Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

Local Sports

October 11, 2013

New look Jaguars busily preparing for season opener



With the opening of the 2013-14 basketball season only about two weeks aways, the Jacksonville Jaguars will get their second big dose of pre-season practice games Saturday when they trek to Lancaster for the Cedar Valley Scrimmage.

The JC men have games scheduled for 10 a.m., 1 and 4 p.m. against Mountain View, Eastfield and Cedar Valley.

The Jags, who played six abbreviated games in the Mullins JUCO Jamboree in the Metroplex last weekend, will do battle three times today.

The JC men's scrimmage schedule will come to a close on Oct. 26 when the Jags take on LeTourneau University (NCAA, Division III) in Longview.

The Jags are slated to open the regular season at 6 p.m. On Nov. 1 by playing Midland College from NJCAA Region 5 at Collin College in Plano (neutral site).

Head coach Jody Bailey and assistant coach Ryan Glenney have had a busy fall, as the duo have been evaluating, while teaching the finer points of the game, the dozen of new players that have been assembled to form this year's team — only three players are back from last year, Derrick Modest (Garland, Texas), Davvin Hill (Victoria, Texas) and Deng Leek, who was ineligible last year.

The term “new” will apply to several different aspects of this year's club.

In addition to describing the plethora of new faces, Jag fans will quickly note the strong international presence that the team offers.

Jake Eynon is from Ipswich, England, Tevin Jackson calls Perth, Australia home and Jonathan Hamilton is from Trinidad & Tobago.

Leek, who graduated high school in North Carolina, is originally from the Republic of Sudan.

Something else that JC fanatics, as well as opposing teams, find much different is the size of the 2013-'14 edition.

With Leek topping out a 7-foot-1 and Hamilton towering to 6-foot-11, the Jags should have a much more formidable inside presence that they have in years past.

And to compliment Leek and Hamilton, JC offers a pair of 6-foot-7 freshmen in Rashard Todd (Baltimore) and Raheem Watts (Greenville, SC).

“We still have a ways to go, but we're getting closer to getting there,” an optimistic, but cautious, Bailey said. “We feel like we have some talent, but at the same time we have a lot of green horns, so there is a tremendous amount of teaching going on.”



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