"Patience, is going to be the key this season!", was how DCB Men's basketball coach Brock Lemon chose to describe the team's outlook heading into this weekend's opening games at the Mon-Dak Pre-season Tournament in Newtown, ND.
The Jacks open their schedule Friday when they take on Dawson Community College at 5:00pm. Coach Lemon has a difficult task ahead of him as the schedule is tough by design and he is hoping this will make the team stronger. "We play a lot of good DI Jucos on the road, something I believe will help us in knowing where our intensity level needs to be come conference time and playoffs."
The Jacks will play 14 non-conference games in the next 38 days, including trips to Council Bluffs, Iowa, Casper, Wyoming, Miles City, Montana and Wahpeton, North Dakota. The time on the bus will certainly offer enough time for the Jacks to get to know each other.
The team has just three returning players in Tyrie Johnson (Indianapolis, Ind.), an All-Region selection a year ago with 16 Points per game, Jibril Wyckoff (Stone Mountain, GA) who averaged 13 PPG in his freshman year and 6'7" big man Dwaine Simmons (Turks and Caicos) who picked up 5 PPG as well as 5 rebounds per game last season. The newcomers have an International component as Spain's Rodrigo Majarin joins Faysal Coulibaly who calls West Africa home. Local hoopsters McKinnly Agnes of Bottineau joins Antione Rivera of Dunseith on this years roster. the roster is rounded out by Ty'Riek Johnson (Indianapolis, IN), Jackson Johnson (Forrest Park, VA), Dante Brunelli (Salt Lake City, Utah), Alec Metzger (Salt Lake City, Utah), Marquie Mosley (Houma, LA), Nizarre Thompson (Moultrie, GA) and Cameron Cook (Grand Rapids, Mich).
The Jacks play in the MonDak conference made up of Division I and II teams. The two division II teams, DCB and United Tribes already know they will face each other at the end of the year for the Mon-Dak Division II title and the opportunity to move on to the Region XIII playoff. The 2017-18 Jacks (19-12) did just that last season beating United Tribes but bowing out in the next round to Dakota County Technical College. The team looks to make a long run in the playoffs and believe by playing such a tough schedule it will make them better when they need to be. "The goal is to be playing our best at the end of the year when we either host or travel to United Tribes for a one game playoff. We just have to stick together through the bumps and bruises of the season and continue to improve everyday, stated Coach Lemon.
The Green and White are hoping by getting a little Black and Blue they will be ready to improve on last years playoffs and make a run at the NJCAA National Tournament.