PRATT, Kansas — The Cloud County Community College men's basketball team stayed undefeated on the young season, steamrolling Kansas Wesleyan University JV, 101-69, on the final day of the Pratt Classic.
"I'm really happy with and excited about the mentality of the team right now," said Cloud County head coach, Jordan Altman. "We have a deep rotation where every guy on the team can contribute in a different way. We're all happy for each other. We have 11 guys playing for each other right now and that's always great to see as a coach."
The game was never in doubt for Cloud County (3-0 overall) as the T-Birds built a 19-point lead at the half at 54-33, was again paced by sophomore guard Jerome Kidd Jr. as he poured in a team-high 21 points off the bench on 7-of-10 shooting.
He was one of five T-Birds in double-figures on Sunday, joined by redshirt freshman Nysir Scott (11 points), sophomore forward Adetomi Ayilara (12 points, 5-of-6 shooting), freshman forward Edoardo Del Cadia (13 points, five rebounds) and redshirt sophomore Alvin Thompson.
For Thompson, Sunday was arguably the best game of the season to date for the 6'3 guard out of St. Louis as he finished with 19 points, four rebounds and a team-high five assists while not committing a turnover.
"We're really trying to push him and force him to make the jump from a freshman to a sophomore player," said Altman of Thompson. "Physically, he's been ready since Day One. He just needs to continue to make strides as a cerebral basketball player and we saw a lot of that out of him (Sunday). He made adjustments, didn't make similar mistakes, and really went after the rim."
As a team, Cloud County shot an even 50 percent (38-of-76) from the field Sunday and committed just 12 turnovers.
The T-Birds' aggressiveness led to a dominating advantage at the free-throw line, finishing 24-of-33 (73 percent) compared to 5-of-11 (46 percent) for Kansas Wesleyan JV.
As good as the offense was, there was still room for improvement for the T-Birds as they were a mere 1-for-11 from 3-point range.
"To be honest, I'm a little dumbfounded by our 3-point percentage right now," Altman said. "That was a big focus of our postgame conversation. I can't think of a guy on the team that I wouldn't let shoot a 3-pointer. They are all capable shooters. It's just something we need to focus on the next couple days as we get ready to head down to Council Bluffs, Iowa."
Cloud County's next two games are scheduled for Friday and Saturday in Council Bluffs at the Hampton Inn Reiver Classic, hosted by Iowa Western Community College.
The T-Birds play at 3 p.m. each day against Dakota College at Bottineau and Des Moines Area Community College, respectively.
"We're going to play two very talented and very well-coached NJCAA Division II teams," Altman said. "We're going to have to play extremely well and efficient to beat both of those teams. It'll be good for us to really test ourselves in an unfamiliar environment. It should be a good weekend for us as long as we come prepared to take on two teams that are going to execute, play hard and defend for 40 minutes."