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PROGRAM SPOTLIGHT: Daytona State College

By FL JUCO Report, 07/21/20, 10:30AM EDT


The 19-20 season was the first year head coach Martin McCann was roaming the sidelines in Daytona Beach amassing a 17-13 record. Prior to this season Coach McCann had been the head coach at Palm Beach State College where as recently as the 18-19 season he led his team to the Southern Conference regular season championship before landing in Daytona. This past year Daytona State Sophomore Class had six D1 Signees:

 Adong Makuoi - Northern Illinois

Alex Kotov - Illinois State

Marcus Hopkins - Tennessee Tech

Marco Morency - Louisiana Monroe

Dante Moses - Radford

Kam Cunningham - Mississippi Valley State 

This coming year Coach McCann will be looking to build on last years success behind some talented returning players which include  Issa Muhammad (6’9/F)  and DuJuan Fripp (6’1/G).  When asked about his upcoming recruiting class here is what Coach McCann had to say:

"We are very excited about the group of newcomers. It’s a great combination of transfers, internationals and student athlete coming directly form HS/Prep We will be announcing our incoming class at the end of the month. "


What are expectations for year two at Daytona State and going forward? 

Definitely have high expectations for year two at Daytona State! I am very excited about the new additions to our roster and my coaching staff. As expected, there will be many new faces on our roster and throughout Region 8. The new 3 Conference layout in Region 8, the NJCAA’s Covid season format and a new look Daytona State roster has me very excited about what the 2020-2021 season brings! 

How do you feel about NJCAA decision to move basketball to a spring session? 

I believe that the NJCAA and its administrators have put together a phenomenal plan and am very thankful they announced this decision when they did. It was a stressful time for all coaches and players with the looming uncertainty. 

The new layout of the Fall semester that allows team to practice for 60 consecutive days and participate in 5 scrimmage days will be very beneficial for both player development and the development of your team. With such quick turnover in JUCO, any roster can have a large number of new players including first semester freshman and transfers. This new layout allows the team and its new members to have an entire semester of practice, strength & conditioning and scrimmages before they suit up for a real game. I except that when competition begins January 22nd, teams will be much further along with their chemistry, execution, etc than they would on a normal season opener. Overall, I’m excited about the new layout and I applaud the NJCAA! 

What players will you miss the most from latest season? Who are you most excited to coach next year? 

I will definitely miss our great group of Sophomores! I am forever grateful, as all six showed tremendous loyalty to me over the past year. Alex Kotov, Adong Makuoi, Marcus Hopkins and Dante Moses are 4 guys that played major roles as Freshman on our team at Palm Beach State that won the 2019 Southern Conference Championship and without hesitation joined me at Daytona State. 

I am very excited to see the growth of our returning Sophomore, Issa Muhammad (6’9/F). He had a tremendous Freshman Campaign where he started 26 games and recorded 5 Double-Doubles. I expect him to step into a leadership role and be one of the best Sophomores in all of Junior College. 

What changes do you expect to see in NJCAA and all of college basketball this coming season due to COVID-19? 

This has been a huge question for the past couple months. As I stated the before, the NJCAA has implemented their plan for the upcoming season and I expect announcements from other levels to come in the near future. Many national media members and Coaches from all levels have not only applauded the NJCAA for being the first governing body to announce the changes, but have also applauded the changes and the new format. I expect to see the NCAA make an announcement soon that outlines the changes they are implementing for the upcoming season. In addition to the changes that the NCAA and NJCAA make, I expect conferences and athletic departments to have some major changes in their operations that include COVID procedures that allow us to have a safe season. 

Will you be open to playing more geographically located prep schools this year? 

In a normal year, we usually have a few games vs Prep Schools to add home games to our schedule and to get to the NJCAA max of 30 regular season games. In Florida there are so many quality prep programs and playing a prep school is an excellent opportunity to play a good opponent with recruitable student athletes. With the NJCAA only allowing 22 Games this season, I do not plan to play any Prep schools and expect to play 22 NJCAA Division 1 opponents. 

How does the new law in the state of Florida allowing college athletes to accept endorsements effect the junior college student athlete? 

First, I am a huge supporter of this new law. The athletes are the driving force behind college athletics and they should be getting a chance to capitalize on the status they have achieved as an athlete and earn what they deserve. Honestly, I am not completely sure how this new law will affect junior college student athletes but if they can profit off their own image and likeness, then they deserve the same opportunity to do so. 

Who would be an your all time starting 5? (Of the guys you coached at all schools.) have me walking down a dead end with this question! I have been blessed to coach so many quality players, especially in my 6 years as a Junior College Head Coach. Over those 6 years, we have had 27 Division 1 signees, making this an incredibly difficult question. 

There are 3 guys that really stand out to me. Jarrel Marshall, Travis Weatherington and Malik Curry all had success at the next level but their performances as sophomores in Junior College were historic. 

Jarrel Marshall lead our 14-15 team at Palm Beach State in scoring (18.4) and rebounding (7.1) while being ridiculously efficient (48%, 42%, 79%). After being an All Conference and All Region selection in Junior College, Jarrel played at the University of Portland and later professionally in Ireland and Peru. 

Travis Weatherington won 49 games in 2 years at Palm Beach State, scoring in double figures both years (10.0, 16.2). As a sophomore, Travis made 104 Threes at 44%, including 2 game winners. He went on to have a stellar career at the University of Hartford and is currently playing professionally in Argentina. 

Malik Curry is the most decorated player I had the pleasure to coach in Junior College. As a Sophomore he was named the Southern Conference POY, All Region 8, NJCAA All American and was selected to playin the JUCO All Star game in Las Vegas. He averaged 21.9 PPG, 5.9 RPG and 6.3 APG while leading his team to a Southern Conference Title. Malik is going into his Senior year at Old Dominion and is one the best returning players in Conference USA.