2013 - 2014 Preview
There is a nice mixture of talent on the Joliet Junior College men's basketball roster for the 2013-14 season. The Wolves, who have won the N4C conference title four of the last six seasons, are looking to defend their championship from last season in which they finished 13-1.
"I do expect our conference to be much better this season so we will have to be ready come January," said veteran coach Joe Kuhn who is entering his seventeenth season at the helm for the Wolves.
"We have a pretty tough non-conference schedule that should help us prepare for the second half of the season."
Kuhn, who enters this season with a record of 367-162 at JJC, and 391 total career wins, is very excited about this year's team.
"We have a group that is really committed to playing great defense which is important if you are going to be a good basketball team at any level," said Kuhn. "On offense, they have demonstrated outstanding team work and have really shared the ball well."
Coach Kuhn feels that the roster is well balanced this year. "We have a good size, great quickness, and have a number of players that can score. I feel like we will have the ability to score inside and outside which will help keep a balanced floor."
JJC has four transfers that have come on board including two from local high schools, Justin Scanlan (Plainfield Central) and Zoran Aresnovic (Lincoln-Way East). Justin played at NCAA Division III national champion University of Wisconsin-Whitewater while Zoran transfers from NJCAA Division II national runner-up Moraine Valley Community College. Leon Gray (Rufus King, Milwaukee, Wi.) and Todd Brown (Milwaukee School of Languages, Milwaukee, Wi.) are both transfers from NJCAA Division II power South Mountain C.C. in Phoenix, Az., where both red-shirted.
"The experiences that all four of these young men bring to our program have been demonstrated already in preseason practice. They work hard, bring outstanding leadership, and know what it takes to be successful," states Coach Kuhn.
As far as the high school recruiting class Kuhn feels they are all ready to contribute.
"We have a number of young men from winning programs so they know what it takes to be successful, both on and off the floor," stated Kuhn.
Coming to JJC from Wisconsin state runner up Wisconsin Lutheran are point guard Larry Moore and all state guard Deiondre Cunningham.
"Like Scanlan and Aresnovic, these two played in a championship game," said Kuhn. "Those experiences help build a tremendous foundation for any program. What I really like about both Larry and Deiondre are they are complete players, they play both ends of the floor, and are good teammates."
Also coming to JJC from Milwaukee Wauwatosa East is scoring guard Anthony "AC" Carroll.
"AC can really score the basketball but does a great job of letting the game come to him. But, like all of our perimeter guys, he plays both ends of the floor," said Kuhn.
Ricky Carter (Peoria Christian) and Naiem Johnson (Arbor View, Nv.) round out the perimeter players.
"Both Ricky and Naiem are like the rest of our perimeter guys in that they can score really well but really play outstanding defense".
Freshman forwards include Brenden Hardwick (Lapel,In.), Kylee Beheler (Kokomo, In.), Darren "DJ" Hall (Charles Bush, Oh.), and Ezekial Williams (Romeoville).
"Brenden and Kylee give us size and defensive presence up front while DJ brings athleticism at the small forward position," states Kuhn.