Coming into the season, the Miami Dade College men’s basketball team was hoping to break their streak of three seasons without qualifying for the Florida College System Activities Association State Tournament.
They had to win their last two games this season to qualify for the tournament but they lost their season finale against Indian River State College, 74-71.
“It was a heartbreaking loss,” head coach Kevin Ledoux said. “It was disappointing to not make it to the state tournament. We had a chance at it and our guys fought hard all year long to get to that point.”
The Sharks finished the season 10-20. In Ledoux’s three seasons as head coach, the team has gone 36-53.
“This team grew and matured this entire season,” said sophomore guard, Arseniy Andreev. “The team kept itself motivated and fought each game. Our freshmen learned a lot that can be applied to next season.”
Offensively, the team flexed its muscles, averaging 96.4 points, attempting 80.9 field goals and 32 three-point attempts per game, but the team lacked efficiency.
On average, they converted 42.9 percent of their field goals (167th in the nation), 31 percent from three-point range (178th in the nation) and allowed opponents to score 98.4 points per game (203rd in the nation).
But Ledoux was unfazed by the lackluster results.
“We lost two great players in Kaevon [Tyler] and Jake [Brownlee],” Ledoux said. “Toward the end of the season, we had to slow our pace to make up for those losses.”
The Sharks lost Tyler and Brownlee for the season in late December. Tyler tore his anterior cruciate ligament and Brownlee left the team amid family issues.
The team’s season featured strong campaigns from sophomore forward DJ Russell, sophomore guard Montese Blake and freshman guard Elton Walker.
Russell led the team in scoring and rebounds with 19.2 points and 9.7 rebounds per game. Blake scored 18.9 points per game and shot 34.9 percent from three-point range. Walker led all freshmen in scoring, rebounds and field goal percentage (12.9 ppg, 6.2 rbg and 56.6 percent).
All three were named Southern Conference first team players.
Three other players—sophomore forward Nicholas Kratholm (10.2 ppg 6.5 rpg), sophomore guard Jahmal Wright (8.6 ppg, 34 percent shooting) and freshman guard Ben Tal (9.8 ppg, 3.3 assists per game)—received second-team honors.
Ledoux and the rising sophomores are hoping to add more firepower to next year’s roster.
“The goal is to surround our team with athletic players who can defend and shoot the ball,” Ledoux said. “If we can load our team with players that fit our system then we will have a successful season.”
Sharks Sign Three Players For Next Season
The Sharks announced the signing of three men’s basketball players for next year: Ty Rivers, Dev Ostrowski and Bobby Miller.
Rivers, a six-foot-three-inch guard out of Gray Collegiate Academy in West Columbus, SC, is the tenth-ranked player in South Carolina, according to MaxPreps. He averaged 6.6 points, five rebounds and 1.6 points per game his senior season.
Ostrowski, a six-foot-one-inch point guard from East Lyme High School in East Lime, CT, is the 35th ranked player in Connecticut, according to MaxPreps. He averaged 28.9 points, 3.3 assists and 3.4 steals per game his senior season. He played in only 16 games due to a fractured foot.
Miller, a six-foot-four-inch guard out of DME Academy in Daytona, averaged 9.6 points and 2.5 rebounds per game. He was ranked 325th in Florida, according to MaxPreps.
“These three early signings are going to bring a lot of athleticism to our program,” Ledoux said.