PLATTSBURGH — With a freshman-laden lineup, the Clinton Community College men’s basketball team finished 14-14 and failed to make the Region III tournament a season ago.
Coach Kevin Daugherty, though, said area basketball enthusiasts shouldn’t expect the same results at the conclusion of his squad’s 2013-14 campaign.
Daugherty, now in his ninth season behind the bench, returns four second-year players and welcomes a significant number of contributors to the program.
“Jamie Davison, Kyree Hull, Mykelle Krecko and Bayron Carter — three of those guys started on a .500 team, so we’re expecting to be an improved, good club,” Daugherty said. “Last year, we were youthful and we played like it. We made mistakes down the stretch in close games, losing four contests by a point. It cost us a chance at regionals. This group, however, has a load of experience and knows what it takes to get the job done.”
Krecko was the team’s impact player last winter. A 6-foot-10-inch center from Peekskill, Krecko averaged 13 points and 12.7 rebounds per game. Krecko will be joined in the post by 6-foot-6-inch Thomas Ryan.
Ryan, who registered 1,080 points at nearby Beekmantown, will add to the team’s height in the paint.
“We really like our size,” Daugherty said. “We’re glad that Tom’s with us, too. He can definitely score down low. Mykelle is a proven leader, and we’re expecting him to have a great year.
“As a freshman, he had some very impressive games, including two 20-rebound games and another with nine blocks. He jumps well and is a good passer. Tom compliments him with his physicality. The two of them have very good hands in the post, so that’s a plus.”
Despite losing leading scorer Chris Miller to graduation, Daugherty returns Hull and Davison in the backcourt.
Davison, a former Northeastern Clinton standout, was sixth in Region III in assists (4.8) and eighth in 3-point field goal percentage (40.8) as a freshman.
With nine guards on the roster, Daugherty has stressed a relentless, up-tempo attack.
“I feel that we’ve got two of the most exciting guards in the region in Jamie and Kyree,” Daugherty said. “We want to go up-tempo, but I preach defense, too. We like to run, but we want to try and play disciplined basketball in the half court. Last year, we were able to do that with our athletes like Davison and Hull.”
Daugherty expects Schroon Lake 1,000-point scorer Jesse Shaughnessy, Brian Ortiz and Charles Holmes to add depth.
“Right now, we’re comfortable with those three guys coming off the bench,” Daugherty said. “Hopefully, that number will increase over the course of the next few weeks. Holmes and Shaughnessy can hit the glass and are versatile, while Ortiz plays well on the perimeter.”
Brandon Bailey (Bronx), Jalik Banks (Brooklyn), Germaine Valladares (Bronx) and Jonathan Lamboy (Bronx) are also new additions to the program.
The Cougars will open their 29-game schedule in Plattsburgh against Word of Life Bible Institute at 7 p.m. tonight. Regional play begins when Clinton faces archrival North Country Community College at home Wednesday.
“The schedule is new for the whole region,” Daugherty said. “There are 17 teams and everybody plays each other at least once. I think come regional time; it will definitely work out for a lot of different schools and make an easier job for the committee selecting teams to the tournament.
“Region III is one of the best conferences in junior college basketball. We’ve had up to five schools ranked in the top-20 nationally.”
Daugherty said anything less than an appearance in the Region III tournament will be a disappointment.
“We’re very optimistic,” Daugherty said. “We were disappointed last year, but when you’re a freshman-oriented team and lose four games by a point, you’d hope to take the next step. We’ve been practicing since Oct. 1 and had an opportunity to scrimmage a couple of teams. We’re ready to play.”
Clinton Community College
2013-14 men’s basketball roster
Jamie Davison Mooers 1 Sr. 5’10” G
Brian Ortiz Bronx 2 Fr. 5’6” G
Bayron Carter Peekskill 3 Sr. 6’3” G
Brandon Bailey Bronx 4 Fr. 5’9” G
Kyree Hull Peekskill 5 Sr. 6’1” G
Jalik Banks Brooklyn 10 Fr. 5’11” G
Germaine Valladares Bronx 11 Fr. 5’10” G
Charles Holmes Brooklyn 15 Fr. 6’1” G
Jonathan Lamboy Bronx 22 Fr. 5’8” F
Jesse Shaughnessy Schroon Lake 33 Fr. 6’2” G
Thomas Ryan Beekmantown 34 Fr. 6’6” F
Mykelle Krecko Peekskill 42 Sr. 6’10” C
Word of Life, Monday, Nov. 4, 7 p.m., Home.
North Country, Wednesday, Nov. 6, 7 p.m., Home.
Herkimer CCC, Sunday, Nov. 10, noon, Home.
Finger Lakes CC, Saturday, Nov. 16, 4 p.m., Home.
Corning CC, Sunday, Nov. 17, 1 p.m., Home.
Word of Life, Tuesday, Nov. 19, 6 p.m., Home.
Tompkins-Cortland CC, Saturday, Nov. 23, 3 p.m., Away.
Broome CC, Sunday, Nov. 24, 1 p.m., Away.
RPI “JV”, Wednesday, Dec. 4, 7 p.m., Away.
Cayuga CC, Saturday, Dec. 7, 5 p.m., Home.
Onondaga CC, Sunday, Dec. 8, 1 p.m., Home.
SUNY Delhi, Saturday, Dec. 14, 2 p.m., Away.
Hudson Valley CC, Thursday, Jan. 9, 2 p.m., Away.
Columbia-Greene CC, Saturday, Jan. 11, 2 p.m., Home.
Schenectady CC, Tuesday, Jan. 14, 7 p.m., Away.
Fulton Montgomery CC, Thursday, Jan. 16, 7 p.m., Home.
Mohawk CC, Saturday, Jan. 18, 3 p.m., Away.
Jefferson CC, Sunday, Jan. 19, 2 p.m., Away.
Adirondack CC, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 7 p.m., Away.
SUNY Delhi, Saturday, Jan. 25, noon, Home.
Mohawk CC, Sunday, Jan. 26, noon, Home.
North Country, Wednesday, Jan. 29, 7 p.m., Away.
Herkimer CC, Saturday, Feb. 1, 2 p.m., Away.
Hudson Valley CC, Wednesday, Feb. 5, 6 p.m., Home.
Columbia-Greene CC, Saturday, Feb. 8, 2 p.m., Away.
West Point Prep, Sunday, Feb. 9, noon, Away.
Schenectady CC, Wednesday, Feb. 12, 7 p.m., Home.
Fulton Montgomery CC, Saturday, Feb. 15, 3 p.m., Away.
Adirondack CC, Saturday, Feb. 22, 1 p.m., Home.