The Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) men’s basketball team began the 2016-17 season on a positive note, defeating the Waldorf University junior varsity 63-49 November 1 inside the DMACC gymnasium.
Sophomore Nibra White of Evanston, Ill., led the Bears with 17 points and freshman Wali Parks of Iowa City contributed 12 points. Freshman Ivory Shammond of Perry added nine points to the DMACC attack and freshmen Nijaron Palmer of Newark, N.J., and Knowledge Darby of Brooklyn, N.Y., scored eight points apiece.
DMACC connected on 12 of 24 field goal attempts in the first half to open up a 31-27 advantage at halftime. The Bears made just 13 of 35 field goal attempts in the second half, put the game out of reach by outscoring the Warriors 32-22.
Parks led DMACC to a 39-34 advantage on the boards with seven rebounds. Darby and freshman Malcolm Ruff of Chicago, Ill., had six rebounds apiece and Palmer came away with five. Freshman Nysir Marshburn of Philadelphia, Penn., topped the Bears in assists with four and Parks and Darby had three apiece. Darby also contributed five blocked shots to the victory.
“I thought we did some things right and we have the potential to be a very good defensive team,” DMACC coach B.J. McGinn said. “This team has a chance to be one of the better ones we’ve had, but we’ve got a few kinks to work out.”
McGinn’s team is dominated by freshmen with 11 on the 14-man roster, but McGinn said he is not treating the freshmen as freshmen.
“That’s not going to be a crutch that we use,” McGinn said. “It’s time to be ready to compete right now. We’ve got to be better than we are right now and they’ve just have to accept that part of it.”
White, sophomore Brendan Lipovsky of Fairfield, Neb., Marshburn, Parks and Ruff started against Waldorf. Ivory and Darby each saw more than 20 minutes of playing time in the game and Palmer played more than 16 minutes.
“We’re going to need (White and Lipovksy) to be good for us,” McGinn said, adding that he thought Darby, Parks, Ivory and Marshburn played well.
“Those are going to be the guys that you hear about,” McGinn said.
The Bears are without freshman Lee Higgins of Chicago, Ill., who has a broken hand and is not expected to join the team before Nov. 22. McGinn said Higgins has the potential to be the best three-point shooter in the conference this season.
In addition to putting an emphasis on defense, McGinn said he wants his team to spread things out on the offensive end of the court.
“We’re going to try and space it out and work at it that way,” McGinn said. “If we don’t guard, we’re not going to score enough points to win. Right now, we’ve got to score in transition, keep teams under 60 (points) and take away any easy baskets in transition. We can do all of those things and I think we’re talented enough to do some things offensively.”
McGinn said his team is unselfish, shares the ball well, is athletic and will be fun to watch.
“We’re just going to be a little different than we’ve been in the past,” McGinn said.
The DMACC men’s basketball team will host the Grand View University junior varsity on Nov. 7. Game time is 7:30 p.m. inside the DMACC gymnasium.