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Motlow Bucks have right mix to challenge for TCCAA title

Oct. 1, 2014

With a roster that returns five players from last season, three more who were Motlow redshirts, and 10 newcomers with sterling credentials, the Motlow Bucks appear to be in position to challenge for the Tennessee Community College Athletic Association (TCCAA) championship.

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Head Coach Matt Sligh enters his second season with a roster full of potential Division I prospects. The path in and out of Copperweld Arena is well worn from a stream of major and mid-major college coaches who have visited Motlow's Moore County campus during the previous month.

Practice officially began for the 10 member schools of the TCCAA on Oct. 1, with most teams opening their seasons on Halloween night. The Bucks will open at home on Oct. 31, hosting non-conference opponent Snead State at 7:30 p.m., or 20 minutes after the conclusion of the women's contest which begins at 5:30 p.m.

"We are excited that October has arrived and competition against other teams is fast approaching," said Sligh. "Our players have worked hard thus far in their various roles of being a student-athlete and are now eager to begin playing against someone else besides each other."

Headlining the roster is returning All-American Dequon Miller. The 5-10 Miller, a native of Charleston, W.Va., became the ninth player in Motlow history to be named an All-American last season. From his point-guard position he averaged 21 points, seven assists, three rebounds and two steals per game, while shooting 44% from three-point range and 83% from the free-throw line.

Joining Miller as returning Bucks who saw playing time last year is Kytrel Williams, a second team all-conference selection from Memphis who averaged 10 points, four rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.2 steals per game with 23 blocked shots. The 6-4 Williams scored in double figures 13 times last season, with a high of 28 coming against Cleveland State in November.

Washington D.C. sophomore Greg Mason also returns. The 6-6 forward averaged 10 points and six rebounds per game while shooting 65% from the floor, the fifth-best single season shooting percentage in Motlow history.

Reggie Williams, a 6-6 shooting guard from Detroit, also returns after coming on strong towards the end of last season and averaging 4.5 points and 1.5 rebounds per game. C.J. McEwen is the fifth returnee. The 6-1 Nashville product averaged three points and 1.6 rebounds per game, but like Williams played his best basketball at the end of last season.

"Our team's focus early on will be to increase our toughness and togetherness," Sligh continued. "I am thrilled to work with our returning players who have been through a full season and are hungry to improve on last year."

Three players, all guards, who sat out last season while attending Motlow, will suit up with the varsity during the coming season. Clint Nwosuh is 6-2 from Houston, Jahaad Lyons is also 6-2 and comes from Murfreesboro's Oakland High School, and 5-9 Dezon Dozier is from Nashville.

New additions to the roster this season include sophomore transfer D'Andre Downey from Milwaukee, Wis., and freshman Seth McKelvey from North Charleston, S. C.

The remaining newcomers are all from Tennessee, including Jaylen Barford from Jackson, Axel Magnuson from Clarksville, Terry Holt from Nashville, Reid Pierce from Murfreesboro, Montrez Van Zant from Winchester, and former Cheatham County teammates Jake Saunders and Jordan Darden, both from Ashland City. Nashville guard Jade Patrick comes to Motlow from Pearl Cohn High School and will redshirt this season.

"We welcome a highly-competitive and talented group of new players who are used to winning," added Sligh. "I look forward to watching our players define their roles through their performance in practice and in our scrimmages this month. We hope to vastly improve our ability to defend over last season, as well as play fast offensively. Our roster fits how we want to play on both ends of the floor, but now it's time to make it happen."

The Bucks will open TCCAA conference play when they host Jackson State on Friday, Nov. 7, and Columbia State the following day. The regular season ends with a return trip to Columbia State on Feb. 21. The Chargers are the defending conference champions and eliminated the Bucks in last year's TCCAA tournament.

"The TCCAA is loaded this year and we begin league play the first week of November, as well as facing several quality opponents as our schedule begins," Sligh said. "We are one of the only conferences to play league games this early in the season, which makes October even more important for us."

Most Motlow home games will be broadcast live on Tullahoma's The Ticket sports radio. Listeners can tune in on the radio at 105.1 FM and AM 740, on the internet at www.theticketradio.com, on a smartphone using the free Tune-In Radio app, and in Tullahoma on LightTUBe channel 11. Video replays can be seen on LightTUBe channel 23.

Visit the official website of Motlow Athletics at www.motlowsports.com for rosters, schedules, stats and more. Interact with Motlow Athletics on Facebook and Twitter.