There has been a men’s basketball program at Miami Dade College’s Kendall Campus since the 1972-73 season, but this is just the second time the team has made it to two consecutive state tournaments.
The only other occurrence came when the program had a three-year run from 1987 to ’89.
Current coach Stephen Cowherd has led the Sharks to a 20-10 record, including three wins over teams ranked in the top 25 in the nation at the time.
The Sharks will play for the junior college state title Thursday through Saturday in Ocala. It’s an eight-team, single-elimination tournament, and the top two teams advance to nationals.
Hutchinson, Kansas, is the site of the national tournament, which is set for March 16-21. The best finish for an MDC team at nationals was second place by Dade North in 1982. That was back when MDC had teams at the north, south and downtown campuses.
Now it’s just one team, based in Kendall, and the Sharks have just nine players. The only returner from last season is sophomore guard Jaylin Gilbert.
Three Sharks players made first-team All-State: 6-1 sophomore guard Shane Rector, who is a transfer from the University of Missouri; 6-3 freshman guard Marvin Jean-Pierre, who played at Deerfield Beach High; and 6-5 freshman forward Joe Mvuezolo, who is from London.
Making second team were 6-1 sophomore guard Anthony Tompkins and 6-6 freshman forward Brandon Jones. Gilbert and 6-7 freshman forward Travond Massenbert made honorable mention.
MDC’s first opponent at state will be Daytona State (23-7), which is led by UCF recruit Tanksley Efianayi, a 6-5 forward.
The Barry Bucs’ baseball team was impressive on Wednesday in a hard-fought 5-3 loss to the Miami Hurricanes, who are ranked 11th in the nation in Division I.
It was just the latest example of one of the two NCAA Division II universities in Dade (Barry) and Broward (Nova Southeastern) competing on a fairly even level against Division I.
Another example came last season, when the NSU men’s basketball team went to FIU and walked away with a convincing 77-59 victory. This was a regular-season game, and NSU made 14 three-pointers to earn the win.
The Barry men’s basketball team showed its stuff earlier this season while playing at Louisville and at Florida — both were ranked in the top 10 nationally at the time.
Barry lost to Florida 79-70 in an exhibition in front of more than 9,000 fans, but the Bucs outrebounded the Gators 42-39.
Five days earlier, Louisville led by just 13 points with 8:24 to play before pulling away for a 91-71 exhibition win before more than 19,000 fans. Barry outrebounded Louisville 53-41, and Bucs forward Jevoni Robinson threw dunk a monster dunk over Cardinals All-American Montrezl Harrell.
Second baseman Joseph Collazo was named the NJCAA Region 8 Baseball Player of the Week after hitting .692 and driving in six runs in three games.