Men's Basketball 2017-18 Season News


Hart hits game winner as Bucks advance in NJCAA Tournament

March 20, 2018

Sophomore Isaiah Hart hit an eight-foot floater in the lane with six seconds remaining and the Motlow Bucks beat Otero Junior College 77-76 Tuesday afternoon in the opening round of the NJCAA National Championship Tournament.

The No. 14 Bucks (23-7) advance to the round of 16, where they will face No. 3 Vincennes (Ind.) at 6 p.m. Wednesday evening. All tournament games are being played in Hutchinson, Kansas.

The contest between the Bucks and Rattlers was extremely close during a foul-marred first half. The Bucks led at the break 42-33 behind Rashawn Fredericks' 19 first-half points.

Four minutes into the second half, the Rattlers had closed the gap to two, 49-47. Dillon Smith hit a three pointer for Motlow with 11:25 remaining to give the Bucks a 59-53 lead, but by the 2:20 mark Otero had taken a 72-70 lead.

The Rattlers led 76-72 with one minute to play when Motlow's David Fraser scored a bucket and was fouled. Fraser connected on the free throw to pull Motlow within one. The Bucks got a stop on defense, setting the stage for Hart's game winner. Otero had one final long shot at the bucket, but the ball bounced off the backboard and Motlow advanced in the tournament.

Fredericks scored 19 points before fouling out with seven minutes remaining. Hart and Smith each scored 16, with Hart dishing out seven assists. Fraser scored 11 points and led Motlow with three steals. Kevonte Corley had seven rebounds, while Anthony Yarbrough added five.

There were a total of 54 foul shots during the game, with Motlow making 18-28 and Otero 18-26. Each team had 37 rebounds, but Motlow forced the Rattlers into 21 turnovers while just committing 13. The Bucks only shot 32 percent from the field, while Otero was at 42 percent. Motlow shot 34 three pointers, only making 9, while the Rattlers were 6-18 from behind the arc.



Motlow Bucks earn No. 14 seed in NJCAA Tournament, will play Otero (CO) Tuesday

March 14, 2018

After winning their second consecutive Tennessee Community College Athletic Association (TCCAA) championship last week, the Motlow Bucks learned this week they are the No. 14 seed heading into next week's National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) men's basketball tournament.

The Tournament, which will crown a national champion on Saturday, March 24, is held annually in Hutchinson, Kansas. Play begins on Monday, March 19, but the Bucks will not play their opening-round contest until Tuesday morning at 10 a.m. central time, when they face No. 19 seed Otero Junior College from La Junta, Colorado.

The Bucks beat Southwest Tennessee 79-61 to win the TCCAA tournament last week in Chattanooga, capping a 22-7 season that saw them finish second in the TCCAA regular season. Motlow was ranked as high as No. 6 in the NJCAA poll during the year, but fell out of the rankings towards the end of the season.

Otero finished ranked No. 15 in the nation. The Rattlers had a 29-4 record and received an at-large bid to the NJCAA tournament after losing their Region IX tournament championship game 86-78 to Western Nebraska.

The No. 14 seed is the same seed Motlow received last year, when the Bucks won two games and advanced to the final eight before falling to Eastern Florida State 65-45. Motlow won one game in its first trip to the NJCAA Tournament back in 2013, giving the program a 3-2 tournament record heading into its third appearance.

The Bucks are led in scoring by Murfreesboro's Isaiah Hart, who averaged 20.3 points per game while shooting 45.6 percent from behind the three-point line and making 87.4 percent of his free throw attempts. Hart also led the Bucks in assists, averaging 5.3 per game, and steals with 3.4 per contest. He was named to the first team All-TCCAA squad and was the Most Valuable Player at the TCCAA Tournament.

Rashawn Fredericks was named the Player of the Year in the TCCAA and joined Hart on the All-TCCAA first team. Fredericks, from Tampa, averaged a double-double on the season, scoring 17 points per game and pulling down 10.6 rebounds.

Kevonte Corley, from Antioch, was named second team All-TCCAA and came within a few points of averaging a double-double, scoring 9.8 points per game and pulling down 10 rebounds per contest. He was second on the team in steals with two per game.

Dillon Smith is Motlow's third double-digit scorer, averaging 10.6 points per game along with two steals. David Fraser joined Hart, Fredericks, Corley and Smith in the starting lineup for the majority of the season. The sophomore transfer who, like Smith is from Lexington, Tenn., averaged 5.6 points and 5.5 rebounds per game.

Leo Castillo, a redshirt freshman, evolved into Motlow's sixth man, averaging 6.9 points and three rebounds along with 1.5 assists and 1.2 steals per game. Kin Webster, Anthony Yarbrough, Derrick Rayford, Zaire Swaby, Hayden Edmondson, Chad Emmons and Justin Hill fill out the Motlow roster.

Otero is led by six double-digit scorers, with Josh McNair leading the way at 14.2 points per game. McNair is also the Rattlers leading rebounder with 6.9 per contest. Otero averages 86 points per game, shoots 51.5 percent from the field, 37.8 percent from three-point range, and makes 65.4 percent of their free throws while pulling down 44.3 rebounds per game.

The Bucks score 86.4 points per game, shoot 45 percent from the field and 36 percent from three-point range while making 73.6 percent of their free throws. Motlow grabs 45.6 rebounds per game and dishes out 14.4 assists.

The Bucks are led by first-year Head Coach Arthur Latham, who spent the last two seasons as an assistant coach at Motlow. Zach Holt is Latham's top assistant and is also in his third season with the Bucks. Nick Porter joined Latham's staff this season.

Brendan O'Connor is the head coach at Otero, in his second season leading the program after nine years as an assistant. Lucas Archuleta is in his second year as O'Connor's assistant coach.

Motlow Bucks
The Motlow Bucks, winners of their second consecutive TCCAA/Region VII Tournament championship, will travel to Hutchinson, Kansas, and compete in the NJCAA Tournament next week. Motlow, the No. 14 seed, will face No. 19 Otero Junior College on Tuesday at 10 a.m. CT. Seated, from left; Kevonte Corley, Leo Castillo, Rashawn Fredericks, Isaiah Hart, Dillon Smith, Derrick Rayford and Hayden Edmondson. Standing, from left: Josh Hernandez, Justin Hill, Kin Webster, David Fraser, Zaire Swaby, Chad Emmons, Anthony Yarbrough and Joelah Solomon.

Bucks claim 2nd straight TCCAA/Region VII title with 78-61 throttling of Southwest Tennessee

March 7, 2018

For the first time in school history, a Motlow athletic team claimed back-to-back state championships when the Motlow Bucks beat the Southwest Tennessee Saluqis 78-61 Tuesday afternoon in Chattanooga to win the TCCAA/Region VII Basketball Tournament title.

The Bucks (22-7) will now advance to the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) tournament in Hutchinson, Kansas. The tournament opens March 19, with the NJCAA announcing tournament seeding and brackets on March 12 at 11:30 a.m. on www.njcaatv.com.

Motlow entered the tournament as the No. 2 seed, while Southwest was No. 1. The Bucks opened tournament play by beating No. 7 Columbia State 92-61 on Saturday, then got past Cleveland State 62-52 in Monday's semifinal.

The tournament championship is the College's sixth in men's basketball and the third in the past six years. Motlow also won titles in 1973, 1982, 1984, 2013 and 2017. This year will be Motlow's third NJCAA tournament appearance, having gone 1-1 in 2013 and 2-1 last year, when they reached the final eight for the first time.

First-year Head Coach Arthur Latham has kept the Bucks on track despite multiple obstacles throughout the year, including losing two of his top players early in the season. Returning sophomore Javion Hamlet, a second team All-American last year, sat out the season with an injury, while 6-11 post player Nick Marshall, a transfer from the University of Memphis, played only four games before injuries suffered in an automobile accident ended his season.

But Latham, along with assistant coaches Zach Holt and Nick Porter, held the squad together around a nucleus of seven players; five sophomores and two redshirt freshmen, who experienced last year's championship and brought that experience to the locker room and to the playing floor this season.

Isaiah Hart, who was named TCCAA/Region VII Tournament MVP, along with regular season TCCAA Player of the Year Rashawn Fredericks, second team All-Conference selection Kevonte Corley, Dillon Smith and Chad Emmons all played critical roles in last year's title. Leo Castillo and Kin Webster were redshirts last year and became key ingredients in Latham's rotation this year.

Transfer sophomore David Fraser stepped into the starting post position when Marshall went down and has been a solid contributor all season. Freshmen Derrick Rayford, Anthony Yarbrough, Zaire Swaby, Hayden Edmondson and Justin Hill have each played critical minutes and successfully filled their roles, an important ingredient on any championship team.

The Bucks were never seriously threatened in any of their three wins during the TCCAA/Region VII Tournament. Their dismantling of Columbia State on Saturday saw Motlow hit 14-32 three pointers and force the Chargers into 19 turnovers. Hart had 21 points and four assists, Corley scored 16 with 11 rebounds, Fredericks had 10 points, five boards and four assists, and Yarbrough hit 7-7 free throws and scored 11.

Monday's win over Cleveland was somewhat methodical, with the Bucks holding a slight advantage for most of the game before extending their lead to double digits at the end. Motlow didn't shoot exceptionally well, only 43 percent from the field, although the Bucks hit 7-19 three pointers. Once again the defense was tenacious, forcing the Cougars into 16 turnovers.

Fredericks led the way with 17 points, while Hart scored 16 and added six rebounds and four steals. Corley notched a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds, and Castillo hit a pair of three pointers and scored 10 points.
Tuesday's championship game saw the Bucks come out of the gate fast and never let up. Motlow hit four 3-pointers in the first eight minutes to grab a 21-14 lead. A 9-2 run increased the lead to 30-16 with 8:25 remaining in the first half. The Saluqis, who entered the game ranked No. 18 in the nation, gathered themselves and cut the Motlow lead to 39-30 at intermission.

Southwest Tennessee closed the gap to 50-43 with 11 minutes to play, but it was as close as the Saluqis would get as the Bucks finished the game on a 28-18 run. Hart, who is Motlow's all-time leader in steals, was the sparkplug as he stole the ball and scored on layups on two straight possessions. Fredericks closed the door on any Southwest comeback hopes with a long three pointer with 3:42 to go, giving Motlow its biggest lead at 73-50.

The Bucks didn't shoot exceptionally well from the field, connecting on only 38.7 percent of their shots and 9-27 three pointers. However, Motlow was on target at the free throw line, hitting 21-23, including Corley 8-8 and Hart and Fredericks 5-5 each. The Bucks forced the Saluqis into an amazing 31 turnovers.

Hart led five double-digit scorers with 19 points and added five assists and five steals. Fredericks scored 14 with five rebounds and four steals, Corley had 12 points with 10 rebounds and four steals, Castillo scored 11, including 3-4 three pointers, and added five rebounds, and Fraser had 10 points with four rebounds and three steals. Webster added seven points, Smith three and Emmons scored two.

Motlow Bucks
The Motlow State Bucks celebrate their TCCAA/Region VII Tournament men's basketball championship Tuesday afternoon following a 78-61 win over Southwest Tennessee at Chattanooga State Community College in Chattanooga. It is the second consecutive championship for the Bucks, and earns them a spot in the upcoming NJCAA national tournament, which begins March 19 in Hutchinson, Kansas.

Motlow sophomore Isaiah Hart named TCCAA/Region VII Tournament Most Valuable Player

March 9, 2018

Isaiah Hart
Motlow State sophomore Isaiah Hart was recently named the Most Valuable Player at the TCCAA/Region VII Tournament held in Chattanooga. Hart led the Bucks to the conference championship and a berth in the NJCAA tournament by averaging 18.6 points, 3.7 assists and 3.3 steals in Motlow's three tournament wins. Hart, from Murfreesboro, was named first team All-Conference and set Motlow all-time career records for steals (225) and three-point baskets made (183). In addition, Hart has scored 1,056 points in his Motlow career, the eighth most in school history. Pictured with Hart is Dr. Rebecca Ashford, president of Chattanooga State Community College, left, and Hilda Tunstill, interim president of Motlow State.

Motlow sophomore Rashawn Fredericks named TCCAA/Region VII Player of the Year

March 8, 2018

Rashawn Fredericks
Motlow State Community College sophomore Rashawn Fredericks was recently named the TCCAA/Region VII regular season Player of the Year at the conference tournament held in Chattanooga. Fredericks, from Tampa, was also named first team All-Conference after averaging 17 points, 10.6 rebounds, one assist and 1.7 steals per game and leading the Bucks to the TCCAA/Region VII Tournament championship and a berth in the NJCAA national tournament. Fredericks has 946 career points, eighth all-time at Motlow, and 658 rebounds, which is third all-time. He completed a rare sweep of awards during his career after being named the TCCAA/Region VII Freshman of the Year last season.

Bucks open TCCAA/Region VII Tournament play Saturday as No. 2 seed

Feb. 28, 2018

The Motlow Bucks will open TCCAA/Region VII Tournament play on Saturday when they face the winner of the Columbia State/Dyersburg State game at 6 p.m. Eastern at Chattanooga State Community College in Chattanooga.

The Bucks (19-7, 13-5) ended their regular season with a split earlier this week in east Tennessee. Motlow beat Roane State 89-74 Monday night in Harriman, then traveled to Morristown and fell to Walters State 78-60.

Motlow is the No. 2 seed in the tournament, with Southwest Tennessee slotted at No. 1. The Columbia/Dyersburg game is a play-in game between the No. 7 and No. 10 teams, respectively. If the Bucks win Saturday they would advance to the semifinals on Monday at 4 p.m., where they would face the winner of the Chattanooga State/Cleveland State contest.

The Bucks used a strong second half to pull away from Roane State Monday in Harriman after leading only 41-38 at the intermission. The Raiders had upset the Bucks earlier this month at Copperweld Arena, but Motlow got its revenge by winning the final 20 minutes 48-36.

The Bucks shot 52.5 percent from the field, including 7-21 three pointers, and nailed 20-23 free-throw attempts. Motlow won the rebounding battle by a staggering 42-22 and had 23 assists on 31 made shots while forcing 22 turnovers.

Isaiah Hart led all scorers with 29 points on 10-16 shooting, including 5-8 three pointers. Hart also had six assists, four steals and three rebounds. Rashawn Fredericks had a double-double with 13 points and 14 rebounds, and David Fraser scored 12 points and hauled in eight rebounds.

Tuesday in Morristown the Bucks let a 12-point lead with 12 minutes remaining slip away, keeping them from winning 20 games in the regular season for the fourth straight year. After leading 36-31 at the half and increasing their lead to 12, the Bucks couldn't hang as the Senators paraded to the free-throw line. Motlow shot only 35 percent from the field and went to the free-throw line only nine times, making seven.

Hart again led all scorers with 26 points, but was the only player in double figures for the Bucks. Kevonte Corley, Fredericks and Fraser each had 10 rebounds, but they were a combined 7-26 from the field.

Bracket

Motlow Bucks host Jackson, Columbia State this week in final home games

Feb. 19, 2018

Despite 36 points and 10 rebounds from sophomore Rashawn Fredericks, the Motlow Bucks fell out of first place in the TCCAA men's basketball standings for the first time this season when they dropped a 93-85 decision to Southwest Tennessee Saturday afternoon in Memphis. Earlier in the week the Bucks blew out Dyersburg State 102-64 in Dyersburg.

The Bucks (17-5, 11-3) have now lost three of their past five games, relinquishing that top spot in the standings to Southwest Tennessee after Saturday's result. The Saluqis (19-3, 12-2) now have the upper hand for the top seed in the upcoming TCCAA/Region VII Tournament, which begins March 2 at Chattanooga State.

Motlow will host Jackson State at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, then close out the home portion of their schedule with a visit from Columbia State at 2 p.m. Saturday. Motlow will hold a recognition ceremony for its sophomores between games on Saturday.

The Bucks were forced to play catch-up the rest of the game Saturday after the Saluqis went on a 19-2 run midway through the first half. The game was tied 21-21 with 11:45 left in the half, and by the time the clock reached 6:25, the Saluqis led 40-23. Motlow closed the gap to five points in the final five minutes, but the home team held on to get the win.

Fredericks continued what has been a spectacular sophomore season, hitting 11-17 shots from the field and 12-15 free throws. His 36 points is tied for the fourteenth most points ever scored by a Motlow men's basketball player in a game.

The Bucks as a team were splendid at the free-throw line, connecting on 28-31 attempts. However, Motlow was only 7-32 from three-point range and shot only 34 percent from the field. Southwest, meanwhile, hit 57 percent of its shots, including 9-23 three pointers. The Saluqis won the rebounding battle 43-31 and Motlow had only 12 assists to 22 for Southwest.

Isaiah Hart scored 22 points and added eight assists and six steals for the Bucks, while Kevonte Corley scored eight with 10 rebounds, Leo Castillo had nine points, and David Fraser scored seven.

The Bucks enjoyed a much easier time of it Wednesday night in beating Dyersburg State, which has yet to win a conference game. The Bucks shot 44 percent from the field and hit 13 three-pointers. Motlow had 28 assists on 36 made baskets and turned the ball over only 10 times.

Dillon Smith led a balanced scoring attack with 20 points and added four assists and three steals. Hart, Fredericks and Fraser each had 16 points, with Fredericks adding eight rebounds and Hart contributing eight assists and six steals. Corley had a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds and Kin Webster scored eight points with eight rebounds.

Following Saturday's final home game against Columbia State, the Bucks will have a quick turnaround as they travel to Roane State Monday and Walters State Tuesday. The games were originally scheduled for Jan. 12 and 13, but were postponed due to inclement weather.

Motlow Bucks
Sophomore Rashawn Fredericks prepares to drive to the basket during a game earlier this season at Copperweld Arena. Fredericks scored 36 points and added 10 rebounds Saturday as the Motlow Bucks dropped a 93-85 decision to Southwest Tennessee in Memphis. The Bucks will host Jackson State Wednesday and Columbia State Saturday to close out the home portion of the 2017-18 season. Jeff Reed Photography.

Bucks celebrate homecoming with rout of Walters State, head west for TCCAA showdown

Feb. 12, 2018

After dropping two consecutive conference games, the No. 13 Motlow Bucks took out their frustration on visiting Walters State Saturday afternoon, handing the Senators an 86-48 thumping in front of a large, loud homecoming crowd at Copperweld Arena.

The Bucks (16-4, 10-2) were upset at home Friday night 84-73 by Roane State. Motlow will travel to Dyersburg State on Wednesday, then to Memphis Saturday where they will face Southwest Tennessee (17-3, 10-2). The Saluqis and Bucks are tied atop the TCCAA standings, with Motlow winning the first matchup 83-67 at Copperweld Arena.

Motlow could never seem to get untracked Friday night as the Roane State Raiders' defense kept the Bucks out of rhythm for 40 minutes. Roane led the entire first half, which ended with the Raiders on top 38-28. The Bucks pulled even multiple times in the second half, including tying the game at 61-61 with 6:28 remaining, but the visitors went on a 14-6 run over the next four minutes to put the game away.

Kevonte Corley led the Bucks with 20 points and 12 rebounds and added two blocked shots and two steals. Isaiah Hart scored 19 with seven assists and four steals, and Dillon Smith added 13 points. The Bucks shot 44 percent from the field and hit 8-24 three pointers, but turned the ball over 14 times and only had eight assists.

Saturday the Bucks looked much more familiar. After a competitive first half that ended with Motlow leading 34-20, the Motlow offense exploded for 52 points in the second half and ran away from the visiting Senators. The Bucks shot 45.6 percent from the floor, including hitting 11-29 three pointers, and made 13-17 free throws. Motlow dished out 20 assists on its 31 made field goals, and only turned the ball over nine times.

Hart led four double-digit scorers with 21 points, eight assists and six steals. Rashawn Fredericks got back into the double-double column with 15 points, 11 rebounds and three blocked shots. Smith added 12 points and Anthony Yarbrough came off the bench to score 11 with three rebounds. Corley scored eight points and led the team with 15 rebounds, while David Fraser scored six points with five rebounds and three assists.

Motlow Bucks
Motlow State sophomore Isaiah Hart drives to the basket during the Bucks' 86-48 win over Walters State at Copperweld Arena Saturday afternoon. Hart, from Murfreesboro, led the Bucks with 21 points, eight assists and six steals. He leads the TCCAA conference in steals, averaging three per game, and is second in scoring at 21 points per contest. Hart is Motlow's all-time single season and career leader in steals, with 125 and 185, respectively. Jeff Reed Photography.

No. 13 Bucks prepare to welcome TCCAA opponents for Homecoming, Hall of Fame ceremony

Feb. 7, 2018

The Motlow Bucks will look to rebound from their first TCCAA conference loss when they host a pair of conference opponents this weekend at Copperweld Arena. Roane State visits Friday at 5:30 p.m. and Walters State will be the opposition Saturday at 2 p.m.

Saturday is also homecoming at Motlow, and the queen and king will be crowned at approximately 4:30 p.m. during halftime of the women's contest, which begins at 4 p.m. At halftime of the men's game, former Motlow basketball great Bob Martin will be inducted into the TCCAA Hall of Fame by conference commissioner Dr. Foster Chason.

The Bucks (15-3, 9-1) traveled to Cleveland last Friday night and escaped with a 77-68 win, despite one of their lowest offensive outputs of the season. On Saturday, Motlow played perhaps its worst game of the year, suffering an 81-66 defeat at the hands of Chattanooga State in Chattanooga. The loss dropped the Bucks in the NJCAA poll from No. 6 to No. 13.

Both Roane State (13-8, 6-4) and Walters State (15-6, 7-4) have won seven of their previous 10 games and are looking to raise their seeding position heading into next month's TCCAA tournament, which will be held in Chattanooga. The Bucks are currently seeded first, one game ahead of Southwest Tennessee and two games ahead of Chattanooga State. Roane is fourth and Walters is fifth, respectively.

In Cleveland Friday, the Bucks were in control much of the contest although they could never pull away from the scrappy Cougars. Motlow led 39-35 at the half, and their dominance on the boards and ability to get steals helped put the game away in the second half. The Bucks won the rebounding battle 50-35 and notched 14 steals.

Rashawn Fredericks had a double-double with 21 points and 13 rebounds along with three blocked shots and two steals. Isaiah Hart had 20 points, six assists and five steals, and Dillon Smith scored 10 with six rebounds, two assists and two steals. David Fraser added seven points, 11 rebounds and three steals while Leo Castillo had six points, eight rebounds and two steals.

In Chattanooga on Saturday the Bucks struggled to put the ball in the basket, while the Tigers put on an outstanding shooting performance in surging to a 50-38 halftime advantage. Motlow connected on only 33 percent of its shots from the field, including 7-34 three pointers, while Chattanooga State shot 55 percent from the field and hit 8-20 from three. The Bucks won the rebounding battle 38-29, but had only six assists while turning the ball over 12 times.

Fredericks continued to be extremely consistent, scoring 21 points with 14 rebounds and three blocks. He leads the TCCAA averaging 11.9 rebounds per game and is third in scoring at 17.6. Hart scored 16 and had four assists and two steals, while Fraser added 12 points with nine rebounds. Kevonte Corley scored eight points and pulled down 10 rebounds.

Motlow Bucks
Motlow State sophomore Rashawn Fredericks drives to the basket during a recent contest at Copperweld Arena. Fredericks combined for 42 points, 27 rebounds, six blocked shots and four steals as the Bucks split a pair of weekend road games. Fredericks, from Tampa, leads the TCCAA averaging 11.9 rebounds per game and is third in scoring at 17.6. Jeff Reed Photography.

No. 9 Bucks ambush Pioneers, prepare for challenging road trip

Jan. 29, 2018

The Motlow Bucks spotted visiting Volunteer State an early 9-2 lead, then went on a 26-8 run over the next eight minutes on their way to a 106-77 win over their closest TCCAA rival Saturday afternoon in front of the season's largest crowd at Copperweld Arena.

The Bucks (14-2, 8-0) strengthened their hold on the top spot in the TCCAA standings with the victory. Motlow will travel this coming weekend, facing two teams that are in the top half of the conference standings. The Bucks face Cleveland State (10-8, 6-5) Friday and Chattanooga State (11-7, 7-3) on Saturday.

Sophomore Rashawn Fredericks continued his push for conference player of the year consideration with a double-double, scoring 20 points and pulling down 23 rebounds along with four blocked shots. His rebound total is tied for the fifth most in a single game in school history. Fredericks, who was the TCCAA Freshman of the Year last season, leads the league in rebounding with an 11.7 per-game average and is fourth in scoring at 17.1 points per game.

The Bucks shot the ball well from all areas of the court Saturday, hitting 53 percent of their field goals and 37.5 percent of their three-point shots. Free throw shooting was splendid as well, as Motlow made 22-26 from the charity stripe. The Bucks pulled down 51 rebounds and only turned the ball over six times.

Hayden Edmondson continued to provide Motlow a scoring spark off the bench, connecting on 9-11 field goals, including 4-5 three pointers, and leading the team with 22 points. He is second in the TCCAA in shooting percentage at 51.5 percent. Leo Castillo scored 18 and pulled down four rebounds, Isaiah Hart had a double-double with 12 points and 10 assists, and Dillon Smith scored 12 with three steals.

Justin Hill added six points and three rebounds, Anthony Yarbrough scored five with seven rebounds, Chad Emmons had five points and five rebounds, Zaire Swaby scored four with seven rebounds and Derrick Rayford added two points.

Motlow Bucks
Motlow State freshman Hayden Edmondson, shown during a recent home game, led the Bucks with 22 points during Saturday's 106-77 win over Volunteer State at Copperweld Arena. Edmondson, who played his high school basketball at Cascade, connected on 9-11 shots, including 4-5 three pointers. He is second in shooting percentage in the TCCAA conference at 51.5 percent. Jeff Reed Photography.

'Fab Four' leads No. 9 Bucks past No. 25 Southwest Tennessee

Jan. 22, 2018

Motlow State sophomores Kevonte Corley, Dillon Smith, Rashawn Fredericks and Isaiah Hart combined for 68 points, 37 rebounds and eight steals to lead the No. 9-ranked Bucks to an 83-67 win over No. 25 Southwest Tennessee at Copperweld Arena Saturday.

The Bucks (13-2, 7-0) continue to sit alone at the top of the Tennessee Community College Athletic Association (TCCAA) standings following a pair of conference wins over the weekend. The night before they beat the Saluqis, Motlow steamrolled visiting TCCAA rival Dyersburg State 110-59.

Motlow will finish off its home stand by hosting rival Volunteer State on Saturday, with tipoff scheduled for 2 p.m. The following weekend the Bucks will travel to Chattanooga State and Cleveland State.

Saturday's win against Southwest, coached by former Motlow head coach and athletic director Jerry Nichols, was typical of recent contests between the two powerhouses; physical, close and competitive.

Motlow trailed 22-15 halfway through the first half before Fredericks hit a three pointer and three free throws to close the gap to 22-21. Hart was fouled on a three-point attempt and also hit all three free throws as the half ended with the Bucks leading 40-35.

Motlow never trailed in the second half, and the closest Southwest could get was within two, 60-58, with six minutes left to play. Leo Castillo got an offensive rebound put-back and Hart hit a long three pointer to put Motlow back up by nine. The Saluqis closed the gap to five with 2:18 remaining before Corley drove to the bucket, made the layup, got fouled, and sank the free throw. The Bucks then pulled away in the final two minutes.

Fredericks had 20 points and 11 rebounds, Corley scored 19 with 13 boards and two blocks, Hart had 19 points with four assists, four steals and five rebounds, and Smith scored 10 with eight rebounds and three steals. Castillo added eight points and nine rebounds, while Anthony Yarbrough scored five with six boards.

The Bucks enjoyed one of their most productive games at the free throw line, sinking 21-24 opportunities while Southwest only hit 15-23. The Saluqis won the rebounding battle 55-40, but Motlow dished out 15 assists and collected 11 steals, while Southwest only had six assists and forced only two steals.

Friday night's win over Dyersburg State was a completely different story as the Bucks dominated the action from start to finish, leading at halftime 52-16. Six players scored in double figures for Motlow and every available player put points into the scorebook.

Hart led the way with a double-double, scoring 24 points and dishing out a season-high 10 assists along with four steals. Hayden Edmondson had his best game as a Buck, scoring 16 points, including hitting 3-4 from three-point range, while also adding four steals. Smith had 16 points and four steals and dished out five assists.

Castillo added 12 points, while Zaire Swaby and Corley each had 11. Both Swaby and Corley logged double-doubles though, with Corley snatching 13 rebounds and Swaby 10. Fredericks scored nine points and had 11 rebounds, Justin Hill added six points with four boards, Kin Webster scored three with four rebounds, and Chad Emmons had two points and four boards.

Motlow Bucks
Motlow State sophomore Kevonte Corley scored 19 points and pulled down 13 rebounds to lead the No. 9 Bucks to an 83-67 win over No. 25 Southwest Tennessee Saturday afternoon at Copperweld Arena. Corley also had a double-double, scoring 11 points with 13 rebounds, Friday night as the Bucks beat Dyersburg State 110-59. Motlow will host Volunteer State Saturday at 2 p.m. Jeff Reed Photography.

No. 7 Motlow Bucks split in Missouri, jump back into TCCAA play this weekend

Jan. 9, 2018

After three weeks off for the holidays, the Motlow Bucks split a pair of games in Missouri over the weekend and will jump back into TCCAA conference play Friday with a trip to Harriman to face Roane State.

The Bucks (11-2, 5-0) are ranked No. 7 in the latest NJCAA poll. Motlow traveled to West Plains, Missouri, over the weekend, falling to No. 24 Missouri State-West Plains 94-82 Friday, then beating Nationwide Academy 111-75 Saturday.

Now that the season has turned over the 2018 calendar, men's teams will play the first game of all remaining TCCAA men/women doubleheaders. Friday the Bucks and Raiders will tip off at 4:30 p.m. central time, with the women's contest to follow. Saturday, Motlow will travel to Walters State in Morristown, with the Bucks and Senators set to tip at 1 p.m. central.

The Bucks' two losses have both come on the road to ranked teams, and Friday's loss to West Plains resembled the early season loss at No. 1 Northwest Florida State in that the Bucks did not shoot the ball well while the home team did.

Motlow shot too many three pointers and didn't make near enough, connecting on only 9-34 for 26.5 percent. The Bucks made only 42 percent of their shots from the field and hit 9-17 free throws. With only four assists on 32 made shots, statistics show the Bucks did not share the ball especially well.

Isaiah Hart led all Motlow scorers with 26 points on 11-19 shooting and added four steals and three rebounds. Rashawn Fredericks added to his double-double streak, scoring 17 points with 14 rebounds. Kevonte Corley also secured a double-double, scoring 13 points with 10 rebounds, five steals and two assists.

Dillon Smith had six points and two rebounds, Anthony Yarbrough scored six and added two boards, Derrick Rayford had five points, and Hayden Edmondson hit a three pointer and grabbed a pair of steals.

Saturday's win over Nationwide Academy featured a strong shooting performance and much better ball movement for the Bucks. Motlow led 44-26 at the half and pulled away in the final 20 minutes. The Bucks shot 57 percent from the field, hit 14-29 three pointers and 25-37 free throws, and dished out 14 assists with 15 steals.

Hart, a sophomore from Murfreesboro who leads the Bucks in scoring with a 21 points-per-game average, led the way with 24 points, seven assists, four steals and three rebounds. Smith added 23 points on 6-9 three-point shooting and had two steals, and Leo Castillo had his best game as a Buck, just missing a double-double with 18 points, nine rebounds, three assists and two steals.

Yarbrough broke into double figures with 11 points and five rebounds, Kin Webster scored 10, Corley had six points and 12 rebounds, Edmondson scored six with two assists, Chad Emmons had five points and four rebounds, Justin Hill scored five with five rebounds and three steals, and Zaire Swaby scored three points and had five rebounds.

Motlow Bucks
Motlow State redshirt-freshman Leo Castillo, shown driving to the basket in a game earlier this season, scored 18 points and pulled down nine rebounds during the Bucks' 111-75 win over Nationwide Academy Saturday in West Plains, Missouri. Castillo and the Bucks will travel to Harriman to face TCCAA rival Roane State on Friday, then visit Morristown and Walters State Saturday. Jeff Reed Photography.

Isaiah Hart scores 32 as No. 7 Bucks head into holiday break with rout of Snead State

Dec. 13, 2017

Sophomore Isaiah Hart hit six 3-pointers and scored 32 points to lead the Motlow Bucks to a 96-62 defeat of the Snead State Parsons on Snead's home court in Boaz, Ala., Monday night.

The Bucks (10-1, 5-0) have won eight consecutive games but will not play again for over three weeks. Their next scheduled contest is Friday, Jan. 5, 2018, when they travel to West Plains, Missouri for a pair of games. Motlow will play the host school, Missouri West Plains, on Friday and Nationwide Academy on Saturday.

The Bucks end the first half of the season ranked No. 7 in the latest National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) poll, and lead the Tennessee Community College Athletic Association (TCCAA) conference standings with a 5-0 record.

Motlow was never seriously challenged in Boaz, jumping out to a 41-32 halftime advantage. As they have done all season, the Bucks shot the ball very well, connecting on 52.4 percent of their shots from the field and 39.3 percent of their three pointers.

Hart hit 6-9 from three-point range and 12-17 from the field against the Parsons. The Murfreesboro sophomore averages 20.4 points per game and is shooting 52 percent from behind the three-point line. He also added three assists, two steals and two rebounds. He is second in the TCCAA in scoring, fourth is assists and fifth in steals. He leads the state in three-point field goal percentage and is second in free throw percentage, hitting over 90 percent from the charity stripe.

Motlow's Rashawn Fredericks continued his recent string of double-doubles, scoring 10 points and hauling in 14 rebounds. Kevonte Corley was one point shy of a double-double himself, scoring nine points with 14 rebounds, and Derrick Rayford also flirted with a double-double by adding eight assists to his 11 point production.

Dillon Smith added eight points, four rebounds and three steals; David Fraser scored seven points and had five rebounds and three steals; Anthony Yarbrough had five points and added four rebounds; and Zaire Swaby and Chad Emmons each scored four points.

Following their trip to Missouri in early January, the Bucks will step back into TCCAA play with a trip to East Tennessee, facing Roane State in Harriman on Jan. 12, and Walters State in Morristown Jan. 13. Motlow will finally return to Copperweld Arena when it hosts Dyersburg State at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 19.

Motlow Bucks
Motlow State sophomore Isaiah Hart absorbs contact on his way to the basket in Motlow's recent home win over Chattanooga State. Hart is averaging over 20 points per game for the Bucks and leads the state in three-point shooting at 52 percent. He scored 32 points, including 6-9 three pointers, in Motlow's 96-62 road win over Snead State Monday night. Jeff Reed Photography.

Sophomore Rashawn Fredericks leads Motlow Bucks to three home wins in four days

Dec. 4, 2017

Sophomore Rashawn Fredericks recorded three double-doubles, giving him six in his team's previous seven games, to lead the Motlow Bucks to victory in three consecutive home games last week at Copperweld Arena. Motlow will play its final game before the holiday break when it travels to Boaz, Ala., to face Snead State on Monday, Dec. 11. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

Motlow opened the week by beating Georgia Highlands 97-71 Wednesday. The Bucks followed that with a pair of Tennessee Community College Athletic Association (TCCAA) wins, beating Cleveland State 84-66 Friday night and Chattanooga State 96-66 Saturday afternoon. Motlow stands alone on top of the TCCAA men's basketball standings as the only team without a conference defeat.

The Bucks (9-1, 5-0) were ranked No. 9 in the nation in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) preseason poll. The first regular season poll is scheduled to be released this week, and all indications point to Motlow at least holding its preseason ranking if not moving up a couple of spots. Fredericks will also be a strong candidate for national player of the week honors.

It was the second win of the season over Georgia Highlands, the nation's No. 18-ranked team in the preseason poll, with the Bucks beating the Chargers 79-60 in Rome to open the season Nov. 1.

Fredericks was spectacular Wednesday night, scoring the first 11 points of the game and finishing with 33 points and 13 rebounds along with three steals and a blocked shot. Motlow blistered the nets, shooting 56 percent from the field, including 8-21 three pointers, and hit 23 of its 28 free throw attempts. The Bucks led 41-31 at halftime and were never really threatened in any of the three home court wins.

Isaiah Hart scored 19 points, hitting 3-5 three pointers, and dished out four assists with two steals. Kevonte Corley barely missed a double-double with nine points, nine rebounds, three steals and two blocked shots. David Fraser scored eight points with seven rebounds and three assists, and Dillon Smith had four points, five rebounds, two assists and three steals.

Motlow also got excellent bench contributions from Anthony Yarbrough, who scored seven points with six rebounds; Kin Webster with six points, three rebounds and three assists; and Hayden Edmondson who hit a three pointer and dished out three assists.

The most competitive of the three home games was Friday night against Cleveland State. Although the Bucks led the entire game, including 42-32 at halftime, the Cougars kept the margin around 10 points until the final minutes. Motlow hit 11-26 three pointers, 42.3 percent, and held the Cougars to 35 percent shooting from the field. Motlow dominated the battle of the boards, outrebounding the visitors 57-41.

Hart hit a big basket whenever Cleveland State would begin to make a run, and he led all scorers with 30 points including nailing 11-12 free throws. Hart, who leads the team averaging 19 points and five assists per game, dished out eight dimes against the Chargers and added four rebounds and three steals.

Fredericks scored 22 with 15 rebounds and four blocked shots, while Smith added 17 points and had four rebounds and three steals. Corley was a beast on the boards, leading the Bucks with 16 rebounds while scoring eight points and blocking three shots.

The 'Fantastic Four' of Hart, Fredericks, Corley and Smith fought through the fatigue of playing three games in four days and once again led the Bucks to their dominating win over Chattanooga State Saturday. Motlow was never challenged, leading 44-26 at halftime and connecting on 12-27 three-point shots for the game.

Smith took the scoring honors against the Tigers, hitting 4-6 three-point shots and scoring 24 points. Fredericks scored 16 with 11 rebounds, three blocks and three steals; Hart scored 14 with five assists and two steals; and Corley had eight points and 11 rebounds. Zaire Swaby added seven points and a pair of rebounds, Leo Castillo had five points and three rebounds, and Chad Emmons scored four points with four boards.

Following Monday's contest against Snead State, the Bucks will break for the holidays. Their next contest will be Jan. 5, 2018, when they travel to West Plains, Missouri, for a pair of games. The next home game is Friday, Jan. 19, with Dyersburg State visiting for a 5:30 p.m. tipoff.

Motlow Bucks
The Motlow Bucks have opened the season by winning nine of their first 10 games and jumping to the top of the Tennessee Community College Athletic Association standings with five straight conference wins. The Bucks are coached by, left to right, Zach Holt, assistant; Arthur Latham, head coach; and Nick Porter, assistant. Jeff Reed Photography.

No. 9 Bucks stay unbeaten in conference play, host No. 18 Georgia Highlands Nov. 29

Nov. 20, 2017

The Motlow Bucks won the rebounding battle 52-24 and remained unbeaten in TCCAA conference play with a 92-74 win over Volunteer State Saturday afternoon in Gallatin. The win came on the heels of Wednesday's 99-63 dismantling of the Cumberland University JV in the home opener at Copperweld Arena.

The Bucks (6-1, 3-0), ranked No. 9 in the preseason NJCAA poll, will next step outside the conference when they host No. 18 Georgia Highlands at 6 p.m. on Nov. 29. Motlow opened the season with a 79-60 win over the Chargers Nov. 1 in Rome, Ga.

Motlow sophomore Rashawn Fredericks recorded the third double-double in his last four games against the Pioneers, scoring 22 points and grabbing 12 rebounds. That followed a 20-point, nine-rebound performance against the Cumberland JV. Fredericks is averaging 15.4 points and 9.1 rebounds per game.

The Bucks and Pioneers were tied at nine after five minutes of play, but Motlow took the lead for good soon after and surged to 33-24 lead with six minutes left in the half. Play was stopped just before the half as the lights went out in the Volunteer State gym, and when play resumed Motlow nailed a three pointer to take a 48-38 lead into the locker room.

The Bucks could not pull away from the Pioneers until the final minutes, leading by only eight with eight minutes remaining, but Motlow outscored Volunteer State 21-11 in the final eight minutes to secure the 18-point victory. The Bucks shot 48 percent from the field, including 39 percent from three-point range and connected on 16-20 free throws.

Isaiah Hart scored 20 points and added four assists and two steals, Leo Castillo had 12 points with six rebounds, three assists and two steals, and Kevonte Corley led the Bucks in rebounds with 14 and scored 10 points with three steals. Volunteer State’s George Stanberry led all scorers with 37 points.

Every player on the active roster got into the scoring column against the Cumberland JV on Wednesday, led by Fredericks' 20 points and Hart's 19, with Hart dishing out seven assists and securing three steals. Freshman Hayden Edmondson broke into double figures for the first time in his young career with 12 points, hitting 4-5 three pointers. Corley and Castillo each had eight points, with Corley adding nine rebounds, two assists and two steals, and Castillo three rebounds and three assists.

Derrick Rayford has seven points, three assists and two steals, Kin Webster scored six with five rebounds, Zaire Swaby had four points and three rebounds, while Justin Hill added four points and five boards. David Fraser, Anthony Yarbrough and Chad Emmons each scored two, with Fraser getting seven rebounds and Emmons four.

The Bucks will jump back into TCCAA action when they host Cleveland State at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 1. The first conference back-to-back weekend will conclude the following day, with Chattanooga State visiting Copperweld Arena for a 4 p.m. tipoff. Both conference contests will follow women's action, which begins two hours prior to the men's game. Neither Motlow team will play another home game until Jan. 19, 2018, when they host Dyersburg State.

Motlow Bucks
Motlow sophomore Rashawn Fredericks goes high for the slam dunk during the Bucks' 99-63 home opening win over the Cumberland University JV at Copperweld Arena Wednesday night. Fredericks scored 20 points with nine rebounds against the Phoenix, then followed that with a 22-point, 12-rebound performance in a 92-74 Motlow win over Volunteer State Saturday in Gallatin. Jeff Reed Photography.

Bucks sweep conference road trip, host home opener Wednesday night

Nov. 13, 2017

Sophomores Isaiah Hart, Rashawn Fredericks and Dillon Smith combined for 119 points, 34 rebounds, nine assists and 10 steals to lead the Motlow Bucks to a pair of Tennessee Community College Athletic Association (TCCAA) road wins as they opened conference play this past weekend.

The Bucks (4-1, 2-0) traveled to Jackson and beat Jackson State 86-70 Friday night, then followed that with a thrilling 99-95 win over Columbia State Saturday afternoon in Columbia. Motlow, ranked No. 9 in the nation in the NJCAA preseason poll, will play its first home game Wednesday night, hosting the Cumberland University JV team at 7:30 p.m. at Copperweld Arena. There is no admission charge.

Hart led the scoring Friday night with 22 points, shooting 6-11 from the field and 7-8 from the free throw line, while adding a pair of steals and two rebounds. The Bucks led by only three points, 36-33, at the half, but started the second half strong and pulled away from the Generals.

Fredericks, who averaged a double-double last season and is on almost the exact same pace, scored 13 points with 13 rebounds. Freshman Derrick Rayford came off the bench to score 11 and led the team with three assists, and Smith scored nine points. Sophomore Kevonte Corley added nine points and seven rebounds.

Saturday's contest in Columbia was considerably more competitive. The Bucks started fast once again, led by three pointers from Hart and Smith, jumping out to a 22-16 lead midway through the first half. Columbia surged as the first half ended, taking their first lead with one minute remaining, but the Bucks went into the locker room leading 43-42.

The second half began like the first half ended, with Motlow leading by only one point, 62-61, with 12 minutes to play. The Bucks then went on a 15-6 run during the next four minutes, keyed by three pointers from Hart and Fredericks, and the Chargers got no closer than the final four point margin.

Hart scored 31 points on 8-14 shooting, including 5-8 from the three point line, and connected on all 10 of his free throws. The dynamic Murfreesboro native added six assists, four rebounds and three steals.

Fredericks scored 24 with 10 rebounds, four steals and two blocked shots before fouling out with four minutes remaining. Smith, who is averaging 15 points and almost five rebounds per game, scored 20 points on 5-7 three-point shooting, adding four rebounds and two assists.

Leo Castillo played critical minutes for Motlow off the bench, scoring 12 and adding three steals. It was Castillo in the final minutes who had a pair of steals and led the Bucks to fast break baskets, keeping the home team chasing Motlow despite the loss of Fredericks, Corley and David Fraser, who each fouled out.

Motlow Bucks
Motlow sophomore Rashawn Fredericks (10 in white) battles for a rebound during the Bucks' 99-95 win over Columbia State in Columbia Saturday. Motlow will play its first home game Wednesday, when it hosts the Cumberland University JV at 7:30 p.m. in Copperweld Arena. Motlow State photo.

Motlow Bucks take 2-1 record into TCCAA opener Friday at Jackson State

Nov. 6, 2017

After earning a split at the Quality Inn Classic in Niceville, Fla., the Motlow Bucks will open Tennessee Community College Athletic Association (TCCAA) play when they travel to Jackson to face the Jackson State Generals on Friday, Nov. 10, at 7:30 p.m. The game will follow the women's opener, scheduled to tip off at 5:30 p.m.

The Bucks (2-1) cruised in their first game in Niceville Friday night, handing Lincoln Trail, Illinois, a 95-48 defeat. Saturday the Bucks, ranked No. 9 in the preseason National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) poll, dropped an 81-64 decision to the host team, Northwest Florida State, ranked No. 2 in the preseason. Motlow opened the 2017-18 campaign with a 79-60 win over No. 18 Georgia Highlands last Wednesday.

Isaiah Hart led four double-digit scorers with 21 points against Lincoln Trail. Hart connected on 5-6 three-point shots and 7-10 shots from the field. The Murfreesboro sophomore also added three rebounds, four assists and three steals.

All 14 players who dressed got into the scorebook as the Bucks surged to a 48-22 halftime lead. Motlow shot 51.4 percent from the floor, including 44.8 percent from behind the three point line and connecting on all six of its free throw attempts.

Derrick Rayford scored 13 and added three assists and two steals, Rashawn Fredericks scored 10 with eight rebounds and three blocked shots, and Leo Castillo added 10 points on 4-5 shooting and had three boards and two steals.

Dillon Smith led the Bucks in rebounding with 10 and added eight points, three assists and two steals. Nick Marshall scored six points and had nine rebounds, David Fraser had five points with four rebounds, and Zaire Swaby added four points and blocked three shots with three boards.

On Saturday, the Bucks faced one of the nation's most established powerhouse programs in Northwest Florida State. The Raiders could hardly miss as they opened the first half by hitting 11-14 three pointers on their way to a commanding 51-24 halftime advantage. The Bucks hit just 9-26 shots in the first half, although a better second half left them with a 37.9 shooting percentage for the contest.

Smith, who has been Motlow's most consistent scorer in the first week of the season, connected on 5-8 three pointers and 7-12 shots to lead the Motlow scoring with 19 points and three steals. Rayford added 17 points and hit 3-4 from three point range, while Fredericks had nine points and led the Bucks with five rebounds.

Hard dished out eight assists, with Kevonte Corley adding three, but the Bucks only tallied 13 assists for the game. Motlow ended up shooting 37 percent from three-point range and shot 62.5 percent from the free throw line.

After their trip to Jackson Friday night, the Bucks and Lady Bucks will head to Columbia, where they will face Columbia State on Saturday. The women’s game is scheduled to tip off at 2 p.m. with the men to follow.

Both Motlow teams will play their home opener Wednesday, Nov. 15, at Copperweld Arena. The Lady Bucks will host the Martin Methodist College JV at 5:30 p.m., and the men will host the Cumberland University JV at 7:30 p.m. Admission is free to all Motlow athletic contests on the Moore County campus.

Isaiah Hart
Motlow sophomore Isaiah Hart totaled 23 points, six rebounds, 12 assists and four steals as the Bucks split a pair of contests at the Quality Inn Classic in Niceville, Florida, over the weekend. Hart, from Murfreesboro, and the Bucks will open conference play when they travel to Jackson to face Jackson State Friday. Motlow will play its first home game Nov. 15, with the women tipping off at 5:30 p.m. and the men at 7:30 at Copperweld Arena. Jeff Reed Photography.

No. 9-ranked Bucks open basketball season with win over No. 18 Georgia Highlands

Nov. 2, 2017

Sophomore Dillon Smith scored 19 points to lead four double-digit scorers as the Motlow Bucks, ranked No. 9 in the nation in the NJCAA preseason poll, opened the 2017-18 basketball season with a 79-60 win over No. 18 Georgia Highlands in Rome, Georgia, Wednesday night.

Motlow (1-0) will travel to Niceville, Florida, for a pair of games this weekend. The Bucks play Lincoln Trail, Illinois, Friday at 4:30 p.m., then take on the host school Northwest Florida State, ranked No. 2 in the nation, Saturday evening at 6:30 p.m.

The Bucks and Chargers each started slow in their season opener before Motlow's Nick Marshall opened the scoring with a slam dunk two minutes into the contest. The Bucks led the entire game, with Smith and Isaiah Hart jump-starting the offense with first-half three pointers.

Motlow led 15-6 with 13 minutes left in the first half, increased that lead to as much as 13 points before the Chargers cut it to seven, 30-23, with two minutes remaining in the half, then closed out the final two minutes on a 10-6 run to lead 40-29 at intermission.

When the second half opened the Bucks picked right back up where they had left off, increasing their lead to 51-36 in the first three minutes. Georgia Highlands never got closer than nine points after the intermission, and Motlow's lead stretched as high as 21 with four minutes to play.

Smith had a team-high 19 points along with seven rebounds and two steals, while Hart had 13 points and four assists. Rashawn Fredericks and Nick Marshall each had 10 points, with Fredericks grabbing seven rebounds and Marshall pulling down six boards.

Also getting into the scoring column for the Bucks were Kevonte Corley with six, Kin Webster with five, Derrick Rayford and David Fraser with four each, Leo Castillo with three, and Anthony Yarbrough and Chad Emmons each scored two.

Fraser led the Bucks with nine rebounds and four steals, while Hart's four assists were a team high. Motlow shot 35 percent from the floor, including 29 percent from three-point range, and hit 18-28 free throws.

Following their Florida trip the Bucks will join the Lady Bucks in opening the TCCAA conference season with a trip to Jackson State on Friday, Nov. 10. The following day Motlow will play at Columbia State.

The first home game for both Motlow teams is Wednesday, Nov. 15. The Bucks will host the Cumberland University JV, while the Lady Bucks host the Martin Methodist JV. Tipoff for the women's game is 5:30 p.m., with the men to follow, and a tailgate party will be held in front of Nisbett Center prior to the contest. Free food and fun will be available at the tailgate party, which is being organized by the office of Student Services and the Student Government Association.


Motlow Bucks open state title defense with experience, depth, and expectations

Oct. 19, 2017

With eight players returning from last year's roster, a first-year head coach, and fresh off the greatest season in school history, the Motlow Bucks head into the 2017-18 season with experience, depth, and perhaps the highest expectations of any team in recent memory.

The Bucks will open this year's basketball campaign Wednesday, Nov. 1, when they travel to Rome, Ga., to face Georgia Highlands. The two schools last met on Mar. 22, at the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) tournament in Hutchinson, Kan., with Motlow edging out a 70-69 decision that advanced the Bucks into the final eight. Georgia Highlands will return the trip when it comes to Copperweld Arena on Nov. 29 at 6 p.m.

Motlow is coming off a season that saw the program achieve a number of all-time school records, including the most wins (30) and the first trip to the final eight at the national tournament. In addition, the Bucks won the Tennessee Community College Athletic Association (TCCAA) regular season and tournament titles. The conference sweep was the fourth in history for the program, with regular season and conference tournament titles also coming in 1972-73, 1983-84, and 2012-13.

Head Coach Arthur Latham takes over the program after former coach J.T. Burton departed in April to become an assistant coach at Morehead State University. Latham has been Burton's top assistant for the past two years, helping the Bucks compile a 55-13 record over that span, the best two-year record in Motlow history. Latham retains Zach Holt, who has also been with the Bucks the past two seasons, as his top assistant coach and brings in Nick Porter from Springfield, Ky., as his second assistant.

Latham and his staff have an outstanding nucleus to build around, including a trio of returning sophomores who earned extensive accolades last year. Add in the other five returnees, six talented freshmen, and a transfer who came out of high school as one of the top 55 players in the nation, and it's easy to see why excitement is high around Motlow's four campuses.

The group is led by second-team All-American Javion Hamlet, who led the nation with an average of 8.4 assists per game and paced the Bucks in scoring at 15.6 points per contest. Hamlet, a 6-4 southpaw guard from Memphis, was also named MVP of the conference tournament and first-team all-conference.

Joining Hamlet with multiple accolades is Rashawn Fredericks, a 6-6 guard from Tampa who averaged 13 points and 10 rebounds per game last year, one of just a handful of Motlow players to ever achieve a double-double average for a season. Fredericks was the TCCAA Freshman of the Year and joined Hamlet as first-team all-conference for both the regular season and postseason tournament. Fredericks also played for the U.S. Virgin Islands national team during the summer.

Murfreesboro native Isaiah Hart was the third Buck that garnered individual awards last year. At 6-2, Hart showed amazing quickness in setting a new single-season Motlow record with 125 steals, including a record 10 in one game. Hart was named second-team all-conference for the regular season, then earned first-team conference all-tournament and was the only Buck named to the NJCAA all-tournament team.

Chad Emmons, a 6-8 forward from Kentucky and Dillon Smith, a 6-2 guard from Lexington, Tenn., also return after playing significant minutes last season. Smith played in all 36 games, starting nine, and averaged 6.1 points, 1.4 assists and 1.2 steals per game while shooting 36 percent from three-point range. Emmons saw action in 28 contests, averaging 2.6 points and 1.6 rebounds per game.

Leonardo Castillo, Jr., from the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Kindravious Webster, from Nashville, each sat through a redshirt season last year. Both stand 6-4, and both will be counted on to be significant contributors during the coming campaign.

Headlining the newcomers is 6-11 post player Nick Marshall, who originally signed with the University of Memphis coming out of high school in 2015. Marshall, who was ranked as the No. 55 player in the nation at the time by one recruiting service, played one year at Memphis before sitting out last season. Joining Marshall on the transfer list is David Fraser, a 6-6 forward who played with Marshall and Smith at Lexington High School.

Additional freshmen joining the Bucks are out-of-state recruits Derrick Rayford from Toledo, Ohio; Zaire Swaby from Brooklyn New York; and Joshuel Hernandez from San Juan, Puerto Rico. In-state freshmen newcomers are Anthony Yarbrough from Memphis, Hayden Edmundson from Shelbyville, Justin Hill from Bartlett, and Joelah Solomon from McMinnville.

Motlow's first home game is Nov. 15, when the Bucks host the Cumberland University JV for a 7:30 p.m. contest. Cumberland is coached by former Motlow head coach Lonnie Thompson. TCCAA conference play begins Nov. 10 for Motlow with a trip to Jackson State, followed the next day by a contest at Columbia State. The first home conference weekend is Dec. 1 and 2, when the Bucks will host Cleveland State Friday night and Chattanooga State Saturday afternoon.

2017-18 Motlow Men's Basketball Team
The Motlow Bucks will open the 2017-18 season Nov. 1 when they travel to Rome, Ga., to play Georgia Highlands. Seated, from left: Anthony Yarbrough, Dillon Smith, Javion Hamlet, Isaiah Hart, Leo Castillo, Rashawn Fredericks, Derrick Rayford, and Hayden Edmundson. Standing, from left: Head Coach Art Latham, Joelah Solomon, Kin Webster, Kevonte Corley, David Fraser, Nick Marshall, Zaire Swaby, Chad Emmons, Justin Hill, Assistant Coach Nick Porter, and Assistant Coach Zach Holt. Motlow State Photo.

Motlow Bucks basketball schedule opens with national tournament rematch

Sept. 20, 2017

The Motlow Bucks will begin defense of their Tennessee Community College Athletic Association (TCCAA) regular season championship when they travel to Jackson to face Jackson State on Friday, Nov. 10. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m., or 20 minutes following the women's contest.

The TCCAA conference opener is just one highlight of Motlow's 2017-18 men's basketball schedule. JUCO basketball teams can begin official practice on Oct. 1, and the first game of the season can be played Nov. 1.

The Bucks, who also won the TCCAA/Region VII Tournament title and advanced to the national tournament final eight, are expected to be ranked among the top teams in the nation when polls are released in late October.

Unlike previous seasons, when the Bucks tended to open the season against an area JV squad, Motlow has scheduled an NJCAA tournament rematch against Georgia Highlands, who the Bucks beat 70-69 last March to advance to the final eight, to open the year. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. in Rome, Georgia. The two teams will play again at Motlow's Copperweld Arena on Wednesday, Nov. 29, with a 6 p.m. scheduled start.

Motlow's men will only play four home games before the holiday break, then turn around and play eight after the break, with all but one of them being a TCCAA conference game. The first home contest comes Nov. 15, when the Bucks host the Cumberland University JV, coached by former Motlow head coach Lonnie Thompson, for a 7:30 p.m. tipoff.

The first TCCAA conference home game doesn't come until Dec. 1, when Cleveland State visits Copperweld Arena at 7:30 p.m. The following day, Chattanooga State will play the Bucks at 4 p.m. on Motlow's home floor in Moore County.

The Bucks, under first-year Head Coach Arthur Latham, have an ambitious scrimmage schedule in place, although scrimmage dates can sometimes change with little notice. The Bucks, who feature returning All-American Javion Hamlet and TCCAA Freshman of the Year Rashawn Fredericks, will play scrimmage games in Orlando and Atlanta in October against some of the nation's top programs.

Motlow will also make a return trip to Northwest Florida State College in Niceville, where they went early last season and jumpstarted themselves to an outstanding 30-6 record. The trip is scheduled for Nov. 3 & 4, sandwiched in between the opener at Georgia Highlands and the conference opener at Jackson State.

The TCCAA alternates playing men's and women's games first on conference doubleheader dates. This coming season the women will play first through December, with the men playing first after the new year begins.

Javion Hamlet
The Motlow Bucks will look to sophomore Javion Hamlet for leadership when they open the 2017-18 basketball season Nov. 1 at Georgia Highlands near Atlanta. Hamlet was a second team All-American last season, averaging 15.6 points and leading the nation averaging 8.4 assists per game. Hamlet, who played his prep basketball at Whitehaven in Memphis, was also named the Most Valuable Player of the TCCAA/Region VII Tournament. Photo by Jeff Reed Photography.

Motlow's Rashawn Fredericks representing his home country on national team

Aug. 17, 2017

Motlow State men's basketball standout Rashawn Fredericks has been enjoying a productive summer as a member of the Virgin Islands national team. Fredericks helped lead the Bucks to the TCCAA/Region VII championship last year as a freshmen and is slated to return to Motlow for his sophomore campaign.

Fredericks is not the only Motlow connection on the Virgin Islands team, being joined by former Buck and current Tennessee Tech Golden Eagle Stephaun Adams, who was a member of the 2015-16 Bucks.

"It means a lot and it is truly a blessing to be able to play and travel and represent my home country," said Fredericks. "Not many people from where I come from have the opportunity to experience something like this. It's exciting to be a part of a team featuring the best players from the Virgin Islands."

Originally from the Virgin Islands, Fredericks has been racking up accolades since he set foot in the United State. As a standout junior for Chamberlain High School in Tampa, he was named the player of the year in his school's classification for the entire state of Florida.

As a freshman last season at Motlow, he averaged 13 points and 10 rebounds in helping lead the Bucks to a 30-6 overall record, the conference championship, and a final eight appearance at the NJCAA national tournament in Hutchinson, Kansas. Fredericks was named the TCCAA Freshman of the Year and was selected to the all-conference and all-tournament first team.

The Virgin Islands national team began training on Aug. 9, and their schedule includes games against college teams such as Vanderbilt and James Madison University as well as national teams like Uruguay. Fredericks' time with the team will end with a trip to Argentina to play Americup on Aug. 27.

Fredericks is one of seven members of last year's Motlow championship team scheduled to return for their sophomore season. Motlow begins fall classes on Aug. 28 and junior college basketball teams begin official practice on Oct. 1.

Motlow Basketball
Motlow's Rashawn Fredericks (32) goes hard to the rim during the Bucks' 78-59 win over Coffeyville Community College in the first round of the NJCAA national tournament last year in Hutchinson, Kansas. Fredericks, along with All-American point guard Javion Hamlet (3), leads a group of seven returning sophomores for Motlow.

Motlow State names Arthur Latham men's basketball head coach

May 2, 2017

Motlow State Community College announced that Arthur Latham has been selected to fill the position of men's basketball head coach, according to Scott Shasteen, director of athletics. Latham has been an assistant coach at Motlow for the past two successful seasons, serving under former head coach J.T. Burton.

Arthur Latham
Latham was named the interim head coach after Burton resigned in early April. Last year, Latham also served as interim head coach in 2016 for Motlow's women’s basketball program and guided the Lady Bucks to four straight wins to end the season.

"Arthur is a man of character who has a passion for the game of basketball and for helping young people achieve their dreams," said Shasteen. "He has been a critical part of the most successful back-to-back seasons in school history, including this past season when the Bucks won 30 games and advanced to the final eight of the national tournament.

"With as many as 10 members of the greatest team in Motlow basketball history returning, leadership believes we have a chance to compete again for a national championship," he continued. "Those players know and love Coach Latham, and they want to do their best for him on and off the court. Enthusiasm for the game and for Coach Latham's role is palpable on campus."

Latham is a native of Ratcliff, KY, and earned his bachelor's degree (2010) and his master's degree (2012) from St. Catharine College, where he played for four seasons from 2006-2010. He left St. Catharine as the all-time school record holder for wins (71), points (1,600) and rebounds (756).

He joined Burton's coaching staff at St. Catharine in 2011 and helped lead the Patriots to multiple NAIA national tournament appearances. He remained at St. Catharine until June 2015, when he left to join Burton at Motlow.

"I am very grateful to my athletic director and President Tony Kinkel," said Latham. "I've worked my entire career preparing for this opportunity. To be selected at this time, with these players, for this mission - it's a powerful combination. This team is like an engine. It's a powerhouse that drives Motlow pride to new levels. We have a great group of coaches at Motlow too, and I intend to draw from their collective experience every chance I get. We are a family here, and I'm proud to be able to continue as a member of our family."

Among those players who have indicated they will return for their sophomore seasons at Motlow next year is Javion Hamlet, who was named second-team All-American and led the nation averaging 8.5 assists per game while leading the Bucks in scoring with 15.6 points per contest.

Other members of the 2016-17 Bucks who have another year of eligibility at Motlow are Rashawn Fredericks, who averaged 13 points and 10 rebounds per game; Isaiah Hart, who averaged 13 points per game and set the school's all-time record for steals in a single season; Aleksandar Zecevic, who averaged over nine points and six rebounds per game; and Kevonte Corley, who averaged over four points and seven rebounds per game. Hamlet, Fredericks, Hart, Zecevic and Corley were the five starters for the majority of Motlow's 36 games.

Additional freshmen on the Tennessee Community College Athletic Association regular season and tournament champions were Jahod Lang, Ross Plunkett, Jalen Bell, Dillon Smith and Chad Emmons. Redshirts for the Bucks last season were Leonardo Castillo, Jr. and Kindravious Webster.
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