The Miami Dade College men’s basketball team has shown a propensity for high scoring games to start the 2016-17 season.
The Sharks, who are 3-1, have scored 115 points or more in each of their first four games this year. That includes a 189-point outburst versus the Red Devils Basketball Academy on Nov. 2., a new National Junior College Athletic Association record for points scored by one team in a game (the previous record was 173).
The Sharks scored 100 points or more in five games all of last season. They are one game away from tying last season’s mark.
First year Head Coach Kevin Ledoux wanted to institute a system that involves running-and-gunning, going after rebounds aggressively and a defense that applies suffocating pressure. With a roster built to do that, the team is firing on all cylinders.
The Sharks are currently ranked 13th in the NJCAA Division-1 in points per game with 107.5, ninth in three pointers made with 12 made threes per game and fifth in offensive rebounds per game with a 21.5 average.
“As long as the effort is there, we should be able to put over 100 on the board every game,” Ledoux said.
The high intensity defense is also paying off, producing a high number of turnovers. The Sharks are ranked fourth in the NJCAA D-1 in steals (1 steals per game).
While almost everyone has been contributing to the hot start for the Sharks, some of the more notable players who have been producing are Ricardo Lynch, a 6-foot-7-inch forward and Elijah Hill, a 6-foot-2-inch guard. Hill is averaging 24.5 points per game and Lynch is averaging 28 points. Both players are coming off the bench.
While the season is still young, Ledoux and the players feel they can maintain their production throughout the season.
”We had a hell of an offseason working on strength and conditioning. We were well prepared for this,” Hill said. “It’s going to be a real great season.”
Despite the fast start, there are issues that the team is aware of that need to be addressed as the season progresses, such as turning over the ball.
“The way we play, we’re gonna have turnovers because we play so fast,” Ledoux said. “We need to limit the turnovers that shouldn’t be turnovers.”
Regardless of the issues, the team’s chemistry is showing. The team understands that even though they are off to a great start, they have a lot of games left against tough opponents later this year.
“There’s still a lot of work we have to do,” said 6-foot-9-inch center Marko Krivacevic. “We are getting there.”
The Sharks play their next game on the road versus State College of Florida Manatee-Sarasota on Nov. 23 at 7 p.m.