Last season, the Jamestown Community College basketball team played with only eight players in the second semester and five of them were sophomores.
Looking back at his 18 seasons at JCC, coach Mike Cordovano said, ''Never (before) did I start five sophomores. We had a veteran team and we were pretty good.''
And was he pleased that all five sophomores graduated and four are now playing basketball at four-year colleges. Nick Zee and Andrew Joseph are playing at New Paltz, C.J. Reid at Urbana University and Xavier Kennedy at Edinboro University
The Jamestown Community College men’s basketball team opens its season with an NJCAA Region 3 game at Tompkins-Cortland CC on Saturday. In front, from left, are Jobse Reyes, Tyreek Jewell, Keyonee Hill, Calvin Sterling, Kenny Stokes, Adam Walker and Michael Forrest. In back are head coach Mike Cordovano, manager Scott James, Jabar Williams, Dontae Clarke, Edward Newell, Devan Garrett, Brendan Bentham, Davonte Dunham and assistant coach Bryan Hodgson.
P-J photo by Jim Riggs
But looking over his shoulder last season, Cordovano knew five starters would be gone at the end of the season, which ended with 15-15 record. And of the three players left, only two have returned.
''That's losing quite a bit (in numbers) and size,'' he said about the loss that included two 6-foot-5 players and one at 6-4. ''That was a thick team.''
Now the Jayhawks are thin in the number of returnees and thin in size.
''We're starting from scratch,'' Cordovano said of his roster for the 2012-13 season that has three sophomores, two are returnees, and nine freshmen.
It is completely a new situation for Cordovano.
''I maybe had one starter returning, but I had at least four of five (other players) back,'' he said.
Not only will the team feature a new look in players, but also in style of play.
''This is a different team than we've had in other years,'' Cordovano said. ''We're very small. We'll play with four guards and Ed Newell (one of two 6-7 players on the roster).''
Recent JCC teams finished games with the score in the 60s or 50s.
''We always played a zone and passed the ball to get off a shot,'' Cordovano said.
That will change this season.
''We're not going to be running crazy, but we're going to spread the floor and drive to the basket,'' he said. ''We're going to try to do anything we can to win a game. We're going to have to manufacture baskets.''
As for defense, Cordovano said, ''We're going to have to play man and try to keep the ball away from the basket because we're so small.''
One of the smallest, 5-8 sophomore Calvin Sterling, is one of the returnees and he will be at point guard.
''Calvin will be our leader,'' Cordovano said about one Brooklyn players on the roster.
Sterling saw limited action last season, but he ended it with a bang when he scored 18 points, including five 3s, in a first-round NJCAA Region 3 Division II loss to Monroe CC.
The other returnee, sophomore Kenny Stokes (6-0), will be the off guard.
Tyreek Jewell (6-2) from the Bronx will start at forward along with Michael Forrest, a Fort Lauderdale, Fla., resident who transferred from Monroe.
''And big Ed at center,'' Cordovano said about 6-7 Newell from Brooklyn.
The other guards are Keyonee Hill (5-8), Davonte Dunham (6-2), Jabar Williams (6-2) and Dontae Clarke (6-2), all from Brooklyn, Jobse Reyes from the Bronx and Adam Walker (6-0) from Clymer.
Other forwards are Devan Garrett (6-7) from the Bronx and Brendan Bentham from Cherry Creek.
The will see their first action on Saturday when the Jayhawks play at Tompkins-Cortland CC on Saturday at 3 p.m. Then next Wednesday they have their first home game against Pitt-Titusville at 7:30 p.m.
''Our schedule is brutal, but I like our schedule,'' Cordovano said. ''The teams we play in the fall are all rich, traditional programs.''
He was referring to teams such as Columbus State, Frederick CC and CC of Beaver County.
The second semester is made up of the usual all-important NJCAA Region 3 Division II games.
''Maybe after the first semester we'll see where were at,'' Cordovano said.
JCC MEN'S BASKETBALL SCHEDULE
Nov. 3 - at Tompkins-Cortland CC, 3 p.m.
Nov. 7 - Pitt-Titusville, 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 9-10 - at Frederick CC Tournament
Nov. 14 - CC of Allegheny County, 7 p.m.
Nov. 16-17 - at Columbus State CC Tournament
Nov. 20 - at Butler County CC, 7 p.m.
Nov. 28 - at Pitt-Titusville, 7 p.m.
Dec. 1 - CC of Beaver County, 5 p.m.
Dec. 5 - at CC of Allegheny County, 7 p.m.
Dec. 11 - at CC of Beaver County, 7 p.m.
Dec. 15 - Post-Journal Classic: Monroe CC vs. Columbus State CC, 4 p.m.; Westmoreland CC vs. JCC, 6 p.m.
Dec. 16 - Post-Journal Classic: Consolation, noon; championship, 2 p.m.
Jan. 5 - Butler County CC, 3 p.m.
Jan. 10 - Niagara County CC, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 12 - at Mercyhurst North East, 3 p.m.
Jan. 15 - at JCC-Olean, 7 p.m.
Jan. 19 - at Erie CC, 3 p.m.
Jan. 22 - Monroe CC, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 24 - at Genesee CC, 8 p.m.
Jan. 26 - Alfred State College, 3 p.m.
Feb. 5 - Mercyhurst North East, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 7 - Genesee CC, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 9 - Erie CC, 3 p.m.
Feb. 12 - at Niagara County CC, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 14 - JCC-Olean, 7 p.m.
Feb. 19 - at Monroe CC, 8 p.m.
Feb. 23 - at Alfred State College, 3 p.m.