Following a trio of games last weekend in Cedar Falls, the Panther men's basketball team took part in another three-game JUCO jamboree, this one hosted at the University of Central Missouri. The Sunday afternoon games saw a range of solid D1 and D2 junior college competition from across the Midwest. The games were played side-by-side on a four court spread in front of a packed house of college coaches and fans.
The Panthers went 1-2 on the day, defeating North Central Nebraska and dropping losses to Southwest Illinois Community College and Southeast Community College-Beatrice. The Panthers showed signs of true capability but inconsistency with effort and turnovers exposed a few gaps that must be filled for this group to excel. Notable performers throughout the day were Myzeah Batie-Gaddy and his continuing balance on the offensive end, scoring 15, 14 and 9 points per game. Yach Deng, who struggled the first two games, came back in game three to hit four 3-pointers, tallying 14 points in total. Keeon Johnson's sharp shooting led to seven 3-pointers for the day.
After 6 exhibition games in two weeks, the Panther men are 3-3 and will now have a two-week break from game action. These exhibition games and jamborees will not count on the Panthers' record but serve a crucial role for every junior college program. They allow vital exposure for all players to be seen in front of four-year college coaches.
"Having the opportunity to play some teams from different states down at the Warrensburg Jamboree was great for the team as a whole," commented ECC Head Coach Troy Muilenburg. "Not only does it give our guys an idea of how they compare to other players in the region, but it also gives them a chance to play in front of numerous college coaches who are recruiting for the upcoming season. From a coaches perspective it allows us to see what areas we need to improve on as a team before the start of the season."
ECC will be on the road for their next game on Monday, Oct. 26, with a scrimmage against William Penn; 6 pm is tip-off time.
Photo Caption: Keeon Johnson for the Panthers.