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Feather River Bulletin
Quincy, California
October 22, 2014     Feather River Bulletin
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October 22, 2014

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2C Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2014 Bulletin, Record, Progressive, Reporter Rick, Golden Eagles ready to soar Greg Knight Sports Writer Every season has its sports; the changing colors of an approaching winter in Plumas County generally (excluding skiers and their mountain-bound schussing) means taking the action indoors as the temperatures drop, the snow falls and the hoop dreams of Feather River College basketball players grow in intensity. The men's program at FRC has been led by head coach Randy Rick since 1999. In that first year he put together a 25-5 record and brought home the first Golden Valley Conference championship for the previously floundering teams. Under Rick's tutelage FRC has won six Golden Valley Conference championships and has turned out more Division 1 players than any team in the conference. Four former Eagles currently play professionally overseas internationally. Seven former players are now high school basketball head coaches while one player was drafted by the NFL's Tampa Bay Buccaneers out of the community college level. The 2013-14 season was not the most memorable for Rick: he lost three key players prior to the year due to season-ending injuries, and saw the men's team record shoot to the basement of GVC play at 4-20 overall and 1-9 in conference play. In Rick's 15 years at the helm the worst his teams had previously come in was third place two times. "Last year's team was interesting. We lost 15 games by less than four points, playing teams down to the wire while finding ways to lose the game in the end," Rick shared. On a positive note, and in terms of recognition in the GVC last season, DeCarie Lide and Taylor Blaser were named to the 2014 all-conference team, with an honorable mention going to Maurice Johnson. This season the program will see key sophomores leading the team, with a slate of 12 freshmen on the court as well. Leading the pack of upperclassmen will be guard Juwan Blakeley, a 6-foot-3-inch, 190-pound guard from Brentwood who has the ability to get to the basket at will and is considered to be among the best in the state. Adding to the punch is Namuji Madoshi, a 6-foot-6-inch, 190-pound guard from Antioch High School in Pittsburg, along with Marcus Harden, a 5-foot-10-inch, 185-pound guard from Compton, near Los Angeles. In 2013, Rick managed to recruit a true winner to the ranks of FRC basketball when he brought Harden aboard. Harden is the proud owner of a championship ring for winning the 2012 state championship with his high school team, the Mayfair Monsoons, of Lakewood. "(Harden) has high character and is a leader both on and off the court. He's a proven winner coming out of high school in Compton, helping his team win the 2012 Southern California CIF championship," Rick said. "He's a floor general and a natural leader." This year's recruiting class consists of several impact players and leading the pack is Jerrell Tate, a 6-foot-3-inch player who could go down as one of the best to ever graze the hardwood at FRC. Tate led his high school team to an Alabama state championship and has electrifying athleticism. Another freshman standout is 6-foot-5-inch guard Nick Longmire, who was recruited by Auburn University and the University of Alabama Crimson Tide coming out of high school. At guard position, 6-foot-l-inch Kevlin Swint adds strength and toughness to the backcourt from Southern California powerhouse Compt0n High School. Swint was invited to walk on at both the University of Kansas and Indiana University but elected to attend Feather River to gain valuable experience and exposure before moving on to the next level. Another guard, Deshawn Pughsley, a 6-foot-l-inch combo guard, will prove to play a major role for the Golden Eagles with his high court IQ and scoring ability. Ranked as one of the top guards coming out of the 2014 class of the Nevada scene, Pughsley decided to stay close to home rather than attend a National Junior College Athletic Association school on a full-ride scholarship. Northern Nevada resident and shooting guard Anthony Gattrell will add to the sharpshooters, which also include Lens Lubin, Nomso Nwachukwu and Cedarius Wright. Grounding the inside game is 6-foot-9-inch James Floyd. Floyd has the ability to block shots and add a physical presence for this year's team. Rict singled out a local among the freshmen on the team this season who will fill out the Golden Eagles' roster and should, if all goes according to plan, add a lot of points to the board for FRC. "We have this local player, Ty Morrison, who went to Quincy High School and, believe it or not, he has a nacho dish at Pangaea named after his family," Rick joked before going on to describe what Morrison is expected to bring to the season. "He is a great shooter, in a (former NBA star) Steve Kerr-type role," Rick added. "Ty has been doing great in the preseason and we're excited to see him shoot the ball this year." When the Golden Eagles open the 2014-15 season on Monday, Nov. 3, hosting Simpson College of Redding, the team will be working toward a goal set by Rick at the outset of the year "We have kids with great instincts, IQ athleticism and we have kids with a variety of different skills,', Rick said of his 2014 team. ,'We have shooters, kids who can get to the paint, and players who can really extend their athleticism on defense and generate easy buckets on the offensive end. I have not had the luxury to have these pieces throughout the past few years, so this team has the ability to be one of the best teams in the history of the program." After the Simpson opener, the Eagles will hit the road for a string of tournament appearances beginning in Rocklin at Sierra College on Nov. 8 and 9. The team will then travel to the Bay Area for the Chabot College tournament in Hayward on Nov. 14 and 15, and the Diablo Valley tourney Nov. 28 - 30 in Concord. The first regular season game will kick off Jan. 5, 2015, when College of the Siskiyous takes the long drive down from Weed to face the Eagles in a home opener. "We're looking for an electrifying opening to this season," Rick said. "We have the type of players that will entertain the crowd and give Plumas County and our Quincy community a brand of basketball we all can be proud of." Feather River College freshman Nicholas Caruso, left, drives around sophomore guard Marcus Harden in a preseason practice last week. The Golden Eagles are currently preparing for the 2014-15 season. Photo by Greg Knight 2015 Feather River College men's basketball regular season schedule 1/7-College of the Siskiyous 1/10-Lassen College 1/14-Shasta College 1/17-College of the Redwoods 1/21-Butte College Bold denotes home game 1/24-Lassen College 1/31-College of the Redwoods 2/7-College of the Siskiyous 2/14-Shasta College 2119-Butte College % D t n Faro Anna Rosa Rubio Grendahl & Roberts Office s and Parks Departments - National Wild Turkey Federation Susanville International Soroptomists' S-Club Members Ms. Lassen County, Heather Fortin & Ambassadress, Cheyenne Osborn r Master