MBU Changing of the Guard
(St. Louis, MO) – Second year Missouri Baptist University coach Matt Brock is turning the Spartan program around. In season one in West St. Louis County, the Spartans improved from five wins to 19 in a dramatic turn around.
Brock hit the recruiting trail and brought in veterans and size. He recruited international players and players with some size and strength. The result was staggering. 19 wins, eight road wins, three victories over nationally ranked teams, one new all-american, were some of the headlines from last season.
Graduation took 7’ center Isaiah Cotton and leading rebounder John Caraballo from the team, but Brock wasn’t married to one style or one group of players. Also graduating were guards Steven Buckner and Michael Asleson, so there were holes to fill.
From international to local and from interior to perimeter, this year’s team will play a bit differently.
Six local players were added to this year’s roster and none of them taller than 6’7. Leading the pack is Cardinal Ritter graduate Jahmouri Robinson. The 5’9 Robinson red-shirted last season and is already making a difference on this year’s team. During his red-shirt campaign, we would hear rumblings that he was one of the best players at practice. Now that we’ve seen him play a couple of times we know why.
Coach Brock and Missouri State guard (whom the Spartans played in the exhibition season) describe Robinson as shifty and aggressive. Because of his presence, skill level and his fellow rookies’ skill set, Brock says the team will be more ‘dynamic’ this season.
Robinson is one of four Spartans averaging double figures in scoring (10.5 ppg) through the first two games and he’s tied with senior Will Harrington averaging 5.5 assists per game.
Veterans Jared White, Harrington and Chris Buzzell will continue to play vital roles. Buzzell is ninth on MBU’s all-time scoring list with over 1,300 career points. His humility and hard work have been critical to what Coach Brock is building. The Houston, Texas native led the Spartans in scoring as a sophomore averaging nearly 17 points per game. Last year Buzzell willingly accepted a lesser scoring role and ended the season with a scoring average just shy of 12 points per game, to allow others to shine and the Spartans to experience success.
Buzzell (13.0), Luke Call (11.5) and James McKelvin (10.0) are the other players averaging double figures in scoring through the first two games.
White is yet to play this season as he nurses a sprained ankle. Nine players are averaging five or more points per game for the 2-0 Spartans.