The Miami Dade College men’s basketball season can be summed up as a tale of two seasons.
There was the fast and furious 11-5 start and then the loss of nine of their last 14 games that brought the Sharks to finish the season 16-14. The thud of an ending made it impossible for the team to recover as they failed to qualify for the state tournament for the third straight year.
The team, dubbed Run MDC, is 26-33 in head coach Kevin Ledoux’s first two seasons.
“Beginning of the season we didn’t know each other or knew what to expect from anyone, so in game we would go get our points, worrying about individual stats. Early in the season we had individuals scoring the ball. That’s why we won early in the season,” said freshman guard Kaevon Tyler. “Later in the season we couldn’t come together as one unit and win important games. Some games we would be a unit but it wasn’t always constant how it should’ve been.”
Offensively, the team showed explosiveness. They were ranked 1st by the National Junior College Athletic Association in points per game (108.2), field goals made per game (38.8), three point attempts per game (38.2) and offensive rebounds per game (21.9).
“Run MDC is who we are. We want to play an uptempo style. We want to pressure teams. We want to trap teams,” said Sharks assistant coach Brandon Cosby. “The biggest thing about running this system is applying pressure to the opponent. Offensively, we want to attack them and have opponents on their heels. Defensively, we want to get teams out of their sets and start playing into our system and pace.”
Despite their explosive offense the team lacked efficiency. The team ranked 194th in both field goal percentage (40.6) and three point percentage (29.6), 193rd in free throw percentage (62.6), 160th in turnovers per game (15.9) and 198th in points allowed (89.9). They also allowed opponents to score at least 100 points in 18 games.
The team is counting on a strong nucleus of freshman from this season to turn things around next season. Forward DJ Russell averaged 15.2 points and guards Kaevon Tyler and Montese Blake both averaged 13.8 points per game.
“This season was definitely a step in the right direction. Obviously we didn’t attain the goals that we wanted to, as far as winning the southern conference and making the state tournament. But it was a six game improvement. We definitely finished the season on a high note winning our last two games,” Cosby said. “The sky’s the limit and we look forward to a very successful year as a more experienced and mature team.”