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Motlow College Athletic News

Motlow Bucks release basketball schedule as 50th year of competition begins Nov. 1

Sept. 13, 2018

The Motlow State Community College men's basketball team did something last year that no Motlow athletic team had ever done before - win back-to-back Tennessee Community College Athletic Association championships and make back-to-back appearances in the National Junior College Athletic Association tournament.

2018-19 Schedule

The quest for three straight conference titles, and another national tournament trip, begins Nov. 1 for the Bucks when they travel to Carterville, Illinois, for a 7 p.m. matchup against John A. Logan College. The Vols finished the 2017-18 season with a 22-5 record and ranked No. 22 in the nation.

The Bucks were ranked as high as No. 6 in the nation after starting last season with a 15-2 overall record, which included a 9-0 conference mark. Motlow finished the regular season with a 19-7 overall record and 13-5 in the conference. The Bucks earned their trip to the national tournament by winning the TCCAA/Region VII Tournament; beating Southwest Tennessee 79-61. Motlow beat Otero Junior College 77-76 in the opening round of the NJCAA tournament before falling to Vincennes 86-82 to finish the season with a 23-8 record.

Motlow has won 23 games or more in five of the past six seasons, under four different head coaches, and has captured three conference titles and made three trips to the national tournament. The Bucks have finished with a winning record in 10 of the previous 11 seasons and have featured nine All-Americans and two conference players-of-the-year during the previous decade.

Having built itself into a national program, expectations have gone up for the Bucks, and second-year Head Coach Arthur Latham has assembled a challenging schedule that features four games against teams that finished in the NJCAA Top 25 last season.

"I believe this year's schedule might be the toughest we have played since I've been here," said Latham. "We play a bunch of really good teams on the front end in the month of November with a pair of important conference games sandwiched in between."

After their season-opening matchup against John A. Logan, the Bucks will head to Rome, Ga., to face Georgia Highlands on Nov. 9 and USC-Salkhatchie Nov. 10. The home schedule begins Nov. 14 against the Cumberland University JV.

TCCAA conference play opens Nov. 16, when Jackson State visits Copperweld Arena for a 7:30 p.m. tipoff. Jackson State, which had been known as the Generals since opening in the late 1960s, has changed its school nickname to the Green Jays. The following day, Nov. 17, rival Columbia State comes to Moore County for a 4 p.m. tipoff.

"The quality of play and competition continues to go up in our conference every year," added Latham. "This year it is loaded with good teams. We know that Columbia State, Walters State, Chattanooga State and Southwest Tennessee always have talented players. We accept the pressure that comes with defending a conference championship. It's a challenge but I believe our players are excited about the challenge."

The Bucks will spend the Thanksgiving holiday weekend in Moberly, Missouri, where they will face State Fair College on Friday, Nov. 23, and the host team, Moberly Area, the following day. Moberly finished the regular season ranked No. 11 in the nation.

Motlow will play a total of 13 home games and 17 games on the road. Included in the schedule, along with home-and-home series against the other nine TCCAA member schools, are home-and-home matchups against Alabama schools Gadsden State, Wallace State and Lawson State.

Homecoming is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019, with Chattanooga State as the opposition. Sophomore recognition day will be the final home game, which is Saturday, Feb. 16, with Southwest Tennessee as the visitor. The regular season will end Feb. 23 with a trip to Columbia State. The TCCAA/Region VII Tournament is scheduled for March 1-6 at Cleveland State.

The 2018-19 season will mark the 50th season of competition for Motlow men's basketball, which along with baseball, began the year the College opened in 1969. Women's basketball began in 1974, fast-pitch softball began in 1994 and women's soccer started in 2017. Slow-pitch softball, tennis and golf each enjoyed short terms as collegiate sports at Motlow in the 1980s and early 1990s.

Men's basketball coach Arthur Latham
The Motlow State men's basketball program will begin its 50th season of competition when it travels to John A. Logan College in Illinois on Nov. 1 to open the 2018-19 season. The home opener will be Nov. 14, when the Cumberland University JV visit Copperweld Arena. The Bucks are coached by Arthur Latham. Photo by Jeff Reed Photography.