Return of the Herd
Old guard, new faces comprise Mustangs
MACU set to host basketball showcase
By Malcolm Shields
Thursday, November 9, 2017
A combination of veterans and newcomers comprise the 2017-18 Mid-Atlantic Christian men’s basketball team.
The Mustangs began their season last Friday and Saturday with a pair of losses at the Appalachian Wireless Classic in Pikeville, Kentucky.
The Mustangs open their home slate tonight at the annual MACU Mustangs Showcase at Chesson Gym.
The three-day event will feature MACU along with Trinity College of Florida, Montreat and Carolina Christian College.
MACU (0-2) opens showcase play against Trinity tonight at 8 p.m.
Mid-Atlantic Christian men’s basketball coach Allan Harris noted that Trinity College of Florida is always a tough matchup for the Mustangs.
Trinity won the Bible College NIT at MACU last February.
“We always play them tough,” Harris said.
The MACU coach added that the team is looking forward to competing against Trinity.
Harris noted that Montreat and Carolina Christian also present different challenges.
MACU faces Montreat on Friday at 8 p.m. and concludes the Showcase against Carolina Christian on Saturday at 2 p.m.
The Mustangs return key contributors Dixon Ogwo, Markel Ming, Leander Williams, Alex Stanley and Colin Cunningham from last season’s team that posted a 9-16 overall record.
Ogwo led the Mustangs in rebounds per game (11.4) and blocks per game (1.4) last winter.
Ogwo, who before last season transferred to MACU from Michigan’s Wayne County Community College, scored 10.5 points per game last season.
Harris expects the same production from Ogwo this winter.
Ming led MACU in scoring with a 11.1 points per game average.
Harris noted that Ming, a sophomore, will get additional responsibility in the backcourt as a combo guard that will score and distribute the basketball.
Williams scored 10.3 points per game and shot a team-best 43.2 percent from behind the 3-point line.
Ming, Williams and Cunningham were ranked in the top 35 in 3-point percentage among players in the United States Collegiate Athletic Association last season.
Harris noted that Stanley, a Pasquotank County High School product, has improved as a power forward.
Grayson Tejeda, a freshman from Reidsville, has scored in double figures in the Mustangs’ first two games this season at the classic in Kentucky.
After coming off of the bench against Bethel (Tenn.) on Friday night, Tejeda got the start against Pikeville last Saturday.
Tejeda earned playing time at point guard.
Harris noted that the signing of Tejeda from Hargrave Military Academy was a great addition to the program.
Although the Mustangs lost both games at the Classic, Harris noted the contests allowed the team to gauge to where they are early in the season against NAIA schools.
Also expected to contribute in the backcourt is guard DaQuon Copeland.
Copeland, a product of Virginia’s Oscar Smith High School, missed the first two games at the Classic in Kentucky.
According to Harris, Copeland, a freshman, sustained an ankle injury during a preseason scrimmage.
When healthy, Harris noted that Copeland, listed at 6-foot-1, can handle the point guard position and can be a lock down defender for the Mustangs.
The 2017-18 season schedule has the Mustangs facing NCAA Division I programs Norfolk State, Hampton and North Carolina A&T along with annual contests against Division II foes Chowan and Elizabeth City State.
The contests against Norfolk State and Hampton are slated to be exhibitions for MACU, but Norfolk State and Hampton will count the games for their records.