Cuyahoga Atop OCCAC Men's Basketball Preseason Coaches Poll

Cuyahoga Atop OCCAC Men's Basketball Preseason Coaches Poll

By Kyle Kuhlman/OCCAC Sports Information

SPRINGFIELD, Ohio – Cuyahoga Community College Men’s Basketball has been tabbed as the 2018-19 preseason favorite in the Ohio Community College Athletic Conference, receiving first-place votes from seven of the other eight head coaches across the league. Sinclair C.C. and Columbus State C.C. came in at No. 2 and No. 3 in the OCCAC Preseason Coaches Poll, respectively, each garnering one first-place vote.

First place votes in parenthesis
1 | Cuyahoga (7) | 1.33 avg.
2 | Sinclair (1) | 2.89 avg.
3 | Columbus State (1) | 3.89 avg.
4 | Lakeland | 4.44 avg.
5 | Edison State | 5.11 avg.
6 | Owens | 5.22 avg.
7 | Lorain County | 5.56 avg.
8 | Hocking College | 8.22 avg.
9 | Clark State | 8.44 avg.

In addition, Bryant & Stratton (Ohio) joins the conference as a provisional member for the 2018-18 campaign.

Cuyahoga Community College
Top returners:  James Anderson, Joshua Bradford

This season we have nine freshmen. So, there will be a lot of learning involved for these young men.

Sinclair Community College
Top returners:  Isaiah Collier, Nicoloy Bailey
Top newcomers:  Sean McNeil, Ronnell Turner, Tremaine Gray

Columbus State Community College
Top returner:  Maleik Evans
Top newcomer:  Corey Baker

We have a very young, but talented team. If guys buy in to the classroom and the court, it could be a special season.

Lakeland Community College
Players to watch this season are returning point guard Chandler Fointno.  The 6'2 guard from Huber Heights, Ohio put in a ton of work this summer expanding on his ability to get to the rim and finish and fine teammates.  An added dimension this year will be an increased ability to shoot the ‘3 ball’ and play off the ball at the 2-guard position.  Moving Chandler to the two is a reflection of newcomer John Dawson who will split time at both the point guard and shooting guard position.  He had several division one opportunities before deciding to go prep.  John is a champion as he won state championships all four years in high school. 

Lakeland also has 6’6 Tyreke Johnson (Atlanta Georgia) who can play 2-4.   D1 prospect out high school Tyreke will add both perimeter and paint offense. Finally transfer Rob Brown is a 6’8 post who can step out will add a balanced attack.  

This year’s Lakeland team resembles the days of national tournament appearances with bigger, long, athletic guards and post players that can protect the rim and step out on the perimeter.  We are very deep in our rotation and will excel on the defensive pressure side of the ball and the ability to run and shoot the basketball.  We have been tested early in the preseason playing against very good competition out of the Michigan region going 2-1 in Delta Jamboree.  The coaching staff and players are very excited about the possibilities this season holds.

Edison State Community College
Top returners:  Dakota Pritchard, Caleb Maggard, James Richardson
Top newcomers:  Lacey Watson, Roman Morgan, Lamine Kamara

The success of our 2018-19 season will, in many ways, depend on how quickly our freshmen adjust to college life both in the classroom and on the floor. With only four returning players this season, the adjustment of young players is crucial.

We are very excited about out 2018 class and feel that with our strong returners we will be in a very good position to compete for a conference title. We will not be an extremely big team, but we feel that we have the potential to play a very fast paced game this year. Our early observations have us feeling really good about a group of young men who will get beyond themselves and play well as a team. As always, I'm excited to have with me on the bench two very talented assistant coaches, Mark Eustache and Kyle Vanover.

Owens Community College
Top newcomer:  Sharif Saleem

This year we will be an incredibly young and inexperienced group. However, our roster is full of young men we are confident that long term can continue the winning tradition that Owens Express Men’s Basketball has seen over the years.

Lorain County Community College
No head coach report provided.

Hocking College
Our top returning player is #13 Jarell Giles. He is a 5’8 sophomore guard from Flint, Mich., and Carman Ainsworth High School. He was on the all-freshman team in the conference last season. He averaged 10.8 points on 47.8% shooting from 3pt. He also averaged 2.0 rebounds and 1.8 assists. Our top newcomer is #0 Caldin Rogers. He is a 6’5 freshman forward from Detroit, Mich., and Detroit King High School.

We are led by an experienced and highly productive backcourt that should set the tone on both ends of the floor. This year’s team will definitely be an exciting one to watch while we begin to build a new identity and look to set a new standard for Hocking Men’s Basketball. 

Clark State Community College
Top returner Marco Garcia will lead the Eagles this season with top newcomer Brandon Hardin to solidify the backcourt. The Eagles are hoping to build on the momentum of last year’s efforts with high energy and athleticism to drive us to higher heights within the conference.