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The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

High hopes for hoops

The City College basketball team practices during a scrimmage in the north gym. Photo by R. Hanna | [email protected]

Last season the men’s basketball team finished with 15 wins and 10 losses. This season, with a new team, members said they hope to improve and have a successful season.

The majority of this season’s team consists of freshmen with only four returning players. The team says its concentrating on working together and building on-the-court relationships.

“I believe we are very talented and mesh well together,” said shooting guard and kinesiology major Israel King.

“We all have our different strengths and weaknesses which fit together like a puzzle. We work very hard and understand each other’s roles,” King said.

Coach Andrew Jones said last season the team had eight returning athletes, so much of the season’s improvement was carried over from the previous season. For the 2011-12 season, the men’s basketball team does not have that luxury, he said.

“We will have to learn to play together, and we will have to learn it quickly,” Jones said.

The team this year will have a defensive identity in contrast to last year’s team, which was offenseoriented, Jones said.

Still, Jones said he does not expect to take this season lightly.  “We play in a tough league, which means there are no easy games,” Jones said.  Although the Panthers expect to have a tough season the athletes say they still trying hard.

“My expectations are always high,” said shooting guard and business major Xavier Willford. “I say playoffs, and going deep into the playoffs as long as we continue to get better each day.”
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The team practices five days a week and on Oct. 29 they participated in the NorCal Jamboree scrimmage at American River College.

“We competed in [the] scrimmage contests against Butte and Reedley colleges,” Jones said. “While no score was kept, we had a good showing.”

Both Jones and King said they are pleased with certain team characteristics.

“The camaraderie of this group is as good as any team I’ve coached in the past 20 seasons,” Jones said. “This team appears to love to compete. I hope that carries over to the games.”

Forward Zach Bartley No.55 rebounds over forward Brandon McDowell No.10 during practice in the north gym. Photo by R. Hanna | [email protected]

King added that the men’s basketball team must face the challenge to maintain its chemistry in order to be successful this season.

The team has a good combination of strength, quickness and talent, Jones said, so it does not have to rely heavily on one or two players to carry the team.

The men’s basketball team will kick off its season Nov. 10 against Los Medanos College at the Hawks invitational at Cosumnes River College.

“We will make this season worthwhile,” King said.

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