Young team fails to make playoffs

Squad slowed after hot start, defensive lapses


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Guard Kemare Wright dunks during Contra Costa College’s 92-63 victory against Solano Community College on Jan. 31 in the Gym.

By Efrain Valdez, Social Media Editor

After a promising start to the preseason and an even better 5-1 start to Bay Valley Conference play, the men’s basketball team (14-13 overall and 8-8 in the Bay Valley Conference) failed to make the playoffs this season.

CCC began the season with only five returning players from the previous season.

Some of the players that did not return made important contributions to the 2017 team’s success such as Curtis Harris who was an all-conference player as a freshman.

Comet men’s basketball coach Miguel Johnson said that this season the team had a lot of young players, transfer guys and some first-year sophomores.

“So, it’s just about finding out what our identity is, what we’re going to hang our hat on, and who were going to be during this season as a young group,” Johnson said.

CCC still had a chance to make a late playoff push but failed after finishing conference play with a 3-7 record in the last 10 games.

Comet sophomore guard Stephen Evans believes this year’s team was a little bit more athletic than previous years and feels like the team just needed to figure out how to better mesh with each other.

Johnson said that he always has expectations for each guy on his team.

“I think collectively, as a group, we could get it done,” he said.

CCC’s efforts to bring in more athletic players did help them when rebounding and forcing opposing teams to turn over the ball, but couldn’t pull it off consistently all season.

Coach Johnson looked to adjust from last season by focusing more on team defense, defensive rebounding and limiting turnovers this season.

“We continued to go hard and trust our coaches,” freshmen shooting guard Darrius Scott said.

He said that there was a lot of competition for spots and that the team kept going hard at each other.

Freshman guard Eric Jones said that they always come out slow and that makes it difficult for the team during games.

Johnson said he was hoping that the leadership from the point guard position would emerge. That did emerge this season thanks to both freshman guards Jones and Kemare Wright who led the team in scoring by averaging 14 points a game.

Wright said that they had to learn how to play with each other, know what each other could do, know what other people’s roles are and know when to get them going.

The Comets will try to bring together a playoff team led by this year’s core group of freshmen expected to return next season.