MINERAL AREA COLLEGE
Men's Basketball 2009-10 Preview
Mineral Area College 2009-10 Player Signings
Mineral Area College has inked several players for the upcoming men's basketball season. The Cardinals are looking to reload in order to play in two straight NJCAA Region XVI Championship games, (MAC played for three titles in the last four years). Mineral Area College welcomes the addition of PG - C. J. Crittendon (Dyer County HS - Newbern, TN), SG - Bobby Peebles (McCluer North HS - St. Louis, MO), SG/SF - Riley Raulston (Poplar Bluff High School - Poplar Bluff, MO), and SG - Drew Thomas (Scott County Central HS - Sikeston, MO) for the 2009-10 season.
C. J. Crittendon - 5'11” point guard – Dyer County High School (Newbern, TN). Mineral Area College continues to sign some of Tennessee’s top hardwood talent as the Choctaw’s front-man inks a National Letter of Intent to play at the JUCO power-house program. Crittendon, a three year starting point guard for Derek McCord’s Dyer County team, averaged 16 PPG, 5 APG, and 4 RPG during the 2008-09 season. DCHS was ranked #1 in the Class AA Tennessee poll for most of the season and finished with a record of 32-3.
Crittendon was considered one of the best senior players in Tennessee as he was nominated to the McDonald’s All-American team (only 21 nominees from the state). He has been honored as an AA All-State selection for three straight seasons, earned three straight AA All-Region honors (including the MVP in 2009), and is a three-time All-District 13 honoree. Dyer County was 94-13 in his three seasons as the starting point guard, made two trips to the Tennessee AA State Tournament semi-finals, and won three consecutive regular and post-season District Championships.
The multi-dimensional point guard helped his team win a pair of holiday tournaments in a two-week span this season taking tournament MVP honors. He also led the West Tennessee All-Star Team to a win in Basketball Coaches Association of Tennessee All-Star Game in March, dropping 8 dimes in a star-filled event. “We are really excited to have C.J. choose Mineral Area College for his future. C.J. fits our up-tempo style and has the heart and competitive drive we look for in our recruits. He can defend, distribute, and score, plus he’s a proven winner,” stated Assistant Coach Chad Kish.
Crittendon was a star for his high school team and made big news on the summer AAU circuit (Mid-State Ballerz), where players gain individual recruiting attention. Rick Bolus High Potential Basketball Recruiting Service listed him as a Class of 2009 “Top 25 Prospect” in the state of Tennessee, and noted him as the 4th best point guard. Andre Whitehead of the Tennessee Prep Hoop Report listed him as a “Top Sleeper” during his sophomore season, and had him listed as one of the top point guards in the state for the past two seasons.
Bobby Peebles - 6'2” shooting guard – McCluer North High School (St. Louis, MO). Mineral Area College signs one of the top senior prospects in the St. Louis area by adding Bobby Peebles. The shooting guard had a solid three-year career for the Suburban North Conference power McCluer North and Head Coach Randy Reed. Peebles is a versatile guard that can score off the dribble, shoot the three, act as a playmaker, and can defend all three perimeter positions.
“Bobby is a great player that played in one of the best programs in the state. He’s a proven winner, I love that about him. I see him fitting in our system and excelling for the next two seasons,” stated MAC Head Coach Corey Tate. Peebles had a solid three seasons at McCluer North helping his Stars compile a 70-15 record over that span. He played in two Missouri Class 5A Championship games, winning the State Championship in 2007.
Peebles was the team leader this past season as McCluer North finished 21-7. He averaged 16 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 3.5 APG, 3.3 SPG, 1.5 BPG, while shooting 35% (58/93) from behind the arc. He earned many accolades as a senior. Peebles was named to the Suburban North All-Conference Team, the St. Louis Post-Dipatch All-Metro Honorable Mention team, and to the ESPN All-Area St. Louis Metro on the Rise “Top 15” list. Peebles led his team to the Carbondale Holiday Tournament Championship (All-Tournament Team) and the Troy High School Tournament Championship (All-Tournament Team). He was also named to the DC Wilcutt All-Tournament Team at C.B.C. High School.
Bobby Peebles has been one of the St. Louis prospects on the radar for several years. McCluer North was 25-5 in 2008 and made it to the Missouri Class 5A State Championship game. Peebles averaged 10 PPG, and 4.5 APG on a team with three DI senior signees. As a sophomore, he contributed to a Missouri Class 5A State Championship team that finished 24-3.
Peebles was selected to play in the Missouri vs. Illinois All-Star Game at Chaifetz Arena on the campus of Saint Louis University. He scored a game-high 27 points to lead the Missouri team to a 98-90 victory and was named co-Most Valuable Player. But, the highlight of his senior season may have been making the #1 highlight on ESPN SportsCenter’s “Top 10 Plays.” With just 1.8 seconds left and the game tied against Chaminade, Peebles made magic. He streaked in front of Chaminade superstar Bradley Beal, stole the pass, and the rest is history. With his back to the basket and positioned deep in the corner, he threw the ball back over his head at his own basket… nailing the shot for the win over the eventual state champion Red Devils. Watch the SportsCenter Top 10
Mineral Area College will return four players from the 2008-09 team that finished 19-12 and played for the Region XVI Championship. The Cardinals will return 6'9" postman Shamus Feguson at the center position. He improved his stock late in the season and has become a serious threat in the paint. Ferguson ageraged 2.2 PPG, 2.5 RPG, and 1.1 BPG in limited action as a freshman. 6'4" guard/wing Carlton Guyton was the only freshman that was inserted into the starting line-up over final 15 games of the 2009 season. He was an impact player averaging 5.6 PPG, 3.5 RPG, and 2.1 APG. Al Rapier, a 6'5" multi-dimensional forward, was a solid player that improved during his first collegiate season. Rapier averaged 3.8 PPG and 4.3 RPG seeing most of his action at the power forward slot. Tonye Smith, a 6'2" scoring guard, had some great moments in a Cardinals uniform as a freshman. Smith put up 6.5 PPG, 2.4 RPG, and 1.1 APG during the 2008-09 campaign. Jake Coleman, a 6'4" wing, spent the season practicing with the team as a red-shirt during the 2008-09 season and is expected to make the roster in 2009.
Shamus Ferguson - 6'9" center - Francis Liebermann (Toronto, Canada) High School. Ferguson was an impact player for Francis Liebermann during his senior season averaging 15 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals, and 4 blocks a game. He helped lead his team to the Metro Semi-Finals in Totonto in 2008 with his dazzling interior play. Shamus earned team "MVP" honors and was tabbed as the "Most Improved Player" by his coaching staff.
Carlton Guyton - 6'4" guard - Rich South (Chicago, IL) High School. Guyton, a 6'4", long athletic guard can play multiple positions in the Cardinals' sysytem and should be a nice fit to the up-tempo system run at Mineral Area College. He averaged 17.1 points, 3.4 rebounds, 2.4 assists, and shot over 75% from the FT line during his senior campaign and was honored on the SICA South All-Conference team in 2008. The scouting report from ChicagoHoops.com on Guyton is, "he is a long and athletic shooting guard who is capable of getting points both with his jump shot, and also with his ability to slash to the basket."
Al Rapier - 6'5" forward - Perspectives Charter Academy (Chicago, IL). Rapier was an All-Conference selection (Blue West) in 2008, averaging 18 points, 17 rebounds, and 6 assist a contest. Rapier's solid double-double average also garnered him Illinois All-State honors in 2008. Rapier was selected as the #1 player in the Blue West Conference by the Chicago Tribune in 2008. He was ranked as the #17 wing player in the area on MidStateHoops.com Final 2008 rankings. The scouting report from MidStateHoops reads, "It is undeniable that the 6-5 Rapier is a DI talent, and he is also a very good kid. He is smooth with the ball in his hands, athletic, and has a great feel for the game."
Jake Coleman - 6'4" wing/forward - Potosi (Potosi, MO) High School. Jake joins the Cardinals after a standout career at Potosi High School. He will spend the 2008-09 season as a red-shirt and begin his playing eligibility during the 2009-10 season as a freshman.
Players Moving On
Mineral Area College will graduate eight sophomores from the 2009 team that finished 19-12, and lose two freshman that will transfer other colleges for the 2009-10 season. Three of these players signed NCAA National Letters of Intent, while the other six are still determining their future college choices. Mineral Area College has produced 28 four-year scholarship winners over the past five seasons.
Josh Elam - 6'1" guard - Hickman (Columbia, MO) High School - Josh spent one season in a Cardinals uniform after red-shirting in 2007-08. He is a transferring sophomore that will attend a four-year college next season with three years of playing eligibility remaining. Elam was a high-energy role-player that was a sprk-plug for the team down the stretch. He averaged 1.6 PPG and 1.5 RPG in limited action as a freshman.
Jeremy Felton - 6'7" power forward/center - Belleville West (Belleville, IL) High School - Jeremy Felton, a 6'7" sophomore PF/C, has been a force in the paint for the Cardinals fro two years. He was a highly-touted JUCO post recruit coming out of Belleville East High School in 2007. He was a two-year starter in a MAC Cardinal jersey and provided multiple highlight-reel dunks for MAC fans. Felton averaged 9.5 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks this season, and was selected to the NJCAA All-Region XVI team.
Gerald Fulton - 6'2" shooting guard - Hazelwood East (St. Louis, MO) High School - Gerald Fulton, a SG from St. Louis, made a run for "Region XVI Player of the Year" finishing third overall to Marquise Carter and Jeremy Marrs from Three Rivers, while earning NJCAA All-Region XVI honors. He spent two solid seasons in a Cardinals uniform after a stand-out prep football career at Hazelwood East High School. Fulton averaged 14.2 PPG, 2.8 RPG, 1.6 APG, and led the team with 50 made three pointers during his sophomore season. Fulton has signed with NCAA DI Cal State - Northridge (Northridge, CA). The Matadors compete in the Big West Conference. CSU-Northridge was 19-14 and played the University of Memphis in the first-round of the NCAA Tournament this past season. Press Release
Brandon Hall - 6'1" guard - Simeon (Chicago, IL) High School - Brandon Hall, a combo-guard from Chicago, spent two productive seasons at Mineral Area College. He was a solid back-up at the point guard position and spent several nights playing the shooting guard position. Hall averaged 3 PPG, 1.5 RPG, 1.7 APG, and led the team in free throw shooting at 79% this season. Brandon Hall will play his final two seasons close to his Chicago home in Romeoville, IL. He signed during the early period (November 2008) to play at NCAA II Lewis University.
Steve Kerr - 6'1" shooting guard - Millington Central (Millington, TN) High School - Steve spent a single-season as a sharp-shooting specialist at Mineral Area College. He has decided to transfer closer to his Tennessee home next season. Kerr put up 3.4 PPG and shot 35% from behind the arc in limited action as a freshman.
Eric McCrary - 6'7" small/power forward- Belleville East (Belleville, IL) High School - Eric McCrary returned to the Cardinals line-up after missing the 2007-08 season with an injury. The 6'7" sophomore sharp-shooting PF played a big part in the Cardinals success in his only full-season after transferring from Southwestern Illinois College. McCrary was a team leader, averaging 7 PPG, 5 RPG, 2 APG, and made 45 3FG (2nd on team). He was honored by the Conference coaches as an All-Conference 1st team selection.
Kory McDaniel - 6'3" shooting guard - Cuba (MO) High School - Korey McDaniel spent his sophomore season in a Cardinals uniform after transferring from Missouri Baptist University (St. Louis, MO). He had a solid season spending time in the starting line-up during various portions of the 2008-09 campaign. McDaniel averaged 3.9 PPG, 1.6 RPG, and shot 37% from three-point range.
Byron Pickens - 6'7" forward - Senn (Chicago, IL) High School - Byron Pickens, a 6'7" sophomore PF/C improved offensively as a sophomore. Pickens, a Chicago native, spent two solid seasons in a MAC uniform, winning 38 games over that span. Pickens is avereged 6 PPG, 6 RPG, and shot 47% from the floor this season, earning him MCCAC All-Conference 1st team honors. Byron Pickens has signed a NCAA DI National Letter of Inrent to play at Tennessee Tech University next season. TTU is a member of the Ohio Valley Conference and is loctaed in Cookeville, TN.
Sean Scott - 5'10" point guard - Farragut (Chicago, IL) High School - Sean Scott was the starting PG for the Cardinals for the past two seasons. He was a solid floor general for Mineral Area College leading Region XVI in assists in 2009. Scott put up 6 PPG, 5 APG & 3 RPG during his sophomore campaign, earning him MCCAC All-Conference 1st team honors.
Tonye Smith - 6'2" shooting guard - Treadwell (Memphis, TN) High School. Smith was one of the top five scorers in Memphis and led Treadwell during his senior season with 26.7 points a game, 3.9 rebounds, 6.2 assist, and 3.2 steals. Tonye spent a single season in a MAC Cardinal uniform and has decided to transfer closer to home for his sophomore season.
Mike Stovall - 6'5" guard - Marshall (Chicago, IL) High School - Mike Stovall, a 6'5" versatile G/W spend a single season in a Cardinals uniform after transferring from NCAA DI Oregon State University. He averaged 8.7 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 2.1 assist in is only season at MAC, earning NJCAA All-Region XVI honors. Stovall, a Chicago native, signed in the early signing period (November 2008) with DePaul University (Chicago, IL). DePaul in an NCAA Division I basketball program that competes in the Big East Conference (considered the premier conference in college basketball in 2009).
2008-09 Season in Review
Mineral Area College finishes the 2008-09 season with 19 wins and playing for a Region XVI Championship. The Cardinals started the season by going toe-to-toe with #2 Chipola (FL) CC before dropping the game of nationally-ranked teams in the Tip-Off Classic (Poplar Bluff, MO). MAC had a great run in the first half of the season finishing 2008 with a record of 10-5, including wins over power-house opponents such as John A. Logan (IL), Kennedy-King (IL), and Redlands (OK).
The MAC Cards struggled out of the gate in 2009 dropping four games while trying to hit their stride. But, the "Fastest 40 Minutes" style returned to peak form as MAC won eight of their last ten games of the season. The Cardinals grabbed wins over Vincennes (IN), Southeastern (IL), MSU-West Plains (twice), and Moberly (twice) in that stretch. The late-season run put MAC in second place in the final Region XVI standings, earning the #2 seed in the tournament.
The Cardinals ran away from State Fair in the Region XVI Tournament semi-finals, but dropped a hard-fought Championship game to #1 seed Three Rivers. This was the third time in four years that Mineral Area College played in the Region XVI Championship game. Six Cardinal players earned post-season honors as Byron Pickens, Sean Scott, and Eric McCrary were honored by the MCCAC as All-Conference selections, and the trio of Gerald Fulton, Jeremy Felton, and Mike Stovall were named to the NJCAA All-Region XVI team.
There is room to be optimistic about the upcoming season in Cardinal country with the return of four solid players and the addition of a solid recruiting class. Mineral Area College has also put together a schedule that will be ranked as one of the toughest in the nation, starting with Region XXIV powers John A. Logan (at Carterville, IL) and Southeastern Illinois (in the Tip-Off Classic at Poplar Bluff, MO). MAC has non-Region XVI home dates with Southwest Tennessee, Southwestern Illinois, Kennedy-King (IL), Malcolm X (IL), Kaskaskia (IL), Lincoln Trail (IL), Lewis & Clark (IL), and Meramec. The Cards will also travel to Vincennes (IN), Southeastern (IA), and Southwestern Illinois in a tough road schedule.