December 2, 2013
Cyclones come up short in Cincy
It was a discouraging weekend (Nov. 29-30) for the Cyclones as they dropped
two at the Cincinnati State Tech and Community College Surge Classic
The Cyclones faced a tough Cincinnati State Tech and Community College squad to begin the weekend. It was another game where Moraine Valley started flat. There were too many open looks, too much defensive pressure and not enough fight in the Cyclones’ 106-44 loss. The Cyclones are a better team than they looked, but with one of their best players—Kyle Ward—out with an injury, the team hurt psychologically, said head coach Dave Howard. Moraine Valley didn’t make enough shots early, it was an uphill battle and the lead got out of control.
Des’nique Harris led the team with 13 points and 10 rebounds while Johnte Shannon had 12 points, five rebounds and three assists, and Paulius Ostruskevicius finished with 11 points and four boards.
In their second game of the weekend (Nov. 30), the Cyclones faced Malcolm X College and had a better response despite a 116-89 loss.
Moraine Valley was down early, but fought back and before halftime the team was within seven points (28-21). At that point, the Cyclones couldn’t buy a basket, Howard said. There just wasn’t enough firepower to maintain the momentum in the second half. It was another loss, but the Cyclones fought hard and played well together in this game.
Shannon was the lead scorer with 19 followed by Harris (15 points, seven rebounds), Brett Kaiser (14 points), Jason Allen (11 points), and Cameron Juillerat (10 points, three assists). John Curran had eight boards.
“Other teams are 5-3 or 5-4, so we’re still in the mix. All these games are preparing us for the conference,” Howard said. “The scores are not indicative of who we are as a team. We need to rise to the occasion when we play better teams. Our Achilles heel is rebounding; we definitely need to work on that. They’re discouraged, but I still believe in my guys. As long as we keep working hard, we still can be in it. We have what it takes. When we play aggressively and don’t settle for jump shots and attack the rim, we’re a much better team.”
November 27, 2013
Cyclones grab victory over Chaparrals
The Cyclones have a fondness for coming from behind, and it worked Nov. 26
in their 78-66 victory over College of DuPage.
With Kyle Ward and Johnte Shannon shooting a combined 26 points, the team fed off the duo’s energy, especially in the second half. The Cyclones started the game flat and were down by halftime. But a resilient Moraine Valley team fought back to take the lead for good. If they played like they did in that second half, the Cyclones could have more wins, said head coach David Howard. Despite this needed win, not all the players were healthy at the end of the game, namely starter Ward, making for a bittersweet night.
Ward finished with 16 points, five rebounds and three assists followed by Cameron Juillerat with 15 points and three assists. Paulius Ostruskevicius had 15 points and five rebounds; Brett Kaiser scored 12 and grabbed 11 rebounds; Shannon banked 10 and had six steals, five rebounds and four assists. Des’nique Harris had eight points and nine rebounds.
November 25, 2013
Cyclones denied by Daley
Although the Cyclones had some chances to win Nov. 23, they came up short in
a 70-63 loss to Daley College.
Johnte Shannon led the charge with 18 points. Des’nique Harris had 13 points and 10 rebounds. Kyle Ward had 10 points while Brett Kaiser added nine.
November 23, 2013
Cyclones notch first win
The Cyclones earned their first win of the season on Nov. 21, a 76-44
crushing of Trinity Christian College JV.
Nick Bal was the lead scorer with 16 points and three steals. Cameron Juillerat had 11 points while Kyle Ward scored 10, had 10 boards and five assist. Paul Otruskevicius rounded out the team leaders with seven points and nine rebounds.
November 18, 2013
Close but no cigar for ’Clones
There were some close calls for the Cyclones in their Nov. 16 matchup with
Triton College, just not enough for a win. Moraine Valley fell 85-81.
Kyle Ward was the leading scorer again with 28 points, five rebounds and five assists. Johnte Shannon had 20 points and four assists; Cameron Juillerat had 12 points; Des’nique Harris had 10 points and eight rebounds; and Jason Allen had seven rebounds for the night.
November 15, 2013
Cyclones fall to Hawks
The Cyclones had some chances to win, but came up short Nov. 14 in an 88-80
loss to Harper College.
Kyle Ward had 25 points, 11 rebounds, five assists and three steals; Johnte Shannon had 22 points, six steals and four assists; and Des’nique Harris had eight points and seven rebounds.
November 4, 2013
Cyclones denied by Kishwaukee in season opener
In their season opener Nov. 2, and first test with new coaches and a new
system, the Cyclones lacked fire on the court. It wasn’t pretty as Moraine
Valley fell to Kishwaukee College 109-64.
The players and coaches lacked a cohesive vision in this first game and plan to go back to the drawing board and work harder, said head coach David Howard. “Kishwaukee is a great team that is well coached. We were out coached and out played. We have a week and a half before we play again. We must work hard and not make excuses,” he said.
In the effort, Johnte Shannon had 19 points and four assists while Kyle Ward scored 18.
October 24, 2013
The bar is set high for new coach, new season
The Cyclones completed the 2012-13 season higher than they or any other
Cyclones team has gone—runner up in the nation padded by NJCAA Region IV and
Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference championships. As a new season rapidly
approaches, Moraine Valley finds itself ranked #12 in an NJCAA
Division II poll with a new head coach, a new system
and some fresh faces, but the same high standards and goals.
Coach Dedrick Shannon hung up his playbook after nine years, leaving on a very high note. The coveted role of head coach was entrusted to David Howard, a former Cyclone who played under Shannon in 2005-06. From his playing days at Whitney Young High School, Waubonsee Community College and Moraine Valley and then injuries that led to his coaching a throng of Chicago high school teams, Howard was given this chance as head coach and couldn’t be happier. “This is like a dream come true because I wanted to coach on the collegiate level. I have this opportunity, and now I have to make the best of it. I love this. This is not a job I have to peel myself out of bed for,” Howard said. “I’m grateful that coach [Bill] Finn and Dedrick opened this door for me. This is truly a blessing for me to be named head coach.”
With a new coach comes a different system and view of the game. On the court, Howard wants his guys to use their basketball IQ and play the game more mentally. Through repetition at practice, emphasis on defense, blocking out, drills, being more competitive to meet their potential, and good conditioning, he hopes this focus will aid his smaller-sized squad. Howard said he also is allowing his players to voice their opinions on what’s going well or what might work better, but he still has the upper hand. This keeps everyone involved, engaged and ideally working harder.
Within his new system, Howard wants a melding of sport, academics and life, but doesn’t rule with an iron fist. “My philosophy is to teach life through basketball. After my ACL reconstruction, I hung up my laces. I didn’t want it to happen, but at some point you have to hang up the laces and work. I want the players prepared. I want them to work on the court and in the classroom and develop them as young men of high quality and character and top citizens as a whole,” he said. “It’s a tough task, but I welcome it, and I believe I can make a difference. We’ll learn from each other. When they look back, I hope they think it was meaningful and that they learned to be disciplined and set goals.”
The Cyclones lost some key players, including All-American Karrington Ward, who had four double-doubles in the national tournament alone. Despite the loss, a group of veterans returns and brings that nationals experience to the table. All-Conference guard Johnte Shannon (Thornwood, 6’1”) is back along with guard/forward Des’nique Harris (Plainfield East, 6’4”), guard Cameron Juillerat (Australia, 5’11”), guard/forward Brett Kaiser (Stagg, 6’3”), center/forward Derrick Lynn (Bogan, 6’6”), and guard Kyle Ward (Lockport, 6’1”), who was sidelined last year with an injury mid-season.
“I’m expecting these guys to carry the load because they gave their blood, sweat and tears last year. They know what it takes,” Howard said. “I’ll rely on them to push themselves and their teammates. This is the core group, but they can’t do it alone.”
Howard expects the incoming group of players to be invaluable to the success of the team. They are a hardworking talented bunch, and the leaders will emerge and earn their roles as the season progresses.
The effort from all sides will pay off, Howard said, and he has high expectations. “I want to do equally as well as last year. It’s a tall task, but I wouldn’t set the bar any lower. If we don’t return to nationals, I’ll be disappointed and feel I let everyone down. I’m ready to do what I have to do.”
The Cyclones open their season Nov. 2 with an away game against Kishwaukee College. Their first home game is Nov. 16.
October 17, 2013
Former Cyclone impresses at Bowling Green
Former Cyclone Richaun Holmes (2011-12) is making a statement as a Falcon.
The 6-8 forward transferred to Bowling Green State University in 2012 and
has put up impressive numbers for the basketball team. He is the greatest
single-season shot blocker in Falcons history. In one game alone against
North Dakota he had six. In only 602 minutes off the bench, he blocked 73,
shattering the previous record by 14. He ranked third in the Mid-American
Conference (MAC) and 36th nationally in blocked shots. Holmes also ranked
second at Bowling Green and among the top 20 in the MAC for averaging five
rebounds per game.