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PC men's basketball ready for season
ven though he came onto the scene late, Porterville College men’s basketball coach T.J. Jennings immediately established a situation in which his club was a fun one to watch in his first season.
Now with a lot more time to prepare, nothing should change for this year’s PC men’s team which should continue to provide an exciting brand of basketball — and should be much more competitive in the Central Valley Conference.
College of Sequoias and Fresno City, who were CVC co-champs and made deep runs into the state playoffs last year, remain the teams to beat. But Jennings said he believes his team can be among those competing for at least third in the CVC. “After that I think it’s pretty wide open,” said Jennings about the race to challenge COS and Fresno.
Porterville will again have a strong shooting team that will look to run, so how much of an inside presence it has to set up its outside shooting will be a key to the season. “We want to go inside out,” Jennings said.
PC will open the season on Friday against Santa Rosa at the City College of San Francisco Tournament. Here’s a look at this year’s team in which the majority of players are from the Valley:
Nate Brown, 6-6, 280, center, sophomore: Brown is going to be one of the team leaders at center and should be able to provide the inside presence that will open up the outside. “He is going to be the foundation of the team,” said Jennings of Brown, who is from Fresno. “He can score with finesse.” Jennings said Brown can also shoot the three.
Charles Burrell, 6-1, 185, guard. sophomore: “He adds experience and depth at shooting guard,” said Jennings about Burrell, who’s from Tulare Western.
Jason Carmichael, 6-0, 200, guard-forward, freshman: Carmichael was one Jennings’ top recruits in this year’s class. “I’m excited to see what he’s going to do,” said Jennings of Carmichael, who’s from Mt. Whitney. Jennings said Carmichael is another player who can shoot the three and has improved his quickness and defense.
Anthony Coleman, 6-3, 195, forward-center, freshman: “We call him the freak,” said Jennings about Coleman, who’s from Hanford West. “He can jump out of the gym. He’s the clean-up man.” Jennings said Coleman will be counted on for rebounding and shot blocking.
Gerry Gilmore, 6-3, 180, guard, freshman: Gilmore will start at point guard. “Probably the player with the most potential,” said Jennings about Gilmore, who’s from Central in Fresno. “He’s a complete player.”
Kameron Hoyt, 6-1, 180, guard-forward, freshman: Hoyt is left-handed and will start at small forward. “He has a deadly three-point shot,” said Jennings about Hoyt, who’s from Lemoore.
Donald Lee, 5-9, 175, guard, freshman: “He’s another one who’s deadly from the three-point,” said Jennings about Lee, who’s from Redwood. “He’s just a gym rat. I expect great things out of him. He’ll do great things for us.”
Warren Moon, 6-2, 185, freshman, forward: Moon, from Hanford West, will play power forward and will be a key player on the boards for the Pirates.
JaMarcus Peters, 6-0, 175, freshman, guard: Peters, from Texas, will play point and shooting guard. “His quickness from one end to the other... I’ve never seen before,” Jennings said. Jennings also said Peters has an outstanding short-range jumper.
Brad Ragonese, 6-0, 205, freshman, guard: Ragonese, from Lemoore, is recovering from knee surgery but Jennings said he expects Ragonese back within the first couple weeks of the season.
Harold Reed, 5-10, 165, freshman, guard: “He can jump out of the gym,” said Jennings about Reed, who’s from Central.
LaDarrius Thomas, 6-2, 170, freshman, guard-forward: Thomas, another left-hander from Texas, will provide a solid combination at small forward with Hoyt.
Jordan Wilkinson, 6-7, 210, center, freshman: Wilkinson will provide depth at center along with Brown.
Ray Wilkins, 6-4, 250, forward, sophomore: A big body who will be another key rebounder at power forward, Wilkins comes from Rise Academy in Philadelphia.
Alton Williams, 5-10, 160, guard, sophomore: Williams, from Central, will be the three-point specialist for PC.