Jacksonville College's mens and womens basketball teams will be on the road tonight as both squads lift the curtain on the 2013-'14 season.
Head coach Jody Bailey's Jags will take on Midland College at 6 p.m. in Plano (Collin College).
The JC men are off Saturday but will return to the Metroplex on Tuesday when they play the Texas Wesleyan junior varsity in Fort Worth (5:30 p.m.).
The Jags return only two reserves, Derrick Modest and Davvin Hill off of last year's club, plus 7-foot-1 Deng Leek, who was on the team last season, but was not eligible to play due to academic reasons.
Joining that trio are 12 newbies.
JC will go into the opener shorthanded due to a rash of ankle injuries that have hit several players.
“These injuries could cause us to get off to a slower start than normal,” Bailey said. “I really think this team will be one that gets better and better as the season unfolds. Besides, there are no banners won in October and November.”
The Jags will first play in Jacksonville on Nov.18 when the Northwestern (La.) State JV club comes calling. Tip-off is slated for 7 p.m. at the Curtis Carroll Fieldhouse.
Women to take part in Panola Classic
The Lady Jags will be in Carthage this weekend for the Panola Classic.
JC's Leasa Ailshie will be making her head coaching debut tonight as well when her team takes on Southern-Shreveport (La.) at 5:30 p.m. At 2 p.m. Saturday the Lady Jags will tangle with the Lady Wranglers from Cisco College.
Ailshie said that it will be business as usual for her tonight, even though she is moving into the pilot's seat for the first time.
“I usually always have a few butterflies before every game,” she said. “I don't think that it will be anything unusual (tonight).”
For those Lady Jag fans that wonder what differences can be expected on the court under Ailshie, she stated that the players will dictate the plan of action that she draws up for the team.
“We will try to play to the strengths of our players and attempt to do things that will give the team the best chance to win each night,” Ailshie said.
Ailshie said that she expects her ladies to be put to the test right out of the gate.
“Southern and Cisco are both athletic teams that like to press a lot and they both are talented teams,” she said. “We will be playing two really good teams and we will need to play good basketball to be able to win these games.”