The Moraine Valley Community College women’s basketball team will be looking for speedy players, including at the post, to score more and build a winning 2023-24 season.
There are always plenty of unknowns at the start of every basketball season, but Head Coach Delwyn Jones, in his 24th season leading the program, knows what he does have. He has a true point guard in transfer Keyshia Armstrong (Auburn), which the Cyclones lacked last year. She has ball handling skills and is quick on the floor. He also has two of the best and fastest post players in the region – 6-1 sophomore Andrea Robertson (Eisenhower) and 6-2 transfer Amari Cole (Round Lake).
“Andrea is one of the best defensive players I’ve had. She plays hard and is a great rebounder. She’s gained confidence at the offensive end. She’ll keep improving with her work ethic,” Jones said. “Amari is a very good defensive player and is offensive-minded. She’ll score around the basket and can step out for 15-feet jumpers.”
Jones also has one of the fastest players, 5-10 sophomore Colleen Zaremski (Oak Forest). She’s improved her game since last year, finishes well on fast breaks and rebounds well on both ends of the court.
In addition to those four players, the Cyclones have a transfer athlete from Kankakee Community College in Sarah Burton (Westside Prep), an unselfish and dynamic guard who can pass well. Among the incoming freshmen are Deniza Fuentes (Richards), a fast guard who can finish with either hand and is a solid three-point shooter. She’ll play point guard with Armstrong. Robin Stevenson, a forward from Shepard, can drive strong to the basket and shoots well from the outside. Olivia Baxa (Oak Forest), another guard, is a strong defensive player who has solid three-point skills. Dulce Preciado (Morton West) will be a rotational player who has shooting versatility.
This is the smallest roster Jones has had in two decades of coaching, but he sees potential and a likeness to the skills of his 2017-18 team that pushed the ball up the court and averaged 90 points per game.
“I think we’ll win more games than last year. I know we have very good guards and will have an advantage at the post, but the question is will we shoot well from the three-point mark. If we can build our game on our speed and push the ball up the court, it gives us different ways to score,” Jones explained. “Speed’s the name of the game for us mainly because we have post players who can run the floor. We have skills to work with and can maximize talent.”
Jones is joined again on the sidelines by assistant coach and Cyclone alumna Erin Drynan along with newcomers Sharnita Breeze, a former Cyclone basketball player, and Jibril Hodges.
The Cyclones season opener is Saturday, Nov. 4, at the Parkland College Tournament. Their home opener is Tuesday, Nov. 7, 5:15 p.m., against Malcolm X College.
For updates on Cyclones Athletics and to view the full schedule, visit mvcyclones.com.
For news media inquiries, contact Maura Vizza, Moraine Valley communications specialist and sports information coordinator, at (708) 974-5742 or Vizzam@morainevalley.edu.