Men's Basketball 2017-18 Season News

Bucks end regular season with win, enter TCCAA/Region VII Tournament as No. 2 seed

Feb. 26, 2019

The Motlow Bucks closed out the 2018-19 basketball regular season Saturday with an 84-78 win over Columbia State on the Chargers' home floor in Columbia. The win was the third consecutive victory for Motlow.

The Bucks (14-4, 18-10), winners of eight out of their last 10 games, finished in second place in the Tennessee Community College Athletic Association (TCCAA) standings and will be the No. 2 seed in the TCCAA/Region VII Tournament, which begins Friday at Cleveland State in Cleveland, Tenn. Motlow will play Sunday at 6pm against the winner of Friday's Cleveland State/Jackson State contest. Walters State is the top seed, with Southwest Tennessee third and Dyersburg State fourth.

Motlow has won the previous two tournaments and represented the region in the NJCAA National Championship Tournament in Hutchinson, Kansas. The back-to-back titles were the first repeat championships for any sport at Motlow State. Now the Bucks have an opportunity to continue to make history as they begin their quest for a third straight title.

The Bucks led the Chargers 39-35 at halftime, and despite a poor night of long-distance shooting, hung on for the victory. Motlow shot 43.8 percent from the field but connected on just 8-32 three-point shots. The Bucks connected on 13-18 free throws and pulled down 54 rebounds.

Jayven Humphrey led Motlow with a double-double, scoring 26 points with 11 rebounds. Josh Greer scored 15 and dished out eight assists, Jarius Key had 13 points with eight rebounds, Marcus Lacey scored 11 with seven rebounds, and Leo Castillo had five points, six assists and six rebounds.

Jayven Humphrey
Motlow State freshman Jayven Humphrey rises high over defenders to release his shot during Motlow's recent home win over Southwest Tennessee. Humphrey, from Tupelo, Miss., scored 26 points and pulled down 11 rebounds to lead the Bucks to an 84-78 win over Columbia State Saturday in Columbia. Photo by Jeff Reed Photography.

Jarius Key beats buzzer as Motlow Bucks edge Saluqis

Feb. 19, 2019

Motlow State's Jarius Key got a perfect pass from teammate Josh Greer and sunk a layup as time expired to give the Motlow Bucks a thrilling 69-67 win over Southwest Tennessee at Copperweld Arena Saturday afternoon.

The Bucks (12-4, 16-10) maintained their position tied atop the TCCAA standings. Walters State (13-4, 22-7) holds the tiebreaker over the Bucks due to the Senators beating Motlow twice this season, but if the Bucks can win their final two games and Walters State loses to Roane State Saturday, Motlow could still win the regular season title. The Bucks travel to Jackson State Wednesday and close the regular season at Columbia State Saturday.

The visiting Saluqis led the Bucks 31-25 at halftime as neither team shot the ball well in the opening 20 minutes. It was Motlow's bench, led by Jayvon Humphrey and Key, that sparked the comeback and win in the second half. The Bucks finished the game shooting 45.5 percent from the field, with Humphrey and Key combining to go 12-16 and Humphrey hitting 5-6 three pointers. Motlow hit 8-19 from beyond the arc and 11-18 free throws.

The Bucks were strong underneath the basket, winning the rebounding battle 45-34, and Motlow dished out 22 assists while forcing the visitors into 18 turnovers.

Humphrey led Motlow with 19 points and pulled down eight rebounds, while Key had 14 with seven rebounds. Greer had 10 points and six assists, including the game winner to Key. Kin Webster scored six with four rebounds, Leo Castillo had four points, six rebounds and five assists, and Marcus Lacey added four points and nine rebounds.

The Bucks were coming off a 113-105 overtime loss to Dyersburg State last Wednesday in a game that saw Motlow have six players score in double figures. Bryce McBride had 18, Lacey 16, Josh Endicott 14, Humphrey and Greer 13, and Darius Harding 11.

Jarius Key
Motlow State freshman Jarius Key (11) battles for a rebound during the Bucks' exciting 69-67 win over Southwest Tennessee at Copperweld Arena Saturday afternoon. Key scored the game-winning basket as time expired and had 14 points and seven rebounds for Motlow. Photo by Jeff Reed Photography.

Buzzer beater keeps Bucks at top of TCCAA standings

Feb. 4, 2019

Freshman Jaellan White hit a 10-foot jump shot from the left side of the lane as the buzzer sounded Saturday afternoon, sending a large Copperweld Arena homecoming crowd into a frenzy and giving the Motlow State Bucks a 75-74 win over Chattanooga State.

With the victory, the Bucks (14-8, 10-2) maintain their position at the top of the TCCAA standings. The win over Chattanooga came on the heels of Friday night's 95-89 victory over Cleveland State. Motlow will travel next weekend, playing Friday night at Roane State in Harriman, then visiting Morristown Saturday to face Walters State.

White, a 6'2 guard from Murfreesboro, was in the right place at the right time Saturday with two seconds remaining and the Tigers leading 74-73. As Chattanooga State inbounded the ball from the baseline it was tipped to White, who got off the game-winning shot just before the buzzer sounded, ending a contest that featured multiple lead changes in the final minutes.

Friday's matchup with Roane State was a close game as well, with Motlow trailing the Raiders at halftime 49-45. The Bucks had one of their best shooting games of the year, hitting 56.3 percent from the field and 11-22 from three-point range, plus connecting on 12-15 free throws.

Darius Harding led Motlow in scoring with 24 points and added three assists, two rebounds and two steals. Josh Endicott scored 18 points with 12 rebounds and four assists, Leo Castillo had 13 points, eight rebounds and five assists, Josh Greer scored 12 with two assists, Marcus Lacey had 11 points and 11 rebounds, and Bryce McBride added nine points, Jayvon Humphrey five and Nic Barstad three.

Saturday the Bucks led Chattanooga 38-30 at the break and maintained their lead until the final minutes. Motlow's shooting wasn't near as good as Friday, hitting 42.6 percent from the field and 12-34 three pointers. The Bucks owned the boards though, outrebounding the Tigers 51-38, and dished out 22 assists on 29 made shots.

Endicott recorded another double-double, scoring 18 points and pulling down 12 rebounds and adding two blocked shots. Castillo had 17 points and 10 rebounds, Harding scored 10, Humphrey added 10, and McBride had seven assists.

Leo Castillo
Motlow State sophomore Leo Castillo eyes the basket during the Bucks' 95-89 win over Roane State at Copperweld Arena Friday night. Castillo, a redshirt sophomore from the Virgin Islands, had 13 points, eight rebounds and five assists during the victory. On the season Castillo averages 10.2 points, 6.6 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 1.4 steals per game. Photo by Jeff Reed Photography.

Bucks remain at top of TCCAA after split, travel to Dyersburg, Memphis this weekend

Jan. 15, 2019

The Motlow Bucks remain at the top of the TCCAA standings following a weekend that saw them split a pair of home contests with conference rivals.

The Bucks (6-1, 10-7) hammered visiting Roane State 102-75 Friday night at Copperweld Arena before falling to Walters State 93-81 Saturday afternoon. Motlow will face two huge challenges this weekend on the road, visiting Dyersburg State (5-2, 12-3) on Friday, then continuing west to face Southwest Tennessee (5-2, 8-5) in Memphis on Saturday.

Nearing the halfway point of the conference season the Bucks are one game ahead of Dyersburg, Walters and Southwest, each of which has two conference losses. Chattanooga State holds down the fifth spot in the league with a 4-3 record.

After leading by only two points at halftime against Roane State Friday, the Bucks outscored the Raiders 60-35 in the second half. Motlow had its best shooting night of the season, connecting on 59.7 percent of its shots, including 7-18 three pointers and 21-31 free throws.

Darius Harding led all scorers with 18 points, while Josh Endicott recorded a double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds, along with two blocked shots. Moses Fofana had 14 points, Jarius Key scored 10, and Marcus Lacey and Kin Webster each added nine points. Leo Castillo led the Bucks with five assists and added a pair of steals and five points.

Walters State marched into Lynchburg and blistered the nets from start to finish Saturday, hitting 58.2 percent of their shots, including 8-17 three pointers and 21-29 free throws. The Bucks shot 44.4 percent from the field, 8-28 from three-point range, and connected on 17-21 free throws. The Senators led the entire game, including building a 52-38 halftime advantage.

Harding scored 22 for Motlow and added three assists, while Castillo had 18 points, Josh Greer scored 12, Lacey added 11 and Endicott scored nine with 10 rebounds. Bryce McBride led the Bucks with four assists.

Moses Fofana
Motlow State freshman Moses Fofana drives towards the basket during the Bucks' 102-75 win over Roane State Friday night at Copperweld Arena. Fofana, who played his high school basketball at St. Benedict in Memphis, scored 14 points and added two rebounds, two assists and two steals. Photo by Jeff Reed Photography.

Balanced Motlow Bucks roll past Lawson State

Jan. 9, 2019

The Motlow State Bucks had six players score in double figures and seven players with at least four rebounds as they led wire to wire in an 89-83 win over non-conference opponent Lawson State at Copperweld Arena Saturday afternoon.

Motlow (5-0, 9-6) had not seen action since Dec. 18, when they dropped a 77-71 decision to Wallace State. The win over Lawson was the Bucks' sixth win in their previous seven games. Motlow will return to TCCAA conference play this weekend, hosting Roane State (2-3, 5-10) at 7:30 p.m. Friday, then welcoming Walters State (3-2, 11-5) at 4 p.m. Saturday. The Bucks sit alone at the top of the conference standings. Admission is free to all Motlow home athletic events.

The home team jumped out on top from the beginning, but could never pull away from the visitors, who connected on 53 percent of their shots from the field. Motlow led 39-35 at halftime and hit key free throws down the stretch to keep Lawson State from overcoming the lead. The Buck shot 45 percent from the field, including 9-25 three-pointers, and hit 14-19 free throws.

Leo Castillo and Marcus Lacey each scored 12 points, with Lacey adding nine rebounds and Castillo dishing out five assists and pulling down four boards. Darius Harding and Josh Endicott scored 11 points, with Endicott gathering nine rebounds, and Josh Greer and Jayvon Humphrey each scored 10 points. Endicott leads the TCCAA in rebounding, averaging 9.3 per contest.

Eleven Bucks got in the scorebook, with Nic Barstad and Jarius Key adding six points, Bryce McBride scored five, Kin Webster had four, and Jaellan White scored two.

Darius Harding
Motlow State freshman Darius Harding brings the ball up the court during the Bucks' 89-83 win over Lawson State at Copperweld Arena last Saturday. Harding, from Elizabethton, Ky., leads Motlow in scoring, averaging 17.3 points per game, which is tied for fourth in the TCCAA. Photo by Jeff Reed Photography.

Motlow Bucks raise winning streak to five, take over sole possession of TCCAA lead

Dec. 12, 2018

The Motlow Bucks outscored Chattanooga State 15-4 in the second overtime to capture a 100-89 decision Saturday afternoon in Chattanooga. Motlow began the weekend with a 77-72 victory over Cleveland State Friday night in Cleveland.

The Bucks (5-0, 8-5) have now won five consecutive games and are in sole possession of first place in the TCCAA conference after their road sweep over the two TCCAA opponents. Motlow will step outside the conference to host Wallace State-Hanceville at 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 18, then break for the holidays. The next home game will be Jan. 5, when non-conference Lawson State visits Copperweld Arena at 4 p.m. The next TCCAA game is Friday, Jan. 11, with Roane State as the visitor.

As has been the case during most of their wins this season, the Bucks outrebounded the Cougars 48-36 Friday night, a key stat in the win. Motlow led 47-38 at the half and hit critical baskets in the final minutes. The Bucks shot 43.1 percent from the field, including 6-17 three pointers, and hit 15-21 free throws. Cleveland's numbers were almost identical, but Motlow's defense forced the Cougars into 19 turnovers.

Josh Greer led Motlow in scoring with 19 points and added six rebounds, two assists and two steals. Darius Harding scored 18, and Josh Endicott, who leads the conference in rebounding, scored nine points with 13 boards. Marcus Lacey had eight points and eight rebounds, Jayvon Humphrey scored seven with five rebounds, and Leo Castillo had six points, eight rebounds, seven assists, two steals and two blocked shots.

The contest between Chattanooga State and Motlow was an old-fashioned barn burner on Saturday. The home Tigers led 44-40 at the half before the Bucks fought back to tie it at 75-75 at the end of regulation. After a 10-10 standoff in the first overtime, Motlow surged ahead and put the game away in the final five minutes.

Three-point shooting was a key for Motlow as the Bucks hit 12-30 for 40 percent. Motlow also pulled down 68 rebounds in the game and turned the ball over only 12 times in 50 minutes of action.

Jarius Key had his best games as a Buck so far, coming off the bench to score 13 points and pull down 12 rebounds. Harding, who is fifth in the TCCAA averaging 16.9 points per game, led the team with 22 points while adding four rebounds and three steals. Greer had 13 points and eight assists, Lacey scored nine with 10 rebounds, Castillo had nine points, six rebounds and five assists, and Endicott added eight points, five rebounds and two blocked shots.

Josh Endicott
Motlow post player Josh Endicott (12) battles a Volunteer State player for a rebound during a recent game at Copperweld Arena. Endicott, a freshman from Baxter, leads the TCCAA with an average of 9.3 rebounds per game. Photo by Jeff Reed Photography.

Bucks dominate the boards in win over Volunteer State

Dec. 3, 2018

The Motlow Bucks had three players with double-digit rebounds and dominated visiting Volunteer State 71-17 on the boards on their way to an 86-58 win over the Pioneers Saturday afternoon at Copperweld Arena.

The Bucks (3-0, 6-5) have now won three consecutive games. Motlow went on the road last week and downed Lawson State 90-76 in Birmingham and Wallace State 70-65 in Hanceville. The Bucks will take their unbeaten TCCAA conference record on the road this weekend, playing at Cleveland State Friday and Chattanooga State Saturday.

Saturday's win over the Pioneers was never in doubt as the Bucks surged to a 36-18 lead at the half. Neither team shot the ball especially well, with Motlow connecting on 40.7 percent of its shots from the field and Volunteer State 34.4 percent. The Bucks did hit 13-38 three pointers and made 7-10 from the free-throw line.

Josh Endicott led the Bucks with 15 rebounds while adding seven points and a pair of blocked shots. Marcus Lacey had 10 points and 10 boards, Kin Webster secured 10 rebounds with two points and two assists.

Darius Harding scored 11 points, with Jarius Key scoring 10 and adding six rebounds. Leo Castillo scored eight points with nine rebounds, four assists and two steals, Josh Greer had nine points, five rebounds and three assists, and Jayvon Humphrey scored nine points with five rebounds and four assists.

In last Wednesday's win over Wallace State the Bucks had to overcome a 40-34 deficit at halftime. Motlow was led by Harding's 28 points, including connecting on 6-10 three pointers, and Castillo's double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds.

The Bucks also had to come from behind in the final 20 minutes to beat Lawson State last Monday, trailing at the intermission 37-30 before outscoring Lawson 60-39 in the final 20 minutes. Harding led the way with 22 points and Endicott and Lacey had double-doubles, with Endicott scoring 18 points with 11 rebounds and Lacey 10 points and 10 boards.

Darius Harding
Motlow's Darius Harding (5), a freshman guard from Elizabethtown, Ky., puts up a shot while teammate Marcus Lacey gets in position for the rebound during Saturday's 84-58 win over Volunteer State at Copperweld Arena. Harding leads the team in scoring, averaging 16.1 points per game. Photo by Jeff Reed Photography.

Bucks open TCCAA with wins, head to Missouri for Thanksgiving

Nov. 20, 2018

The Motlow Bucks opened Tennessee Community College Athletic Association (TCCAA) play with a pair of wins last weekend at Copperweld Arena on Motlow's Moore County campus.

Motlow (2-0, 3-3) beat Jackson State 90-80 Friday night before edging Columbia State 77-74 Saturday. The Bucks will travel to Moberly Area Community College in Moberly, Missouri, for the Thanksgiving holiday, facing State Fair Community College on Friday and the host school, ranked No. 11 in the nation in the preseason NJCAA poll, on Saturday.

Motlow sophomore Joshua Greer and freshman Marcus Lacey each recorded double-doubles Friday night as the Bucks overcame a 46-43 halftime deficit to beat the visiting Green Jays. Lacey led Motlow with 18 points and 11 rebounds, while Greer scored 16 and had 10 boards, two assists and two blocked shots.

Darius Harding added 14 points, three rebounds and three steals, and Nic Barstad scored 13 points with a pair of rebounds. Jarius Key scored nine points with six rebounds and Kin Webster had seven points and six rebounds. The Bucks shot 49.3 percent from the field, despite hitting only 5-18 three pointers and connecting on 17-29 free-throw attempts.

Another slow start was followed by a strong second half Saturday, as the Bucks trailed the Columbia State Chargers 50-40 at intermission before storming back to secure their second conference win. Motlow shot the ball better, hitting 51 percent of its shots from the field, 6-18 three pointers, and 13-18 free throws.

Leo Castillo and Moses Fofana each scored 12 points for the Bucks, with Castillo adding 10 rebounds and four assists and Fofana grabbing four steals with two assists. Josh Endicott had 11 points and pulled down 13 rebounds, Harding scored eight with four rebounds and two steals, Lacey had eight points with five rebounds, and Greer and Barstad each added six points.

Josh Greer
Motlow freshman Josh Greer drives towards the basket during Motlow's 90-80 win over Jackson State Friday night at Copperweld Arena. Greer, a sophomore transfer from Jackson, Tenn., recorded a double-double in the game with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Photo by Jeff Reed Photography.

Bucks will host Jackson State in home opener Friday

Nov. 12, 2018

The Motlow Bucks will play in front of their home fans Friday for the first time this season when they host TCCAA rival Jackson State at 5:30 p.m. at Copperweld Arena. The Bucks will then turn around and host Columbia State at 2 p.m. Saturday. There is no admission charge to Motlow home athletic events.

The Bucks (0-0, 1-3) are coming off a pair of close road losses to solid basketball programs. Motlow traveled to Rome, Ga., this past weekend, falling to the host school Georgia Highlands 76-71 Friday night, then dropping a 77-76 overtime decision to USC-Salkehatchie Saturday afternoon.

This coming Friday is the first night of conference play for all teams in the TCCAA. Both Columbia State and Jackson State are 2-1 on the season. Jackson State, formerly known as the Generals, has changed its athletics name to the Green Jays.

Motlow's Marcus Lacey, a redshirt-freshman from Madison, Ala., was spectacular for the Bucks in Friday's loss to Highlands, scoring 26 points on 10-15 shooting and hauling down 16 rebounds along with four steals and three assists.

The Bucks trailed 40-32 at the half and struggled to make up the difference in the final 20 minutes. Motlow shot 41.4 percent from the field but hit only 6-23 three pointers. Highlands wasn't much better, shooting only 46.2 percent from the floor, but connected on 26-34 free throws while Motlow hit 17-24 from the foul line.

Darius Harding added 17 points and six rebounds for the Bucks, with Josh Greer scoring 11 and pulling in seven boards. Leo Castillo scored 10 points and had seven rebounds, and Josh Endicott scored seven with six rebounds.

Saturday against Salkehatchie, Motlow trailed 31-27 at the half but fought back and ended regulation tied at 66. The two teams swapped the lead back and forth through the overtime, with the Saluqis making the play at the end to get the win.

USC-Salkehatchie shot the ball well, hitting 50.8 percent from the field, while the Bucks struggled at 38.8 percent, including 6-21 from the three-point line. Motlow was solid again at the free-throw stripe, connecting on 18-23 attempts.

Castillo hit 8-15 from the field, including 3-5 three pointers, and led the Bucks with 19 points while grabbing seven rebounds, and notching four steals and three assists. Endicott scored 13 with nine boards, Bryce McBride scored 11 with three assists and two steals, Greer scored 11 with three rebounds, Lacey had seven points and seven rebounds, and Kin Webster scored six with seven rebounds.

Marcus Lacey
Marcus Lacey, a redshirt-freshman from Madison, Ala., announced his arrival to the junior college basketball world Friday night, scoring 26 points with 16 rebounds during Motlow's 76-71 loss to Georgia Highlands, The Bucks will host Jackson State this coming Friday and Columbia State Saturday. Motlow Staff Photo.

Motlow Bucks open season with challenging nationally-ranked road opponents

Nov. 5, 2018

The Motlow State Community College Bucks had five players score in double figures Sunday when they traveled to Lebanon and beat the Cumberland University JV 105-61 to earn their first victory of the season.

Motlow (1-1) opened the 2018-19 campaign Thursday with a trip to nationally-ranked John A. Logan College in Illinois, where they dropped a 106-81 decision. The Bucks continue their grueling early season road tests when they travel to Rome, Georgia this weekend. Motlow will face No. 22 Georgia Highlands Friday, then battle USC-Salkhatchie on Saturday.

The Bucks fell behind 20-5 early against the John A. Logan Vols, ranked No. 19 in the NJCAA preseason poll, and were forced to try and play catch-up the rest of the game. Motlow never caught up, trailing 58-35 at halftime.

Sophomore Josh Greer led the Bucks with 21 points while also pulling down six rebounds. Leo Castillo scored 18 points and had seven rebounds, and Josh Endicott also scored in double figures with 12 points and almost had a double-double with nine rebounds.

Bryce McBride scored eight points with two assists, Jarius Key had six points with five rebounds, and Jayvon Humphrey, Jaellan White and Moses Fofana each scored three points. The Bucks only shot 36.5 percent from the field, including 7-27 from behind the three-point line. The Vols were red-hot on their home floor, shooting 59 percent from the field and hitting 13-20 three pointers.

Sunday was a completely different story, with Motlow easily toppling the Cumberland JV after surging to a 56-27 halftime advantage.

Humphrey led the scoring with 19 points, while McBride added 15 by connecting on 5-6 three pointers. Endicott also scored 15 points and added eight rebounds. Nic Barstad hit 3-5 three pointers and scored 13 points with three assists and three rebounds, while Fofana scored 11 and has six assists and five steals. Key added nine points and seven rebounds and Lacey scored eight with seven boards.

Following their weekend trip to Georgia, the Bucks will finally play at home when they open TCCAA conference play by hosting Jackson State at 5:30 p.m. on Nov. 16, then welcoming Columbia State the following day at 2 p.m.

Arthur Latham
Motlow Bucks Head Coach Arthur Latham leads his team this weekend when they travel to Rome, Georgia, to face No. 22 Georgia Highlands Friday night. The Bucks' first home game is Nov. 16, when Jackson State visits Copperweld Arena for a 5:30 p.m. tipoff. Jeff Reed Photography.

Motlow Bucks begin quest for third straight NJCAA Tournament appearance

Oct. 16, 2018

Motlow State Community College men's basketball team made history last year when it became the first program in Motlow's 50 years of intercollegiate athletic competition to win back-to-back conference championships and advance to the national tournament two consecutive years.

So what have you done lately?

With the beginning of a new season comes new expectations. The championship trophies and All-American awards are stored safely in their cases. All starting players from the past two seasons, who won 53 games and multiple individual awards, are gone, most now playing at four-year schools. Yet Head Coach Arthur Latham has a couple of tricks up his sleeve.

Red-shirt sophomores Leo Castillo, Jr. and Kin Webster return, both bringing two years of championship experience to the Bucks' revamped roster. Castillo and Webster were red-shirts two years ago, practicing hard and bringing positive energy to the bench during games. Last year both played critical minutes on their way to winning title number two. This year they will be counted on to lead the way if the Bucks are going to contend for a third consecutive TCCAA title and NJCAA tournament trip.

"We are thrilled that both Leo and Kin chose to come back to Motlow and complete their community college experience both on the court and in the classroom," said Latham. "They are both high-character young men and they are winners, and we are counting on them to be leaders in everything they do this year."

Castillo is from the Virgin Islands and can play either guard or forward at 6'4. He started three games last year but played in all 31 contests, averaging 6.9 points, 3.1 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.2 steals per game. He shot 50 percent from the field, including 35 percent from behind the three-point line, and connected on 71 percent of his free throws.

Webster is an undersized 6'5 power forward from Nashville who played in 26 games last year and is a tenacious rebounder and has a knack for quick put-backs under the basket. He averaged 3.3 points and three rebounds per game and shot 61.3 percent from the floor, by far the best shooting percentage on last year's team.

Two more returnees bring championship experience back to Latham's roster. Derrick Rayford, a 5'11 guard from Canton, Ohio, played in 21 games last year and averaged 4.7 points, 1.4 rebounds, 1.8 assists and one steal per game. Justin Hill, a 6'6 forward from Bartlett, saw action in 25 games and averaged 1.5 points and 1.5 rebounds per contest.

"Derrick and Justin are experienced sophomores who will need to step up this year and play more significant roles in our rotation," added Latham. "They know what kind of effort it takes every day to win a championship, and like Leo and Kin, they are going to have to lead in exhibiting that effort to the rest of the squad. They must lead by example."

The Bucks have added some impressive student-athletes to the roster. Among the incoming sophomore transfers are Ronald Blount from Ellsworth Community College, Josh Greer from Itawamba Community College, and Kashawn Bradley from Tennessee Wesleyan. Three incoming red-shirt freshman also add roster strength. Josh Endicott spent a year at the University of Cincinnati, Marcus Lacey was a red-shirt last season in Auburn"s football program, and Jaellan White played his prep ball at Blackman High School in Murfreesboro.

Also added into the mix are incoming first-year freshmen Nic Barstad of Tullahoma, Bryce McBride from South Side High School in Jackson, Jayven Humphrey from Tupelo, Miss.; Jarius Key from Bowling Green, Ky.; Moses Fofana from St. Benedict High School in Memphis, Darius Harding from Elizabethtown, Ky.; Kiyon Sowell from East Hickman in Lyles, Tenn.; Gabriel Martin from Murfreesboro Blackman, and Anterrious Ryhan from Rossville, Tenn., who played at Rossville Christian Academy.

"We like our mixture of returning veterans, incoming sophomores and red-shirts, and first-time freshmen," said Latham. "All of these guys can play and they each have an opportunity to earn time on the playing floor this year. This may be the deepest roster we have had in my four years here at Motlow."

The men's basketball program has developed into a national power over the last dozen years, beginning in 2006 when Bobby Steinburg arrived as head coach. Even though his first team only went 12-15, he recruited a dynamite class that won 28 games the following year. From 2007-18, the program has won 245 games while losing only 85, winning 74 percent of its games while winning three TCCAA/Region VII titles and making three NJCAA tournament appearances. Motlow has had nine All-Americans and two conference players of the year.

2018-19 Men's Basketball Team
The Motlow State Community College men's basketball team will open the 2018-19 season when it travels to Carterville, Illinois, to face John A. Logan College on Thursday, Nov. 1, at 7 p.m. Seated, from left, are Bryce McBride, Nic Barstad, Jaellan White, Justin Hill, Leo Castillo, Jr., Kin Webster, Derrick Rayford, Darius Harding and Moses Fofana. Standing, from left, are Arthur Latham, head coach; Anterrious Ryhan, Ronald Blount, Jayven Humphrey, Marcus Lacey, Kiyon Sowell, Josh Endicott, Jarius Key, Josh Greer, Gabriel Martin, Kashawn Bradley, and Nick Porter, assistant coach. Motlow staff photo.

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.

Tullahoma's Nic Barstad signs Letter of Intent to play basketball at Motlow State

March 27, 2018

Men's Basketball
Tullahoma High School multi-sport standout Nic Barstad recently signed a National Letter of Intent to continue his career as a student-athlete playing basketball at Motlow State. Barstad finished his career at Tullahoma as the second leading scorer in school history and holds the all-time record for three-point baskets made. Picture, seated from left, are Sherry Barstad, mother; Nic and Joe Barstad, father. Standing from left, are John Olive, Tullahoma athletic director; Austin Creasman, Nic's brother; Zach Holt, Motlow assistant coach, Zach Bailey, Tullahoma head coach; and Arthur Latham, Motlow head coach. Photo provided.

Bucks' season ends with loss to Vincennes in NJCAA Tournament

March 23, 2018

The Motlow Bucks couldn't overcome the red-hot shooting start of Vincennes, despite 36 points from Rashawn Fredericks, and saw their basketball season come to a close with an 86-82 loss to the Trailblazers in the second round of the NJCAA National Tournament Wednesday night in Hutchinson, Kansas.

The Bucks finish the year 23-8, tied for the ninth most wins in school history. Motlow has advanced to the second round of the national tournament each year it has been; 2013, 2017 and this year, and its all-time record at the tournament is now 4-3. The Bucks reached the second round by beating No. 19 seed Otero Junior College 77-76 Tuesday afternoon.

The contest between the No. 14 Bucks and No. 3 Trailblazers was extremely close the entire way. Vincennes led 16-12 after the first six minutes, but Motlow, driven by three-pointers from Fredericks and Isaiah Hart, surged to a 27-27 tie with 9:30 left in the first half. Vincennes charged back though and took a 44-40 lead into intermission. There were six ties and 10 lead changes in the first 20 minutes of play.

The Trailblazers had expanded their lead to five, 49-44 with 15:36 left to play, when Fredericks hit a long three pointer to close the gap to two. The final tie was 55-55 with 11:21 left to go. Vincennes increased its lead to six before Hart hit a three pointer to close the gap to 71-68 with 5:04 remaining. Motlow stayed within three or four points until two minutes were left, when they had to put the Trailblazers on the free-throw line to try and extend the game. Vincennes hit their free throws in the final 120 seconds to secure the win.

In his final game at Motlow, Fredericks was spectacular, hitting 14-26 shots from the field and 5-6 free throws. He barely missed a double-double, hauling in nine rebounds. Hart added 17 points and had four assists, four steals and four rebounds. Fredericks and Hart go into the history books as two of the best players to ever wear the green and gold.

Leo Castillo, who has filled the role of sixth man for Motlow most of the season, continued his excellent play with 11 points along with three rebounds and two steals. Kevonte Corley had six points and four rebounds, Dillon Smith scored five points but led the team with 10 rebounds.

Vincennes cooled off after its blazing hot shooting start but still shot 51 percent for the game, with Motlow shooting 40 percent. The Bucks hit 9-28 three pointers while the Trailblazers hit 9-20. Motlow connected on 77 percent of its free throws as compared to 65.5 percent for Vincennes. The Bucks won the rebounding battle 38-37 and forced 12 turnovers while only committing seven. The biggest edge was assists, as Vincennes had an amazing 24 on 29 made baskets while Motlow had 14 on 28 made.

Hart is the all-time single season and career leader in steals, with 125 and 231 respectively, and his 3.4 steals per game is the best in Motlow history. He is the all-time leader in three-point baskets made with 189. His 1,089 career points are eighth all time, as is his 16.3 points per game career average. Hart is sixth all time with 303 career assists and seventh with an average of 4.5 assists per game. He hit 83.9 percent of his free throws, fourth on the all-time list.

Fredericks is right behind Hart with 1,001 points and averaged 15.2 per game in his career. He stands second on the all-time rebounding list with 769, just four behind leader Bob Martin and over 100 ahead of the next best mark. His 11.6 rebounds per game average is third all time. Fredericks is seventh in total steals with 124 and five in all-time three pointers made with 113. Amazingly enough, he is fourth on the all-time blocked shots list with 84, putting him on more career top ten lists than any player in Motlow history. Fredericks was named the TCCAA/Region VII Freshman of the Year last year and the Player of the Year this season, the first Buck in history to be so honored.

They are joined on the all-time leaderboard by classmate Corley, whose 546 rebounds puts him at No. 5 and his 8.4 rebounds per game is sixth. Dillon Smith checks in tied for tenth in total steals with 99 and is sixth all time in three-point shots made with 109.

The four, along with Chad Emmons, have more career wins than any class in history. Together, they won 53 games over two seasons, one TCCAA regular season title and two TCCAA/Region VII Tournament titles. They made two national tournament appearances and compiled a 3-2 record, advancing to the final eight last year and round of 16 this season.

Motlow Bucks
Motlow State sophomore Rashawn Fredericks dunks over an opposing player during a game earlier this season. Fredericks finished his Motlow career as one of the greatest players in school history, ranking in the top ten in career points, points per game, rebounds, rebounds per game, steals, steals per game, three-point shots made and blocked shots. Jeff Reed Photography.

Hart hits game winner as Bucks advance in NJCAA Tournament

March 20, 2018

Sophomore Isaiah Hart hit an eight-foot floater in the lane with six seconds remaining and the Motlow Bucks beat Otero Junior College 77-76 Tuesday afternoon in the opening round of the NJCAA National Championship Tournament.

The No. 14 Bucks (23-7) advance to the round of 16, where they will face No. 3 Vincennes (Ind.) at 6 p.m. Wednesday evening. All tournament games are being played in Hutchinson, Kansas.

The contest between the Bucks and Rattlers was extremely close during a foul-marred first half. The Bucks led at the break 42-33 behind Rashawn Fredericks' 19 first-half points.

Four minutes into the second half, the Rattlers had closed the gap to two, 49-47. Dillon Smith hit a three pointer for Motlow with 11:25 remaining to give the Bucks a 59-53 lead, but by the 2:20 mark Otero had taken a 72-70 lead.

The Rattlers led 76-72 with one minute to play when Motlow's David Fraser scored a bucket and was fouled. Fraser connected on the free throw to pull Motlow within one. The Bucks got a stop on defense, setting the stage for Hart's game winner. Otero had one final long shot at the bucket, but the ball bounced off the backboard and Motlow advanced in the tournament.

Fredericks scored 19 points before fouling out with seven minutes remaining. Hart and Smith each scored 16, with Hart dishing out seven assists. Fraser scored 11 points and led Motlow with three steals. Kevonte Corley had seven rebounds, while Anthony Yarbrough added five.

There were a total of 54 foul shots during the game, with Motlow making 18-28 and Otero 18-26. Each team had 37 rebounds, but Motlow forced the Rattlers into 21 turnovers while just committing 13. The Bucks only shot 32 percent from the field, while Otero was at 42 percent. Motlow shot 34 three pointers, only making 9, while the Rattlers were 6-18 from behind the arc.

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