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MCCC 2018-19 Men’s Basketball Season Preview
11/9/18


Donovan Guess, pictured here against Harcum, is expected to be a major contributor on the 2018-19 Vikings.

WEST WINDSOR – Although Mercer County Community College (MCCC) is entering its 2018-19 basketball season with a smaller lineup than in years past, Head Coach Howard Levy is focused on getting the best out of his team.

As Levy sat at a desk adorned with trophies and plaques, he didn’t harp on the successes of the 23-4 team from 2014-15. Rather, he embraced the challenge of building a team quickly and efficiently.

“I don’t want to be one of those old guys that said it was way better back then,” Levy said. Though the team was eliminated in the first round of the Region 19 Playoffs last season, Levy remained confident that the team’s success is “more than the sum of its parts.”

An alumnus of Princeton University in the 1980s and former player under renowned coaches Pete Carril and Phil Jackson, Levy doesn’t base his expectations on past accomplishments. Almost half the team is returning from last season and provides a core to build from, while the remaining players have a chance to grow and contribute to the Mercer brand of ball.

More than raw talent or stuffed stat sheets, Levy is looking for “good, hard working players that [play] well together.”

Levy signaled sophomore guards Donovan Guess, Jamir Jenkins and John Evans as key players to watch this season, but anyone on the roster could contribute as a role player or have a breakout performance.

Last season, Guess led the team with 22 points per game and was named to the First Team All-Region XIX. Evans contributed 16 per game while starting all 26 games in which he played.

Calling his team “quick and skilled,” Levy will also need Mercer to be built for endurance. The 2018-19 season will take the team through 27 regular season games, with four bouts against region rivals Essex County College and the County College of Morris. “We had a nice rivalry in Essex,” Levy said, adding that one of his former players now coaches for Morris.

But given the nature of the national tournament, which only accepts the Region 19 winner, Levy considers “every team a rival.”

This season, the Vikings open their season in Loch Sheldrake, New York against SUNY Sullivan on Nov. 3. Mercer’s home opener comes two weeks later against Westchester Community College as part of the Mercer Mixer hosted on the West Windsor campus.

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