Pasco Hernando State College (PHSC) started its basketball program in 1999, and like all sporting programs they have had ups and downs. However, the focus is on the athletes regardless of the wins and losses per season. For Coach Jones, the importance of building a two-year roster has always been to obtain “coachable” players.
“These kids are coachable, they want to be here, and they play together. That is the key ingredient right there. You can have all the athleticism in the world, but if you can’t get guys that are coachable and teachable, well, your season is not going to be as successful,” Jones said.
Being courtside on January 15th in the gym at PHSC, there was unity and a sense of court organization, direction, and leadership. Although Jones remarked, “Coming off the break and getting back into the rhythm is kind of tough.”
After returning from the holiday break, starting with a cancellation against Oxford Emory, scoring a solid win against Trinity Baptist College, and facing another cancellation from Pinellas Prep, that rhythm fluctuated. Yet the game against Ave Maria University’s JV team on January 15th showcased a team with stronger and faster athletes jumping further and shooting deeper. “This team here is just as good as the team I had in 2015. These kids are very good. We are getting done academically, and we’re getting done athletically. It is really remarkable,” said Jones.
All players had their position and worked in unity. One standout player is Edgard Enriquez (33), a 2020 graduate leaving his senior year from Middleburg High School, totaling 208 rebounds in his basketball career. As of now, he’s ranking #45 out of 500 within the NJCAA Division II. “He’s strong, rough, and rugged. He is a utility player. He will do anything you want him to do, and that’s why I like him. He works hard,” Jones said.
The roster’s other key players are Ja’keese Kemp (0), averaging 10 points per game, and Warren McLymont (14), bringing in 16 points per game.
Saturday’s game on January 15th against Ave Maria University’s JV team showcased some great talent on both sides of the court. Fouls were costly on both sides, but PHSC secured the win with a score of (76-69).
The game on high priority for Jones is the third game against Florida Gateway College on January 29th at PHSC. On November 23rd, 2021, the Bobcats beat Florida Gateway (86-70) and then lost on January 13th, (74-61).
Why is this game important? It is PSHC’s division competitor. They will continue their battle on the court on February 5th, February 11th, and February 17th until they reach the Region 8 DII Championship on February 26th at Florida Gateway College.
Two things will happen when the basketball season is over in February for both PHSC and 2022 graduating high school seniors. One is Coach Jones will be on the lookout to fill spots on the PHSC roster and two recently graduated student-athletes will be looking for a place to go for their education and to continue to play basketball. Here’s a tip- Be on the lookout for PHSC hosting its annual High School Senior Showcase in March 2022.