March 3, 2014
Freshman JJ Morris has been named to the All-MCAC South team for the 2013-14 season. The Plymouth, Minn., native led the Spartans in scoring at 20 points per game, while shooting 43 percent from the field overall, 40 percent from three and 78 percent from the line. He also averaged 4.3 rebounds per game, 2.5 assists and 1.8 steals.
March 3, 2014
Spartan freshman guard JJ Morris was named the MCAC - South player of the week for the final week of the season. The Plymouth, Minn., native averaged 25 points, 4.5 rebounds and three assists for the week while shooting 17-32 (53 percent) from the field, including 9-17 (53 percent) from three. Spartan Ja'Vonte Johnson received player of the week honors earlier this season.
Dec. 12, 2013
M State freshman guard Ja'Vonte Johnson is the MCAC Southern Division player of the week.
Johnson led the Spartans with 25.5 points per game, 7.5 rebounds per game and 3 assists per game while making 17 of 31 field goal attempts (55 percent). Johnson connected on 10 of 19 shots from beyond the arc (53 percent). He is a freshman from New Iberia, La.
October 1 is the day circled in all NJCAA coaches' calendars - the day that practice officially begins across the country. The M State Spartans men's team is no different, having begun practices and welcoming 10 freshmen/transfers and four returning players.
Leading the returners is Pelican Rapids native Luke Halbakken. Luke was the center of last season's team and is expected to be a leader for the young team. The 6-7 sophomore played in 25 games a season ago, averaging 12.8 points and 5.8 rebounds per game.
Bertha native Gavin Dettwiler is a second returning player who saw significant minutes last season. The 6-3 guard saw action in all 25 games a year ago and averaged 2.8 points and 3.6 rebounds.
A third returning player who is expected to see a spike in his playing time is 6-1 guard Derek Cofield, who is from Lancaster. He saw action in 19 games last season.
A fourth returner who used his redshirt last year is Cole Riley. The Morris-area product at 6-6 is expected to add depth to the front court, a mismatch for most posts due to their perimeter game. He averaged 15.5 points and 8 rebounds per game. He was named Team MVP and was an All-Conference selection for Mark Togerson's Morris program.
A player making a return to the court after being cleared by doctors is Perham's Zach Gabbard, who suffered a cardiac arrest during a game his junior year in high school. After two years he is cleared to hit the court again. As a junior, Zach averaged 25 points, 5 assists and 5 rebounds for the state champions. He was named All-State and All-Conference while playing for Coach Dave Cresap's Yellowjackets.
Coming to the Spartans from Enderlin, N.D., is Thomas Lindgren, a 6-2 guard who was home schooled and played his prep basketball for Enderlin High School. As a senior he averaged 15 points per game and was named All-Conference.
A player expected to be a major contributor to the Spartan front court is 6-5 post Lee Gaines of Minneapolis, who played for Mike Shelton at North High School. As a senior he averaged 14.5 points and 6 rebounds a game. As a team, North made it to the second game of playoffs.
After spending a semester redshirting at South Suburban College in Illinois, Thomas Ford joins the Spartans. The 6-3 forward graduated from South High School in Minneapolis, where he played for Joe Hyser. As a senior he averaged 10.5 points and 8.6 rebounds a game. Thomas was team captain as a senior and a two-time All-Conference selection. As a team, South High School was second in the Minneapolis City Conference.
Refreshed after taking a year off from basketball, 6-4 Kingsland High School forward Devin Pokorney will be adding depth to M State's rotation. Playing for Paul Eckheart, Devin averaged 12 points as a senior. He was named All-County for his efforts. The team finished second in conference as well as the section.
Coming out of Maple Grove and Robbindale Armstrong high schools, 6-0 guard James "JJ" Morris will be one of the players in line to run the point this season. As a senior at Armstrong, Morris averaged 9 points per game. Prior to transferring, he averaged 18 points and 8 assists while earning All-Conference as a junior. He also set the record for three-pointers made in a season.
Coming out of Minneapolis via Chicago, 6-3 forward Alfonzo Jones will add an athletic presence to the M State front court. He was not able to play a full season at Metro Tech Academy due to transfer restrictions. As a sophomore and junior playing in Chicago, he saw major minutes and averaged 6 points and 8 rebounds per game.
Six-foot guard William Taylor comes to M State from Houston, Texas. He played for Jeff Dunford at Alief Taylor High School, starting at point and helping to lead them to a 25-6 record. He averaged 15.5 points, 7 assists and a rebound per game. He was named to the Houston Area All-Star Team, as well as the All-Region and All-Conference teams. The Alief Taylor High School squad fell in the third round of the playoffs.
Coming out of the Bayou is 6-0 shooting guard Ja'Vonte Johnson. He played for Todd Russ at New Iberia High School in New Iberia, La. As a senior he averaged 17 points, 9 assists and 2 rebounds per game. He was named to the All-District Team. As a team New Iberia finished in the quarterfinals of 5A.
The final out-of-state player is a transfer from Jamestown College in North Dakota. Omar Boumerzoug is originally from Chandler, Ariz., where he played for Killy Mims at Precision High School. As a senior he averaged 20 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists.
"I believe we have a good mix of guys coming in who can do a little bit of everything. We will be able to play an up-tempo style and will be able to slow it down when we need to," said Coach Brandon Colvin. "Luke and Gavin as returners will give us experience and leadership that this young group needs both on and off the court."
Minnesota State Community and Technical College announces the hiring of Brandon Colvin as the Spartan men's basketball head coach.
Colvin comes to M State with nearly a decade of coaching experience, both in the United States and abroad. Most recently, he coached with the Manama Club in Manama, Bahrain, and with the Haderslev Basketball Club in Haderslev, Denmark. He has also coached youth basketball overseas in Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Yemen.
From 2008-2010 he was the assistant basketball coach at North Dakota State College of Science in Wahpeton after stints in the assistant position at Western Texas College and Southwestern Community College in Iowa. Gary Henrickson, M State's dean of academic affairs, said the college is excited about the depth of experience that Colvin brings to the Spartan basketball program.
"I hope to continue the success that the M State program has had and carry on the proud tradition of Spartan basketball both on and off the court," said Colvin, who earned a master's degree in sports management from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond and a bachelor's degree in business computer systems from Bradley University in Peoria, Ill.
Last modified: March 3rd, 2014 at 12:13pm