Street & Smith, One of the premiere national college basketball magazines, has bestowed the John A. Logan men's basketball team with a preseason ranking of No. 3 in the nation and has named sophomore sensation Jay Scrubb its preseason Player Of The Year.
The No. 3 ranking is the highest for Harrisburg native Kyle Smithpeters in his time as head coach for the Vols. Last season, JALC was ranked No. 5 by the NJCAA.
Street & Smith's JUCO Top 10Street & Smith's JUCO Top 10
Team 2018-19 Record
1. Vincennes 34-2
2. Tallahassee (Fla.) 22-7
3. John A. Logan 27-5
4. Fla. Southwestern State 30-3
5. Ranger (Texas) 31-4
6. Coffeyville (Kan.) 31-4
7. Eastern Florida State 28-8
8. Indian Hills (Iowa) 27-7
9. Daytona State (Fla.) 25-7
10. Moberly (Mo.) 28-7
The magazine writes in its summary of John A. Logan: The measuring stick in District XVI will be how each team does against Vincennes (Ind.), the defending NJCAA Tournament champion. Logan, with our Street & Smith's preseason Player of the Year Jayden Scrubb on hand, will be primed for VU games at Logan Nov. 26 and at Vincennes on Feb. 1. Last season, the 6-6 left-hander was Logan's leading point producer (19.5 per game) and rebounder (8.6) and the only freshman to make first-team NJCAA All-American. Three transfers -- 6-2 Eric Boone (ex-Tallahassee JC), 6-1 Jalen Johnson (Murray State) and 6-1 Mark Lancaster (Georgia State) -- will solidify the backcourt. The key returnees are 6-7 Jordan Cousin and 6-1 Justin Saddoris. Newcomers who should make an impact: 6-7 Midland JC transfer Xavier Ball, 6-9 Wyoming transfer Trace Young and 7-0 freshman Jamarion Sharp.
As mentioned, Scrubb is not only the preseason Player of the Year, but made the list for the 2019-20 JUCO Super Sophs First Team, joining Sardaar Calhoun (Missouri State-West Plains), Vince Cole (USC Salkehatchie), Tyon Grant-Foster (Indian Hills, Iowa) and D'Mol Hodge (State College of Florida).
In a little less than a month, JALC will once again host its Midwest Jamboree. The fourth annual event will be held on Sunday, October 20th at the SIU Recreation Center and will feature 16 teams, including five Top 25 teams from last year, plus over 100 Division 1 coaches and several NBA scouts.
Joining Logan will be, Vincennes, Indian Hills, Olney Central and Wabash Valley.
Over 30 players in last year's Jamboree went on to sign with Division 1 teams, six of which were from Logan and included David Sloan (Kansas State), Chris Harris (SEMO) Will Keller (SIU), Vonnie Patterson (East Tennessee State) Quamin Nelson (South Carolina State) and Jonah Jackson (Drake).
The season opener for the Vols will be on Friday, Nov. 1 against Otero Junior College, played at Indian Hills in Iowa.
Spyder Dann covers prep and college sports for the Southern Illinois Local Media News Group. Follow him on Twitter: @spydieshooter.