MINERAL AREA COLLEGE
Mineral Area College is coming off an impressive 21-10 season under first-year Head Coach Corey Tate. The Cardinals spent several weeks in the National poll last season, and earned the #18 spot in the 2005 NJCAA Pre-Season National poll. Mineral Area returns five players from last season's MCCAC Conference Championship squad, and has landed a solid recruiting class that has the Cards ready for a run at the Region XVI Championship.
University of Arkansas-Fort Smith, led by returning All-American Sonny Weems, has been tabbed as the NJCAA Pre-Season favorite in the NJCAA poll. The Cards will face #3 Indian Hills (Ottumwa, IA) twice in an eight day stretch in December. #19 Mineral Area College is joined in the polls by several Region XVI teams including Gene Bess' Raiders from Three Rivers (#9), 2005 National Runner-up Moberly and MSU-West Plains who both recieved votes.
The 2005 Street & Smith's College Basketball Preview has tabbed the Cards at the #18 slot in their Pre-Season list. Tony Jimenez (Topeka Capital-Journal) has been covering the JUCO scene for the basketball preview, and agreed with the NJCAA poll placing the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith at the top spot. The Cardinals' 6'10" center, Curtis Muse, was honored as a pre-season All-American by the magazine.
Mineral Area College plays a schedule packed with some of the top teams on the National JUCO scene. The Cardinals will be tested throughout the season with games against ranked teams: #3 Indian Hills, #9 Three Rivers, #11 Southwestern Illinois, # 22 Highland (IL), #28 Southeastern Iowa, MSU-West Plains (RV), and 2005 National Runner-up Moberley (RV). MAC also plays some NJCAA DII heavy-weights, including: #4 DesMoines Area CC, #9 Meramec, and Florissant Valley (RV).
Mineral Area will host several big-time events at the Bob Sechrest Fieldhouse during the 2005-06 season. The Rosener's Classic is an early season Junior College Classic (November 18 & 19) featuring three ranked teams. The National spotlight will shine on Park Hills as the following teams jockey for National rankings: #19 MAC finished as MCCAC Conference Co-Champions with a 21-10 record in 2005, #9 Three Rivers finished 22-11 and split the MCCAC Championship with MAC, #28 Southeastern (IA) is the winningest junior college program in America and finished last season with a 19-11 record. Lincoln Trail finished the 2004-05 campaign at 28-5 and won the Region XXIV Championship. MAC will also host the Rotary Shootout on December 10 with a game against #3 Indian Hills (IA).
The Cardinals will face some of the most talented players in the country in the 2005-06 campaign. Jamaal Smith 5'7" PG Indian Hills (IA) was tabbed as pre-season All-American by Street & Smith's College Basketball Preview and ranked as the #11 prospect in the country by JUCO Junction. MAC will face the Wabash Valley (IL) dynamic duo of Carlos Williams (JUCO Junction #7 prospect) who has committed to Charlotte and S & S All-American 5'10" PG Kevin Bridgewaters (#62 by JUCO Junction). MAC's Curtis Muse isn't the only Region XVI player grabbing national attention. Moberly's Raynard Sawyer is JUCO Junction's #43 prospect, and Tyrone Brazelton from MSU-West Plains was tabbed #58 by JUCO Junction.
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