Welcome to the Raul Placeres era
The 2019-2020 version of the Scots are back in school and preparing for basketball season. Official practice begins on October 15th. I am looking forward to my first year as Head Coach and excited to see what our new JV Head Coach, Jeff McCord has in store for us as well. Jeff has been a volunteer assistant for the past year and has been promoted to Head JV Coach. Jeff had a really successful run as an MC Scot. He won over 90 games in four years and went on to four NCAA Tournaments including a SWEET 16 appearance his senior year.
Our entire staff has been very busy over the last few weeks. Here are some of the things our staff has been working on:
Recruiting-Attending play dates throughout the South, watching high school workouts and fall league scrimmages, beginning initial contacts with prospective student-athletes, hosting some campus visits by prospects
Mentoring- This year we have built in time to have guests like the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) and former MC basketball players come in and speak to the guys. The alumni are sharing their experiences during their time here at MC and what they have done since they left. It has been great for our players to see what a Maryville education can do for you. And it's important to me that the guys know that their support system expands beyond who is here on campus.
Planning-Designing the playbook for the year. We are keeping a lot of the things that you have seen through the last four decades, but there will definitely be some new things added in. We'll be implementing some elements that I think our players and fans are really going to like.
We work closely with our Women's Basketball and Volleyball team on the gym schedule for practice and games, organizing the travel and hotel accommodations, ordering and receiving the equipment, setting the game schedule for the following year, staff planning, scheming and strategizing for the season.
Promoting-Organizing with the Sports Information Office our graphics and posters. Setting up our community service projects, speaking to local organizations and schools.
Administering-Completing all necessary conference and NCAA requirements, working with the Officials Association with rule changes and scheduling, handling alternate responsibilities of gym supervision and football game management
As you can see, we stay busy as a staff. Seems like there is no off season. As a staff we are getting extremely excited about this season. I know the players are ready to get started. We will break the year in four phases:
Phase I: Get Ready. We are working daily with our strength and conditioning coach to be ready physically and mentally for the year. The guys are really enjoying the process of developing their bodies. PTI is doing a wonderful job building a program catered to our team's needs.
Phase II: Transformational Phase. With practice starting October 15th we have less than a month to practice and get ready for the grind of the season. With a team that has 22 Sophomores and Freshmen out of 26 total players our ability to teach the finer elements of the game will be at a premium come practice season. We must maximize our Transformational Phase.
Phase III: Prime Time. This is the game season. We have a total of two scrimmages and 25 regular season games. We are looking forward to our exhibition game November 5th vs Division I Conference USA opponent Middle Tennessee State. In the regular season we have 13 homes games highlighted with our Randy Lambert Classic to start the year and our Thanksgiving tournament. Senior night will be February 15th vs Brevard College. We will honor our lone Senior, Joshua Brooks.
Phase IV: Championship. Hopefully we will be competing for a regular season championship and top seeds heading into tournament play. This year our conference tournament takes place February 24th- March 1st. We hope to be playing our best basketball when this time comes.
We are focusing on growth and surrendering to each other as a team. Doing what others don't, so we can have results others won't.
Good enough is not good enough if you can be better. And better is not good enough if you can be the best.
Our acronym for the year as a team is F.I.R.E.
All of our practices are open, and we invite you to visit anytime. Just call ahead to confirm our start time. We practice in the afternoon between 4:00pm and 6:30pm or evening 630pm-9pm. I truly believe you will like this squad. I'm really excited for you to see them on the court. They are long, tall, and athletic. They are going to PULL THE ROPE TOGETHER!!
Leadership with Coach Sean Jones
We are very fortunate to be able to surround our program with people of high character. Never underestimate how valuable positive role models are for the young men who have committed to play basketball at Maryville College. Our coaching staff made a promise in the recruiting process to prepare our players for life. By creating an environment where current players can interact with and learn from men who have been in their shoes and been able to experience success in their lives, we are providing our team real-life examples of how Maryville College can help shape their future. The things that they heard us talk about in their recruitment becomes tangible when they get to see a living, breathing version of it.
One of the men that is speaking into the lives of our players is Steve Llewellyn. Steve is our local FCA Representative and his focus is to engage coaches and athletes to grow in their faith and sport. His spirit is contagious. He has been gracious enough to agree to lead our team throughout the year and lead a faith-based discussion with our guys a couple of times per month. We have begun to explore what it means to be a man, something that affects every single player in our program's past, present, and future. Steve has introduced us to Joe Ehrmann, former NFL player for the Baltimore Colts and author of "Inside Out Coaching." Ehrmann talks about manhood and masculinity in two facets. First, manhood should show your capacity to love and be loved, and second, your manhood should reflect a commitment to a common cause.
Those two concepts provide us with great insight to why team sports have such a tremendous impact on our lives. Basketball teaches us the value of teamwork and teammates. We learn how to serve our teammates by encouraging them fight through those last legs of the sprint ladder, taking a tough charge, or setting a screen to get someone else an open look. You show your capacity to love and be loved in sport by the sacrifices you are willing to make for those around you. We want those actions to be selfless, which directly impacts our commitment to a common cause. For us to be as successful as possible, we must all be pulling in the same direction. The more love between the members of the team that you are part of, the more committed you become to the common cause.
I am beyond excited for the upcoming season. So much unknown sits on the horizon for this program. We have just three juniors and one senior on our roster. There is a ton of potential but plenty of work to be done. Because of their youth, our coaching staff has a responsibility to help our team mature as fast as possible on and off the floor to reach the full potential the group possesses. We are working to help them navigate what it means to be a man. In order for them to understand how to love their teammates and be united in our common cause of growth, we have to set the example. It is going to take vulnerability in times of struggle so they can see how to process their emotions and communicate through frustration. There will be days where we will have to listen more than we speak. We will have to be examples of sacrifice on a daily basis for them to truly understand the sacrifice it takes to be a championship ballclub. Ultimately, we must be the example of true manhood that they see.
As we dive into what it means to be a man, I look forward to continuing to process the ways we can help our team grow. The relationships we form and the bonds we build will be the foundation of the success that we find. I hope that you will join us through the journey this season and continue to encourage the young men who are in this program.
Alumni Spotlight: Andy Chaney
The fundamentally sound Andy Chaney transferred to Maryville College after spending a year at ETSU. In Andy's three years as a Scot, he accomplished a lot. All three seasons he played were 20-win seasons that resulted in three NCAA Tournament appearances, and a pair of Conference Championships. Chaney played a part in the Scots achieving 64 wins in his three years and not just getting to the tournament, but advancing past the first round in all three of those NCAA Tournament appearances.
Andy graduated from Maryville College in 2006 with a degree in Physical Education. He is now a Senior Radiological Control Technician at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).
Senior Spotlight: Joshua Brooks
As you enter your senior year what are some individual and team goals you would like to accomplish?
Some individual goals I would want to accomplish this year are: Make an All-conference team, improve my three-point and free throw percentages and be the best leader I can possibly be because I feel like out of the years I have been here that is one key factor that we've lacked. As a team I don't expect anything less than repeating as Conference champions again. We are young but we are very talented and Coach Placeres and his staff without a doubt will put us in the best position to win every game. Why stop there though, I can see this team shocking people and making a legit run in the NCAA tournament.
What can you tell the fans out there about your experience at Maryville as a student-athlete?
Being a student-athlete is a full-time job at Maryville. Your time management skills will be in full swing from the time class starts. School should be the MAIN priority, but you cannot forget about the sport you came here to play. If you want to be GREAT than you have to put time in into your sport, outside of the required time your coach has demanded from you. Same thing applies in the classroom, if you want A's & B's then you might have to make sacrifices to get a little more extra study time in. At times you will hate to do it, but at the end of the day it will all pay off.
What is your favorite movie? Favorite candy? Favorite food?
Picking one favorite movie is hard because I have so many favorites, but if I just had to pick one, I would say Friday. I could say word from word if I wanted too. Picking my favorite candy is easy, Milkyways! I blame my mom for my love for chocolate so because of her that is my favorite candy. Favorite Food without a doubt is Fried chicken! If you ever want some GOOD fried chicken come see my grandma!
What is your major? What do you plan on doing after you graduate?
I am currently majoring in Physical Education with a business Minor. After graduation I plan to start coaching and work my way up. Eventually I would want to become an Athletic Director.
What advice do you give your incoming freshman teammates?
Have fun and enjoy everything while in college. Do as much as possible off the court because you will remember those memories just as much as the memories you make on the court. Don't fight the coaching, listen to what they have to say because at the end of the day they are going to make you the best player you didn't think you could become.
Word Association game: Describe in One word the following players
JR: Little giant
Coach McCord: Devoted
Coach Jones: Dependable
Freshman Spotlight: Felix Uadiale
Felix, let the MC basketball fans know what high school you are from and what accolades you received as a student-athlete?
I am from Eagles Landing Christian academy. Accolades received: 1st Team All-State GHSA 1A 4x400, All Conference Track Team, Mirror Award (Christian Student Athlete Award for basketball), 7 Maxplayer of the Game Awards for 2018-2019 Season, broke the state record for rebounds in a game (28).
As every story is different tell the fans, why you chose Maryville?
I chose this school because of the winning history behind the program and the desire to win that coach Placeres and everyone else had. The academics here were another reason I chose this school.
If you were stuck on an Island and needed to get out of there what two other teammates would you choose and why?
I would probably choose DJ, because he would bring the speaker and have the jams and JR because he would hype us up to come up with a plan.
What is your favorite movie? Candy? Food?
My favorite movie would probably have to be Back to The Future. I don't eat candy much, but it would be KitKats. As for food it would be Pad Thai.
What NBA team are you following? Who is your favorite athlete and why?
My favorite team is the Lakers. My favorite athlete is LeBron James because of his game and how he is off the court.
Word association game: (One word to describe the following coaches and players)
Coach McCord: Celtics
Coach Jones: character
CELEBRATING THE 2018-19 USA SOUTH CHAMPIONSHIP
On Saturday, September 21st, the Maryville College men's basketball program was honored at halftime of the Scots' football game with Hanover College and received their 2018-19 USA South Championship Rings.