Both the men’s and women’s basketball programs for Santa Fe College open their seasons tonight.
The Santa Fe men get it started by hosting Impact Academy. Last season the Saints finished with a record of 22-9 and head coach Chris Mowry, who has coached for 12 years with the program, has the most wins in Saints history with a record of 226-105.
“Year in and year out Florida is probably the strongest state in the country for Junior College basketball. So for those who aren’t familiar with it there are a lot of talented players in junior colleges in the state Florida that are going to end up playing Division I basketball in the next year or two. There is a really good talent level,” said Mowry.
Mowry expects the guards to be a strong point for the Saints this season. He says there is really good shooting across the board on the perimeter in the one, two, and three spots.
“I think this year our offense, our ability to score will be greater than it was last year,” said Mowry. “Defensively, Andre Horne is our returning center… our starting center. He was our best defender last year, so he’s back, and Brandon Williams is a Division I transfer and he will really help us out inside in terms of defending, rebounding, shot blocking.”
The men’s team will also host Victory Rock Academy tomorrow. Tip-off will be at 12:00.
The Lady Saints will play tonight at 6:00 opening with a Tip-Off Classic against IMG Academy. There are 11 sophomores on the team who can bring their State Tournament experience from last season.
“The sophomores feel like they didn’t excel the way they wanted to last year and they kind of got wet behind the ears and they know what they want to do this year,” said head coach Chanda Stebbins. “So I think their expectations are higher for themselves which is nice coming from them instead of just the coaching staff.”
The Saints also took on three players from Gainesville High School; Kayla Lovett, Denae James, and Deja McPhee, who Stebbins believes make a difference.
“The Gainesville kids that are transferring from D1’s came in in Summer B and they really developed over the summer as well, so we have a good core. We spent a lot of time in summer B really getting better, so yeah, I’ve seen a lot of improvement. I’m really excited,” said Stebbins.
The women will also host Miami Dade tomorrow with tip-off at 2 pm.
For audio from Santa Fe Basketball head coaches click here: