Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

October 5, 2012

JC Jaguars to test waters for first time today

Jay Neal
Jacksonville Daily Progress

JACKSONVILLE — The calendar has now flipped over to October, so that means that another exciting season of  Jacksonville College basketball is ready to be launched.

The 2012-13 Jaguars will open an ambitious scrimmage schedule at 6 p.m. tonight when they take on Midland College in a practice game that will be held in Lewisville, Texas.

At 8 p.m. tonight head coach Jody Bailey's purple warriors will face off against Indian Hills (Florida) Community College in another exhibition tilt.

The JC men will return to the Metroplex tomorrow for scrimmages against Missouri State University-West Plains, New Mexico Military Institute and Eastern Oklahoma State — those games will be played at The Colony High School.

“We've got our hands full this weekend let me tell you,” Bailey said. “We are absolutely playing the best of the best.”

Bailey hit the nail on the head with his assessment of his team's opponents as Indian Hills went 28-3 last year and finished ranked No. 7 in the nation in the final NJCAA poll issues on March 6.

Right behind them was Eastern Oklahoma, who went 27-3 in 2012-11.

“Midland and Missouri State are always powers as well,” Bailey said. “Facing Indian Hills, Eastern Oklahoma, Midland and Missouri State in one weekend will be a real test for our kids.”

The Jags play three scrimmage games at Cedar Valley College in Lancaster next weekend before traveling to Hawkins to take on Jarvis Christian College (NAIA) on Oct. 27.

On Nov. 2 the Jags will open the regular season by playing in the Collin County Classic in Plano against a team to be announced.

As for the young men who will be wearing Jag uniforms this winter, JC fans may want to start familiarizing themselves with the roster early on as only one player from a year ago — Chris Singhateh (Soph., Gavie, Sweden) — is back.

The team has more experience than one may think given the bevy of new faces that are on the roster as eight of the newcomers are transfers who bring a great deal of collegiate experience with them, several having played for four-year colleges last year.

Three key transfers that could be poised for breakout seasons are Nimrod Hillard (Madison, Wisc.), Mitchell Farr (Racine, Wisc.) and Kennedy Eubanks (Clemson, SC).

Hillard, a former “Mr. Basketball” in the state of Wisconsin, brings with him a year of NCAA Division I experience from the University of South Dakota.

Farr comes to JC after playing for Nebraska-Omaha (NCAA Division II) in 2011-12.

Eubanks toiled at Carson-Newman College last season, another NCAA Division II school, that is located in Jefferson City, Tenn.

NOTE: The Lady Jaguars will start their scrimmage schedule next weekend by playing six games in a two-day period in jamborees scheduled to be played in Frisco and Carrollton...The JC women return five players off of last year's team.