The Santa Fe College men’s basketball team will open Mid-Florida conference play at home against Florida State College of Jacksonville. While they hope to celebrate their first conference win, the first order of business will be to honor longtime Head Coach Chris Mowry. Mowry recorded his 300th career win in November, and will be recognized tonight at the game.
The 12-5 Saints only return one player from the 2015-2016 season. The lone returner, Josh Hawkins, is an Academic All-American and averages 13.2 PPG. In spite of playing a brand new squad, Mowry says his players have bonded well as a team, which has led to success on the court. The Saints’ three leading scorers, David- Lee Jones (14.2), Josh Hawkins (13.2), and D-Juan Taylor-Hodge (12.1) are all from the surrounding areas. Coach Mowry says finding local talent is important for recruiting.
The Saints rotate nine freshman and two sophomores in their line up. Because the team is still finding their identity, the Saints will simply focus on moving the ball offensively. At this point in the season, Mowry says Santa Fe doesn’t have one player to pass to and say, “score”, so the Saints will look to pass and find a good shot.
Defensively, Santa Fe avoids the full court press for the majority of the game. Mowry wants his team to focus on applying pressure and forcing opponents to score from outside. However, the Saints will face an interesting opponent in the FSCJ Blue Wave (8-8) starting lineup. FSCJ has five left handed players. While Mowry doesn’t want his players to focus on it, but he says the Saints need to be aware in order to avoid getting beat.
This is Santa Fe’s first conference game this season. FSCJ already has one tallied victory against College of Central Florida and therefore lead the Mid-Florida conference. This will be the first of three times the Saints and Blue Wave will meet this season. As a whole, Mowry says the conference will be competitive, but he can’t wait to see how his team stacks up.
Tipoff is tonight at 8.