The Northern Oklahoma College Mavericks open the 2021 season Wednesday, Jan. 20 when the Mavs host Cowley County at 7:30 p.m. at Foster-Piper Fieldhouse.
The Mavs, under 8th year head coach Donnie Jackson, were 28-4 last year earning an at-large bid to the NJCAA Tournament though the tournament was canceled due to Covid-19.
Normally, the Mavs would have opened the season in November but due to Covid-19, the NJCAA season opens Jan. 20.
“It’s been a challenge,” Jackson said.“With no games in the fall, we spent more time in the weight room and skill work than normal.The hard part for us is that we had two weeks of quarantine before we left for Thanksgiving so it’s been almost two months since we’ve had our players.”
“I know it’s going to take some time to put the pieces in place so we have to patient.” he said.“I think games could be ugly early because everyone will be trying to find some consistency.Fortunately, everyone is in the same boat.”
The Mavs lost NJCAA All-American Demaree King along with Barron Tanner and Deaveon Bankston to graduation but return seven key contributors from the 2020 team.
Returnees include guards Tyrel Morgan and JD Ray along with forwards Avante Lederer and Mark Berry. Post players Malik Crawford, Syrus Grisby, and Justin Wilson also return. “We have such a good
“We have such a good group of returnees,” Jackson said.“Tyrel (Morgan, who signed with Jacksonville University) is poised to have a great year but JD (Ray) and Avante (Lederer) both had great falls for us.
Jackson said that Crawford and Berry really came on as well. “Of our bigs, they both had good falls,” Jackson said.
Jackson has freshmen Diondre Alexander, Kevin Sesberry, Nate Goodlow, Dylan McLean, and Jaylin Oliver along with sophomore transfer Camryn Dennis.
“I like our newcomers,” he said.“Nate (Goodlow), Kevin (Sesberry), Dylan (McLean), and Camyrn (Dennis) all have the opportunity to see plenty of minutes.I like to play 10-11 guys so there is playing time available.I’m excited to see how our young guys fit in.They came in this week refreshed and ready to go.” This year’s schedule is
This year’s schedule is 24 games with 18 NJCAA Region 2 games and six non-conference games.
Region 2 games include home and home series with NOC Enid, NEO, Western, Eastern, Redlands, Murray State, and Seminole.Nonconference games include a home and home series with Cowley College and Labette (KS) and single games with Collin County and OnPoint.
“Our non-conference schedule is brutal out of the gate with two games against Cowley,” he said.“But with an experienced group, I think we can weather the storm.We understand that there may be some rough patches early but by our first conference game, we hopefully will be where we need to be.”
“This is a weird year, we are just trying to adjust the best we can,” Jackson said.“I know the players are ready to go and compete.
The Mavs are assisted by Ravi Bhambhra.
Jan. 20:Cowley Colley (H)
Jan. 23:Cowley College (A)
Jan. 26:Collin County at UCO, 5 p.m.
Jan. 29:Labette (A)
Feb. 1:Labette (H)
Feb. 4:NEO (A)
Feb. 8:NOC Enid (H)
Feb. 11:Connors (A)
Feb. 15:Redlands (H)
Feb. 18:Murray (H)
Feb. 22:Western (A)
Feb. 25:Eastern (H)
March 1:Seminole (A)
March 4:OnPoint (H)
March 8:NEO (H)
March 11:NOC Enid (A)
March 15:Connors (H)
March 22:Murray (A) March 25:Western (H)
March 25:Western (H)
March 29:Eastern (A)
April 1:Seminole (H)
Tip-offs are at 7:30 p.m. unless otherwise noted.
Northern Oklahoma College, the state’s first public community college, is a multi-campus, land-grant institution that provides high quality, accessible, and affordable educational opportunities and services which create life-changing experiences and develop students as effective learners and leaders within their communities in a connected, ever changing world.
NOC, a public two-year community college, serves nearly 5,000 students on the home campus in Tonkawa, branch in Enid, NOC/OSU Gateway Program in Stillwater, online, and the University Center in Ponca City. Of these students about 60% receive financial aid and/ or scholarships.Over 80% of NOC students complete their degree with zero debt.
NOC is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and offers associate degrees in three general areas: Arts, Science and Applied Science.The associate degree fulfills lowerdivision course work which is applicable towards a bachelor’s degree.
Call (580) 628-6200 for more information about Northern Oklahoma College or visit www.noc.edu .