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SCCC Hoops: Final Look


Democrat Photo by Ted Waddell

ALL-REGION: David Bonner of Sullivan County CC (40) was an all-Region XV player for the Generals this year.

Generals Find Mixed Success

By Ted Waddell
LOCH SHELDRAKE — March 28, 2000 -- Will Brown, second-year coach of the Sullivan County Community College (SCCC) Generals men’s basketball team, had a pretty tough year.
First, just about everybody expected him to unwrap a present similar to last season’s 29–1 regular season record (32–3 overall). But with a different stable of horses, some of this year’s edition of the Generals were often more interested in running up individual stats than winning as a team. And the end result was a 27-6 record for 1999-2000.
Second, the Generals had to labor under a series of unsubstantiated mid-season rumors alleging misdeeds on the part of their coach. Two “points” were assessed by National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Region XV officials for a couple of things that raised eyebrows last year as sensitivities were apparently still high in the wake of SCCC’s transgressions by the previous athletic administration.
According to Brown, these “points” will carry over for another year into the 2000-2001 hoop season. If a program accumulates three “points” within a two-year period, it gets hit with probation by the NJCAA.
Still, Brown is proud of the two years he’s been in charge of bringing the SCCC men’s basketball program back to national prominence. He’s led the Generals to a 59-9 record over two years, winning the Mid-Hudson Conference both years and the Region XV title last year. The Generals lost the Region XV final to Farmingdale earlier this month.
Brown and SCCC AD Jack Mager recently had their contracts renewed by the local junior college.
“The biggest difference between last year’s team and this year’s team is that last year’s team had a ‘refuse to lose’ attitude,” said Brown. “They thought they were invincible. Sometimes that’s not good, but they would go out and back it up.”
According to Brown, he “didn’t get good feelings” during the Generals first scrimmage of the season at Hudson Valley when he noticed that a lot of the kids played with what he called a “selfish” attitude.
“The team was very individualistic, instead of a strong, tight unit,” he said. “I don’t want to say this year’s team thought they were better than they really were, because they were very confident in their individual abilities, but sometimes they found it difficult to play as a team.
“The best team we played all year was ourselves, because we were our own worst enemy,” he added. “I got so frustrated this year, that I broke about five clipboards in the locker room.”
Asked what effect the short-lived flurry of negative press had on the Generals, Brown replied, “I think it had an effect, because of course I got very frustrated with it. I think [some] people had nothing better to do, ...[and] people who consider themselves basketball people should know better.”
According to Brown, the negative vibes extended all the way to the recent Region XV playoffs hosted at Orange County Community College. In the first round of the tourney, Brown said that someone posted a negative article about the Generals that was published in a daily newspaper. The article was posted inside a locked glass case in the OCCC locker room, the locker room used by Suffern County Community College during their game against SCCC.
“It was the only article in the case, and it was about all the negative stuff that I was allegedly doing,” said Brown. “Coach Chris DePew and I went down there, and at first I thought it was comical. It sent me a message about what OCCC is all about and the people who are there. I didn’t say a word.”
He added, “I thought that finally all this c––– had passed us and we were moving forward…the last thing I needed was for my kids to see this posted in their locker room.”
Brown said that in his two years at the helm of the Generals, he thinks he’s matured as a coach.
“I think I’ve matured quite a bit because I’ve allowed myself to,” he said. “I just let the bull–––– roll off, and say ‘Whatever!’ inside,” he said. “In two years, the program has come back to life, and we’re going to try to keep it going.”
Next season, three of the starting five are scheduled to return to the floor wearing the distinctive green and gold uniform of the Generals: front court players Chris Ibezim and David Bonner, along with point guard Erv Opong. In addition, 6'-8" Ty Brunson is also slated to return.
“I’ve been doing a lot of recruiting already,” said Brown last week. “Tyshawn Valentine, an exciting, explosive player from the city, could be the best player in the region, and Devon Wilson, who averaged about 18 points per game at SUNY Morrisville, recently enrolled at Sullivan.”
Brown said he’s also looking at a couple of players who formerly played at local high schools.
“My expectations for next year are extremely high,” said Brown. “I’m very confident, and I expect a lot from my players. I want to play the perfect basketball game: no turnovers and no missed shots. That’s probably not realistic, but it’s a goal to shoot for.”

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