University Center, MI-
The 2019-2020 Delta College men's basketball team has gotten off to a great start and they have a lot to be thankful for. At 4-2, the Pioneers are coming off a huge road victory over Jackson and are heading into Thanksgiving break with a two game winning streak.
The Delta men started off the season with two home victories over the Olivet College junior varsity team and the Mid-Michigan College Lakers. They then dropped two tightly contested games at the TJ Memorial Tournament to the host team Lakeland Community College and Erie Community College. In both of those losses, the Delta men squandered double digit leads in both the first and second half of each game. Since then, the Pioneers have responded with two road victories over the Northwood University junior varsity team and the Jackson Jets.
"When we put together this schedule, we knew it wasn't going to be easy," said Head Coach Carlos McMath. "We had some really tough pre-season scrimmages against NCAA Division 2 and NAIA teams that have helped us prepare for our tough non-conference schedule. In the end, by having tough opponents we will be in a good spot when we play in our conference because it is one of the toughest in the nation."
Through the first six games, the Pioneers have four guys averaging double figures. Leading the way is Anthony Sanders with 14.5 points per game. Aaron Collins is averaging 13.3 points while Chaz Woods and Delvonte McCloud are averaging 13.0 points and 10.2 points respectively.
"We have had at least three guys in double figures each game and at least four guys scoring more than six points in every game. Our leading scorer fluctuates from game to game and that's a direct reflection on how unselfish this group really is," said McMath. "In our system, every guy is going to get an opportunity to put the ball in the hoop. The key is that each guy recognizes their personal strengths and weaknesses and the strengths and weaknesses of their teammates."
While the Pioneers are finding multiple ways to score the basketball, the defensive end is where they are truly getting it done. The Delta men pride themselves on defense and it has helped lead to easier scoring opportunities.
"We put a very high emphasis on defensive fundamentals and rebounding," said McMath. "We track deflections each game and that has encouraged our guys to buy in, helped us be more active with our hands, and taken the offensive rhythm away from our opponents. I am very thankful for how hard these guys are willing to work and am excited to see the constant growth as we continue throughout the season."
The Pioneer men will face off against Lansing Community College on Monday December 2, at 7:30pm. The game will take place at Pioneer gymnasium on the campus of Delta College. Lansing comes into the game also sitting at a 4-2 record. The Pioneers have won the last two match-ups against the Stars.