The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

City College men’s basketball team shoots for success

Brandon McDowell shoots over Mitch Postles head in basketball.
Courtesy of The Express Archives: Panthers forward Brandon McDowell, No. 10 shoots over the head of MItch Postle, No. 25 of the Delta College Mustangs on January 24, 2012. R. Hanna

After a strong season in 2011-12 in which the Panthers made the playoffs, the City College basketball team is now looking to improve. Last season they started off well, winning 11 of their first 12 games, but they had trouble in the second half of the season, finishing with a 17-10 record.

Assistant coach Mike Wiggins said his team is working to finish this season with an even better record. The season ends on Dec. 29 with the Big 8 Conference games scheduled from Jan. 8 to Feb. 22.

“I expect our team to be one of the hardest working groups in JC [junior college] basketball,” Wiggins said. “Our goal is to go deeper into the playoffs than last year.”

The team is off to a 3-4 start this season, with one of their losses coming in the championship game of their first tournament this season, dropping that game 64-69. Although some teams might be happy just getting to that position, some members of the basketball team said they should have won the title game.

“The way we played the first two games and most of the third game, we deserved to win [the tournament]; so in that respect it’s disappointing,” said City College head coach Andrew Jones.

A big lead and an all-star caliber performance from Ryan Mastella, 21, who made eight three pointers on his way to scoring 27 points, weren’t enough to hold off host Ohlone College in Fremont, Calif. Mastella was one of two City College players to win All-Tournament Team honors in the tournament, along with Pat Lowman.

“We won a couple close games… [but] sometimes it doesn’t go our way,” said Mastella, undecided major.

Standout guard DJ McGee, 22, social science major, says he put in a lot of off-season training to help City College improve from last year.

“I came and coach would let me in [the gym] during the summer,” McGee says. “I just shot around for a couple hours.”

McGee, who is playing his second season at City College, says it’s up to the players to determine how far they want to go. Team play and leadership are also important, he said.

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“A lot of players stepped up when they had to,” he says.

Team members said they hope to build on how they played last season and prove they have what it takes to be successful. The main focus from the players is working as a team and doing what it takes to get wins.

“We want to win our league and make playoffs. [We] want to be playing our best going into playoffs,” Mastella said. “I just love winning. Basketball is about winning games.”

Although they have some new additions, team players said they believe they can put a product on the court that will be exciting for fans.

“We are going to be fast, quick and up-tempo, which should make us fun to watch,” says Wiggins.

With only a handful of games to critique themselves on this season, the team hopes to improve during the year and go deep into playoffs.

“[We have to] do the best we can to win,” McGee says. “I’m excited to see a new group of guys.”

Their coaches believe with the talent they possess and the teams’ strong core of players, watching the team grow will be something special to them, and hopefully to the fans.

“It’s a good group of guys,” Jones says. “I think that they deserve to develop into a good team and to see if they actually do that will be exciting.”

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