Volume 1, Number 6 - January 18, 2011

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Carlos Sanchez
Staff Writer

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Shooting Stars: Sharks guard Xavier Munford dribbles against a defender from St. Petersburg College. The Sharks lost a heartbreaker as time expired to St. Petersburg College by 3 points on Jan. 8, at Kendall Campus. GREGORY CASTILLO/ THE REPORTER

Balancing Act: Sharks Charge Toward Playoffs

By Carlos Sanchez

The Miami Dade College men’s basketball team has 12-5 record going into the second half of the season, as they prepare for Southern Conference play.

The Sharks, ranked fifth in the state, have won 11 games by at least 12 points. The team is averaging 81.6 points per game and is allowing 67.4 points per contest.

Multiple players are averaging double figures in scoring per game; freshmen guard Xavier Munford, 16.1; sophomore forward Maurice Kemp Jr., 16.0; sophomore guard Zachary Lamb, 13.2 and freshmen guard Darwin Ellis, 12.5.

Head Coach Matt Eisele credits his teams success to unselfish play.

“We preach a healthy mixture of both offense and defense,” Eisele said. “These kids are really buying into it and are playing at 110 percent.”

Difficult last-second losses to Tallahassee Community College and Chipola College have placed the Sharks just outside of the nation’s elite. However, Eisele is happy with how well his young team responded to the early hardships.

“We could easily have 14 or 15 wins right now and be top five in the country,” Eisele said. “It’s a testament to the kids, who have shown more desire and drive, even after a tough lost.”

Kemp, regarded by Eisele as the teams most valuable player, leads the Sharks with just under 9.8 rebounds per game and has proven his presence and ability on the defensive side of the ball.

“I’m usually called on to guard the other teams’ best player,” Kemp said. “For me, I take the most pride in this part of my game, while leading by example for the younger guys on the team.”

Lamb, a second-year starter is providing the veteran presence, an attribute that has become a valuable asset during crunch time, something that his younger teammates have fed off.

“As team captain, I have to be the vocal leader out there,” Lamb said. “It’s my job to make sure all the guys are communicating.”

With highly anticipated conference match-ups against Broward College and Palm Beach State College on the horizon, Eisele plans on shortening practices to allow for detailed focus on individual game plans.

“We are a young team, but the kids will be ready,” Eisele said.

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Miami Dade College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate and baccalaureate degrees.
Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Miami Dade College.
Miami Dade College is an equal access/equal opportunity institution and does not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, color, marital status, age, religion, national origin,
ethnicity, pregnancy, disability, veteran's status, sexual orientation, or genetic information.
Contact the Office of Director, Equal Opportunity Programs, ADA and Title IX Coordinator, at 305.237.2577 for assistance.