ICC Men's Basketball Concludes Successful First Season.
When 1st Year ICC Head Men's Basketball Coach, Bill Morosco, took over in late April, 2019 the task of reviving the great basketball tradition at ICC appeared daunting. Having to recruit 14 new players, hire a brand-new staff and schedule a full slate of non-conference games was no easy task – especially to the standard that Morosco desired.
Morosco hit the ground running, quickly amassing a very dedicated coaching staff and a very talented recruiting class. The first piece was Assistant Coach Justin Mann. Coach Mann brought with him an impressive resume, coaching at various levels of college basketball. Most recently, Coach Mann served as an Assistant Coach at Daytona State College – one of the most talented junior college teams in the country.
Morosco would later go on to add a familiar face to his ICC coaching staff with the addition of Assistant Coach Tyler Thayer. Thayer served as a Graduate Assistant for Morosco at Barry University. Thayer's great experience as a successful collegiate player and intimate knowledge of Morosco's system would prove to be invaluable.
On the recruiting front, after, starting guard Tonje Durham committed to return for his final season at ICC, Morosco quickly turned his attention to establishing an influx of talent at ICC. The 2019-20 recruiting class featured three Division I Transfers: Payton Hudson (Iona), Marlo Brown (NIU), Juan Hood (Prairie View A&M); two Division II Transfers: Zahir Porter (NYIT) Tyler Clarke (UI Springfield), four Junior College Transfers: Demetric Horton (Cape Fear CC), Sam'I Roe (Palm Beach State), TJ Collins (Trinity Valley), Cedrick Harris (Rainy River CC). Lastly, Morosco rounded out his recruiting class with high school seniors: Tim Dalger (Fort Lauderdale, FL), Jaden McClanahan (Valejo, CA) and Ryle Burley (Washington DC).
The Pirates hit the ground running in the 2019-20 season starting 5-0 including key wins in Texas against perennial powerhouses Hill College (TX) and McClennan CC (TX) and against Missouri West Plains and Florida State Commit Sadaar Calhoun in exciting fashion 82-81 in the ICC Field house. Next ICC would travel to Iowa to play Iowa Lakes and Marshalltown where they would split the series. Following the trip to Iowa was a pair of rematches – first Independence traveled to West Plains to return their game to the Grizzlies. ICC would overcome a late 2nd half deficit to win in exciting fashion 94-91. Next up, Hill College made the trip to the ICC Fieldhouse where the Pirates were able to hold home court advantage to win 82-77.
Late November, saw the start of KJCC Conference play where the Pirates would go on the road to Dodge City and come away with a resounding victory 111-79. The next game saw the #2 Hutchinson Blue Dragons enter the ICC Fieldhouse where they escaped with an 85-83 victory. The next 2 games would see the Pirates split with a Northwest Kansas Tech 106-80 victory and an 89-83 defeat against Barton CC. The final two games of the Fall Semester saw ICC travel to Pratt for an 78-66 victory and sweep Southwestern Iowa in the season series 100-90. The Pirates wrapped up the first semester 12-3 heading into Christmas Break.
The Pirates got off to hot start in the month of January going 6-2 in the month. Highlighted by a 2OT victory at Seward County and also defeating Conference Tournament Runner Up Butler CC 97-57. The Pirates finished the month with resounding home victories 114-80 over Cloud CC and Allen County 84-77.
February saw the Pirates go 5-3 including 4 wins in a row to end the month including 92-88 at Cloud County, 85-80 at Allen County, as well as defeating #5 Cowley County 118-107 at the ICC fieldhouse. Lastly, the Pirates hosted a home playoff game in the Region VI Tournament defeating Seward County 86-74.
The Pirates season would come to an end in a closely contested game against #2 seeded Colby Community College in the quarterfinals 99-93. Bringing the Pirates final record to 23-9 and 13-7 in conference regular season play making it the most successful season since the 2010-11 season.
Following the completion of the year's campaign the award season would be very kind to the Pirates. Demetric Horton earned All-Conference First Team honors, Jaden McClanahan earned All-Conference Second Team honors, and Sam'I Roe received All-Conference Honorable Mention.