October 30, 2014
Cyclones ready to make a statement in 2014-15 season
It’s a new year with a young team yearning to win. Every player on the
Moraine Valley men’s basketball team will be expected to contribute this
season and continue rebuilding the winning Cyclone tradition.
Last year was a transitional one for the Cyclones, which saw their coach Dedrick Shannon resign—after ending his ninth season with the runner-up team in the national tournament—and former Cyclone David Howard take the reins. Howard wasn’t able to recruit his team and finished with a disappointing 8-22 overall record. But this season he’s anticipating more success. In his first full year in recruitment mode, the players have bought into his style of coaching and pushed each other throughout the pre-season.
“This feels like my group of guys because it’s my first year recruiting. There was so much transition last year,” Howard said. “This group is competitive, and they want to get better. We’re small, but I like what they bring. They’re young and feisty. They want to get better, and they hate losing.”
The Cyclones lost sophomore All-Conference players Kyle Ward, Johnte Shannon and Des’nique Harris, and have just two returners, 6-foot guard Nick Bal (Reavis) and 6-foor-2 guard/forward Paulius Ostruskevicius (Lemont), who bring experience and a winning mentality, along with strong recruits.
Size is coming from freshmen forward/center Niko Cahue (Sandburg) and transfer forward Brian Townsend (Evergreen Park/Western Oklahoma State College) who each top out at 6’6”. Other new additions to the squad include guards Mychele Bullock (Thornton Fractional South/6’2”), Deland “DJ” Deere (Thornton Fractional North/5’10”), Vicpatrick Harris (Dyett/6’0”), Abdal Ishtaiah (Reavis/6’1”), Jason Roland (Oak Forest/6’0”), Nick Sims (Stagg/5’11”), Demarcus Vines (Boylan/McHenry County College/5’10”), Calviontae Washington (Eisenhower/6’1”), and guard/forwards Ermias Nega (Wakefield/6’4”) and Randall Rushing (Richards/6’3”).
The Cyclones have their eyes on more success this season with two new tactics they hope will pay dividends—a quicker game on the court and a true collective effort.
“I’m feeling good about this year. We’re going to play more up tempo. Last year we fell in love with the 3-point shot. Now we want to attack the rim first. We have quite a few guys who can shoot, but we’ll make our opponents uncomfortable with defensive pressure,” Howard said. “A lot of the guys do things well, but to be successful it’ll be a team effort from the first guy to the last one on the roster. They all have to contribute. Everyone is expected to perform and work together.”
Howard is joined on the bench by second-year assistant James Daniels and newcomer Brandon Allen.
October 27, 2014
Cyclone hoopster alum heads to Argentina to play pro ball
When Cyclone alum Dwight McCombs competed at Moraine Valley in the 2009-10
season, he made a statement with conference and region honors. Now he’s
bringing that same intensity to Argentina, where he’ll play professional
Following his brief stint at Moraine Valley, McCombs continued his education and basketball career at the University of Central Florida (2010-12). Last year he split time between teams in the National Basketball League of Canada. For the 2014-15 season, he signed to play with San Isidro in the Argentinian Torneo Nacional de Ascenso league.
September 8, 2014
Two Cyclone alum rank in top 20 for defensive stoppers this season
Two former Cyclones are showing their stuff at some NCAA Division I
universities. Richaun Holmes (2011-12) and Karrington Ward (2012-13) made
the Bleacher Report’s list for one of the top 20 defensive stoppers who will
be key to their team’s defense this season.
Holmes is ranked 18th, setting Bowling Green University’s record for blocked shots in only two seasons. Karrington Ward was ranked 15th out of Eastern Michigan University, which had a defense nationally ranked 11th or better last season.
While at Moraine Valley, both players helped their teams earn championships in both the NJCAA Region IV and Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference as well as compete at nationals. Both were named NJCAA Division II All-American and Conference Player of the Year while Ward added Region Player of the Year to his resume before transferring.
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