead to one, 77-76, with two minutes remaining. Darius Joell scored five late points to help carry the Bucks to their first conference win.

Barford had 36 points and six rebounds, Joell scored 11 with eight rebounds and two assists, JaQualis Matlock had nine points, 12 rebounds, two assists, three steals and two blocked shots; Jones had eight points, seven rebounds, and seven assists; and Stephaun Adams came off the bench to score six points and grab six rebounds with seven assists.

Saturday in Jackson the Bucks led by only two, 35-33, at halftime before pulling away in the second half to keep their conference record spotless. Barford had a complete game with 31 points, 10 rebounds, five assists, four steals and two blocked shots.

Axel Magnuson hit four three-pointers and scored 14 points and Matlock added 10 points, seven rebounds, two assists, four steals and three blocked shots. Joell added eight points, with Pierce and Jones each scoring seven. Adams led Motlow with seven assists.

The Bucks blocked 12 Generals' shots, including four by Reid Pierce and three by Matlock. Motlow connected on 77 percent of its free throws.


Motlow Bucks open season 2-1, play at Columbia State Friday night

Nov. 3, 2015

After opening the 2015-16 basketball season winning two out of three non-conference games, the Motlow Bucks will jump into Tennessee Community College Athletic Association (TCCAA) play when they travel to Columbia State Friday night. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. and the game will be broadcast live on Tullahoma's sports radio The Ticket.

The Bucks have won two straight since dropping their season opener 68-66 to Olney Central College (Ill.) on Friday, Oct. 30, at the Vincennes Kiwanis Classic in Vincennes, Ind. The next night Motlow got its first win under head coach J.T. Burton by beating the home team, Vincennes University, 78-66.

Motlow won its second consecutive game Monday night, traveling to Boaz, Ala., and beating Snead State 92-70. The Bucks will be heavily tested Friday night against the Chargers, who have won back-to-back TCCAA tournament championships.

"This Friday is going to be another big road test," said Burton. "Going to the reigning conference tournament champions' place for the first conference game is going to be tough.

"They have very good guard play," added Burton, "including Braxton Bonds, who I coached at the University of Tennessee. He will bring leadership and toughness to their team. We have to continue to do the little things in order to be successful."

The Bucks dominated Snead State from the beginning, jumping out to a 51-32 halftime lead behind hot shooting that continued the entire game. Motlow connected on 56 percent of its shots from the floor and 52 percent from behind the three-point line.

Jaylen Barford and Darius Joell led all scorers with 23 point each. Barford added five rebounds, six assists and two steals; while Joell, who hit 5-9 three pointers, had three rebounds, three assists and two steals. Ryan Jones scored 16 points with three rebounds and three assists and hit 3-4 from behind the three-point line.

Jared Pearson led all rebounders with 10 boards while also scoring seven points. Stephaun Adams was outstanding from his point guard position, dishing out 12 assists with six steals and seven rebounds to go along with three points. Reid Pierce and JaQualis Matlock each scored six, Jade Patrick added five and Axel Magnuson scored three points for Motlow.

Barford has led the Bucks in scoring in each of the first three contests, including his 27 points in the win over Vincennes, who entered the season ranked No. 6 in the nation by the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA). Joell scored 18 points while Adams led the assist column with 10 and led the Bucks in rebounding with eight.

Motlow struggled in its season opening loss to Olney Central, falling behind 16-1 in the early going and trailing at halftime 41-24. The Bucks caught the Blue Knights, but lost the game on a buzzer beating layup as time expired. Barford scored 22 points and Adams added 13. Matlock and Barford each had eight rebounds, with Adams leading the team with six assists.


Bucks Split Opening Weekend in Vincennes

Nov. 2, 2015

The Motlow Bucks tipped off the 2015-16 basketball season by splitting a pair of games at the Vincennes Kiwanis Classic in Vincennes, Ind.

After trailing 41-24 at the half, Motlow stormed back to tie Olney Central College before the Blue Knights scored a bucket at the buzzer to beat Motlow 68-66. In game two, Motlow outscored Vincennes, which entered the season ranked #6 in the nation by the NJCAA, 46-34 in the second half and beat the home team 78-66 for their first win under new head coach J.T. Burton.

Jaylen Barford led the Bucks, combining for 49 points, 14 rebounds, five assists and three steals. Stephaun Adams had an outstanding debut, scoring 17 points with 12 rebounds, 16 assists and five steals. Darius Joell added 27 points, six rebounds and two assists.

JaQualis Matlock pulled down 15 rebounds along with 11 points, Axel Magnuson scored 15 points with six rebounds, and Jared Pearson scored nine points with 11 rebounds.

The Bucks will travel with the Lady Bucks to Boaz, Ala. on Monday, Nov. 2, for a pair of contests against Snead State. Tipoff for the women is 5:30 p.m.


Motlow Bucks will open Basketball Season in Indiana

Oct. 20, 2015

The Motlow Bucks will open the 2015-16 men's college basketball season when they face Olney Central College (Ill.) on Friday, Oct. 30, at the Vincennes Kiwanis Classic in Vincennes, Ind. Tipoff between the Blue Knights and the Bucks is scheduled for 5 p.m.

The following evening the Bucks will play the host school, Vincennes University, at 7 p.m. Vincennes finished the 2014-15 regular season as the No. 1 ranked team in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA).

The Bucks will join the Lady Bucks and travel to Snead, Ala., on Monday, Nov. 2, to face Snead State in a pair of non-conference contests. The first Tennessee Community College Athletic Association (TCCAA) league games will be Friday, Nov. 6, when both Motlow teams play at Columbia State, with tipoff scheduled for 5:30 p.m.

The first home game for the Bucks is Monday, Nov. 9, with a visit from the Pikeville (Ky.) University JV squad for a 6 p.m. tipoff. The Lady Bucks will join the Bucks at home for the first time on Wednesday, Nov. 11, when non-conference opponent Wallace State (Ala.) visits Copperweld Arena. Tipoff for the women's contest is 5:30 p.m.

The Bucks, under new Head Coach J.T. Burton, are coming off one of the best seasons in school history after finishing with a 23-6 record. They are led by returning NJCAA All-American Jaylen Barford, along with fellow returnees Reid Pierce, Axel Magnuson and Jade Patrick.

Motlow plays its home games at Copperweld Arena on the Moore County campus. Admission is free to all Motlow athletic contests. Many of the Bucks and Lady Bucks games will be broadcast live on Tullahoma's sports radio The Ticket. Listen live on 105.1 FM, 740 AM, theticketradio.com, Tune In Radio, and LightTUBe television channel 11 in Tullahoma.

2015-16 Motlow Bucks Team
2015-16 Motlow Bucks - Front row from left: Anton Cowherd, Lebanon, KY; Ryan Jones, Murfreesboro; Santez Kinder, Macon, GA; Stephaun Adams, St. Croix, VI; Darius Joell, Lawrenceville, GA; and Addison Carter, Manchester. Back row from left, Jade Patrick, Nashville; Axel Magnuson, Clarksville; Jaylen Barford, Jackson; Reid Pierce, Murfreesboro; JaQualis Matlock, Hopkinsville, KY; Jared Pearson, Woodbridge, NJ; and Tison Odom, Toledo, Ohio. Motlow College Photo.


J.T. Burton's first Motlow Bucks team built around All-American Jaylen Barford

Oct. 14, 2015

As J.T. Burton prepares to begin his first season as head coach of the Motlow College men's basketball program there are a lot of unknowns, as is typical of any program with a new head coach. However, there is one thing about the Bucks that is well known - the supreme talent of returning All-American Jaylen Barford.

Reid Pierce
Murfreesboro sophomore Reid Pierce is expected to be a team leader both on and off the court for the Motlow Bucks. Photo by Jeff Reed.
Barford, a 6-4 guard who won a state championship as a high school senior at Jackson South Side, averaged 20.6 points, 7.2 rebounds, 5.1 assists, and 2.4 steals per game during Motlow's 2014-15 season. He shot 53 percent from the floor, 70 percent from the free throw line and blocked 14 shots. All of those statistics combined to create one of the greatest individual seasons in Motlow basketball history.

Burton has put together an impressive roster that returns at least three players who have contributed to the program in the past and a dozen newcomers who bring impressive credentials to Copperweld Arena. There is no question though that Barford, who has committed to continue his career as a student-athlete at the University of Arkansas, is the centerpiece of the Bucks' hopes for the 2015-16 season.

"Jaylen has been a great asset to us, not only on the court but off the court as well," said Burton. "He has adapted to our system very well. I look forward to coaching him this season and watching him continue to grow as a person."

Barford is not the only member of Burton's roster that has contributed to the Bucks in the past. Reid Pierce, a 6-6 sophomore from Blackman High School in Murfreesboro, played in all but one game for Motlow last year and averaged 3.1 points, 2.8 rebounds and 0.5 assists per game. He also shot 56 percent from the field and blocked 10 shots.

"Reid brings experience from last year and will be a big presence for us inside the paint this season," added Burton.

Additional familiar names on the Motlow roster are Axel Magnuson, a 6-4 sophomore from Clarksville who played in nine games last year before suffering an injury, and Jade Patrick, a 6-2 guard from Nashville who was a redshirt last year for the Bucks.

"I like what Axel brings to the table and how well he fits into our system," Burton continued. "We are excited to see him play a bigger role for the Bucks this year. Same thing with Jade. He is a great guy to have on your team because he brings the energy and works hard every day."

Jaylen Barford
Jackson sophomore Jaylen Barford is projected to be one of the top junior college players in the nation and a potential first team All-American. Photo by Jeff Reed.
Newcomers to the Motlow program for the coming season include sophomores Darius Joell, who transferred from Wallace State last season and attended Motlow during the spring 2015 semester; Ryan Jones, who attended Siegel High School in Murfreesboro and played his freshman season at Carson-Newman University; and Jared Pearson, who played a year at Pace University after graduating from Woodbridge High School in Woodbridge, N.J.

"I am very excited about the transfers that we brought in," continued Burton. "They have been really receptive to coaching and we feel like each guy brings something special to the team that will help us tremendously throughout the season."

Incoming freshmen include Stephaun Adams from St. Thomas, Virgin Islands; Addison Carter from Manchester; Anton Cowherd from Lebanon, Ky.; Tyrone Harris, Jr. from Murfreesboro; Santez Kinder from Macon, Ga.; JaQualis Matlock from Hopkinsville, Ky.; and Tison Odom from Toledo, Ohio.

"The freshman class that we brought in this year has made leaps and bounds improvement from the time they stepped on campus," Burton added. "Stephaun has shown that he has a chance to be one of the top point guards in the conference. JaQualis comes from a winning high school program and his basketball IQ is very high. Tison is long and crafty around the rim and we expect big things from him and all the freshmen class."

After a grueling preseason schedule that includes trips to high-level junior college jamborees in Florida, Georgia and Mississippi, the Bucks will open their season in Vincennes, Ind., on Friday, Oct. 30, against Olney-Central Community College. The following day they take on the host Vincennes University team, which was ranked No. 1 in the nation for much of last season by the National Junior College Athletic Association.

Motlow will open Tennessee Community College Athletic Association conference play on Friday, Nov. 6, with a trip to Columbia State. The Bucks will host their first home game on Monday, Nov. 9, at 6 p.m. against the Pikeville (KY) University JV team.

Motlow Bucks release 2015-16 men's basketball schedule

Sept. 15, 2015

The Motlow Bucks have released their 2015-16 basketball schedule, and it includes multiple home stretches that will give southern middle Tennessee hoops fans plenty of opportunities to see the Bucks in action.

The regular season opens Oct. 30, with Motlow playing in the Kiwanis Classic in Vincennes, Ind. The Bucks will face Olney-Central on Friday, then turn around on Saturday and take on the host team Vincennes University. The Trailblazers ended the 2014-15 regular season ranked as the No. 1 team in the nation by the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA).

Motlow Bucks 2015-16 Basketball Schedule (pdf)

"Our schedule is challenging," said J.T. Burton, Motlow's first-year head coach. "We have to travel to Vincennes and play two really tough games there in addition to our difficult conference schedule. Winning on the road is always tough to do. We have a lot of new players so it's going to be a battle. I'm excited to get started though and am looking forward to the coming season."

Following their Indiana adventure the Bucks will return to the area, although they won't play in front of the home crowd for another week. The Tennessee Community College Athletic Association (TCCAA) schedule opens Nov. 6 with a trip to Columbia State. The home schedule begins on Monday, Nov. 9, with the University of Pikeville (KY) JV team visiting for a 6 p.m. tipoff.

Six of the next seven dates are in Copperweld Arena, including conference games against Chattanooga State and Cleveland State. The first half schedule ends on Dec. 5 with a conference game in Harriman, TN against Roane State.

A significant difference between this season and previous seasons is that during the second half of the year the Bucks will play conference games prior to the Lady Bucks playing. For example, when Motlow hosts Southwest Tennessee on Friday, Jan. 15, the Bucks play at 5:30 p.m. and the Lady Bucks play at 7:30 p.m. The following day when Dyersburg State visits Copperweld Arena, the Bucks play at 2 p.m. and the Lady Bucks follow at 4 p.m.

The second half of the schedule opens with a five-game home stretch between Jan. 11-23. The Bucks will play a total of 16 home games and 14 road games. Motlow will play at least one game on every day of the week except Thursday and Sunday.

The regular season will end with eight consecutive conference games, concluding on Saturday, Feb. 20, with a home date against Jackson State. The TCCAA tournament will be held beginning Mar. 1 on the campus of Volunteer State in Gallatin. The NJCAA tournament begins Mar. 14 in Hutchinson, Kan.

Coach Burton and his Bucks will play an adventurous preseason slate before the regular season even begins. On Oct. 3, Motlow will travel to Panama City Beach for a scrimmage jamboree, on Oct. 17 they head to Atlanta for the CB Hoops Jamboree, and on Oct. 17 the Bucks will be in Fulton, Miss., for the Itawamba Jamboree scrimmage.


Head Coach J.T. Burton assembles Motlow Men's Basketball Coaching Staff

July 17, 2015

One of the first orders of business for new Motlow men's basketball head coach J.T. Burton after his arrival on campus in June was to put together his coaching staff. Coach Burton can check that task off his list as he has announced four men who will join him in leading the 2015-16 Bucks.

Motlow man's basketball assistant coaches
Hans Desir: With over 10 years of coaching experience from nearly every level of basketball, Coach Desir will be Burton's top assistant. Prior to arriving at Motlow, the Miami native was the head coach for one season at Talented Athletes Around the Globe (TAAG) Academy in Tampa, where he helped four of his players at the post-graduate prep school secure scholarships to play at the collegiate level. Desir spent one season as a graduate assistant at Wright State University and three seasons as an assistant of Burton's at St. Catharine College in Springfield, Ky., where he helped the team enjoy record-setting success including their first NAIA national tournament appearance and a top-10 national ranking. He has coached two players who play professionally, two All-Americans, and six all-conference performers.

Arthur Latham: Coach Latham played for Burton at St. Catharine. He was an outstanding all-conference player and was one of the team leaders that helped the school transition from a junior college to a four-year institution. For the past five seasons he has been an assistant coach at St. Catharine, including four years under Burton, and helped guide the program to two NAIA national tournament appearances.

Zach Holt: Coach Holt is well known in southern middle Tennessee after an outstanding playing career at Giles County High School in Pulaski and at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. After graduating from college he began a career in marketing and ran his own successful firm. He has returned to coaching, including pro-style fast paced individual skill development and working basketball camps on all levels from high school to Division I colleges.

Jordan Scott: Coach Scott will be a student at Motlow after graduating from Summit High School and is the only student assistant on Burton's staff. Scott was a gifted athlete at a young age before an injury ended his playing career. He is committed to becoming a Division I head coach and will get his first opportunity to begin that process at Motlow.

The new staff has been busy recruiting and organizing their Basketball Skills Clinic, scheduled for August 15-16 at Copperweld Arena on the Moore County campus. For complete information on the clinic, and how to register, call Coach Scott at 615-973-3209 or email him at scottjordan25@yahoo.com.

Motlow's Jaylen Barford drawing heavy SEC and national recruiting interest

June 18, 2015

During the past eight years the Motlow College men's basketball program has enjoyed a tremendous run of success by the team, its head coaches, and individual players. Five of those eight years the team won 20 or more games, and there have been four all-Americans at Motlow since 2009.

Jaylen Barford
Winning the state championship in 2013, having multiple head coaches leave to become assistants at Division I universities, and featuring highly-recruited players like Tyree Evans and Dequon Miller has helped the national spotlight to occasionally shine towards Copperweld Arena.

If the current recruitment of rising four-star sophomore Jaylen Barford continues at its current pace, his announcement of where he plans to continue his career in 2016 is poised to be the highest-profile event for a Motlow student-athlete since former Bucks baseball player Bryan Morris was drafted in the first round by the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2006.

Barford, a 6-4 combo guard from Jackson, Tenn., is coming off a tremendous freshman season at Motlow that saw him average 20.6 points, 7.2 rebounds, 5.1 assists and 2.4 steals per game. He shot 53 percent from the field and 70 percent from the foul line while blocking 14 shots. He was named an honorable mention All-American by the National Junior College Athletic Association and was a first-team all-Region VII selection.

He had six double-doubles during the season, and his near-miracle steal and subsequent made free throws to beat nationally-ranked Southwest Tennessee by one point on Valentine's Day will go down as one of the greatest single regular season moments in Motlow basketball history.

With the Bucks being nationally ranked themselves for much of the year, and then-sophomore Miller drawing national recruiting interest, Barford had the opportunity to play in front of a significant number of Division I coaches and scouts during the season. Obviously they were impressed.

As of mid-June according to JucoRecruiting.com, Barford has received offers from Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Cincinnati, East Tennessee State, Missouri, Texas Tech, and Wichita State. In addition, Iowa State, Xavier, Florida and LSU have expressed interest.

He was already drawing recruiting attention when he led Jackson South Side High School to the 2014 Class AA state championship by scoring 25 points in the title game and averaging 22.5 points and seven rebounds per game during his high school senior season.

Barford is scheduled to participate in multiple junior college player showcases during the summer, including Mullen Sports JC Top 100 in St. Louis and JUCO Showcase Elite 80 in Atlanta.

He has not indicated when he will announce his next destination, although he has two options. The early signing period for college basketball is the week of Nov. 11, 2015. The regular signing period is April 13-May 18, 2016.

J.T. Burton Named Men's Head Basketball Coach at Motlow College

June 4, 2015

Former St. Catharine College head coach and University of Tennessee assistant coach James Tyler "J.T." Burton has been named the new men's basketball head coach at Motlow College, according to Athletic Director Tori Raby-Gentry. Burton will begin his duties immediately.

J.T. Burton
Burton spent the past season as the Director of Player Development at Tennessee under former Volunteer head coach Donnie Tyndall. His season in Knoxville followed a highly successful six-year stint as head coach at St. Catharine in his hometown of Springfield, Ky., where he compiled a 95-80 record. During his coaching tenure the school transitioned from a two-year to a four-year institution, playing on the NAIA level and joining the Mid-South Conference.

"We are delighted to have J.T. as our new head coach," said Raby-Gentry. "I'm confident in the experience he brings in coaching, recruiting and helping student athletes to grow and succeed. He is a demanding coach with high expectations for his players both on and off the court. We are excited for the upcoming season."

He takes over a Motlow program that finished 23-6 last season and 37-20 in two seasons under former head coach Matt Sligh, who resigned in March to become an assistant at Missouri State University, ironically located in Springfield, Mo.

Burton boasts more than 15 years of college coaching experience after playing college basketball at St. Catharine from 1995-97, when the Patriots were a two-year school and a member of the Tennessee Junior/Community College Athletic Association, now known as the Tennessee Community College Athletic Association (TCCAA).

Tyndall, who was relieved of his duties at Tennessee in March, coached one season at St. Catharine, and with Burton as a guard led the 1996-97 Patriots to a 30-5 record and the school's first trip to the National Junior College Athletic Association tournament.

Burton received his bachelor's degree from Tennessee Wesleyan College in 1999 and his master's degree from Campbellsville University in 2005. He and his wife, Carla, have two daughters, Alexis and Jada.

Following his graduation from Tennessee Wesleyan, he returned to St. Catharine as an assistant coach for one season, followed by one season as an assistant at Marshalltown (Iowa) Community College.

Burton was the head coach of the Washington County High School girls team in Springfield from 2003-07, where his teams averaged 17 wins per season and made a quarterfinal appearance in the 2005 Kentucky girls basketball state tournament.

After spending the 2007-08 season as an assistant men's coach at St. Catharine, he was promoted to head coach the following year. He was named the Mid-South Conference Coach of the Year in 2011 after the Patriots compiled a 24-10 record and advanced to the NAIA national tournament. The Patriots had three 20-win seasons under Burton and made another national tournament appearance in 2014, when they advanced to the quarterfinals.

Burton inherits a Motlow program that has won over 20 games in five of the previous eight seasons under four different head coaches, three of which have gone on to become assistant coaches at Division I universities. In addition to Sligh at Missouri State, former coach Mike Brown is the associate head coach at Eastern Michigan and Bobby Steinburg is an assistant at Kent State University.
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