Mark DeCotis, Athletic Communications

Office:  321-433-5700, 321-759-4540 (C)

BCC Women, Men Resume Basketball Play With an Eye Toward Conference Games

January 2, 2013 - The Brevard Community College women's and men's basketball teams are traveling divergent paths toward their destination of a common goal: success in the Florida College System Activities Association Southern Conference.

The women, who begin the 2013 portion of their schedule by hosting non-conference foe St. Louis Community College at 5:30 p.m. Thursday on the Melbourne Campus, are 2-12 and have lost nine straight games. They begin conference play by hosting Broward College at 2 p.m. Saturday.

Admission to BCC home games is free.

The men, who are off to their best start in 13 seasons, are 12-3. They play three more non-conference games beginning with Saturday's 4 p.m. home match-up against Tampa Bay International Academy before beginning conference action on Jan. 12 at archrival Indian River State College in Fort Pierce.

The men play Indian River, powerhouse Palm Beach State, Miami Dade and Broward College three times each to determine seeding for the Feb. 25-26 conference tournament.

BCC's women play Broward, Miami Dade, Indian River, Palm Beach State, Miami Dade and St. Petersburg Community College three times each to determine the seeding order for their conference tournament.

BCC's men face a particularly tall order in conference since all four opponents have winning non-conference records ranging from Palm Beach's 18-0 to Indian River's 12-2, Broward's 12-4 and Miami Dade's 10-7.

On the women's side St. Petersburg is 9-6, Palm Beach 8-5, Indian River 5-5, Broward 4-8 and Miami Dade 4-11.

But before BCC women's head coach Renee Bellamy can concern herself with her conference foes she must get her own team back on track.

"We must refocus on defensive pressure and running the floor in transition," Bellamy said.  "It is very disappointing to have talented players, who have yet to produce. With this game on Thursday, we are trying to regain our confidence along with striving toward getting a win.

"Our team has to realize that we must focus more on team defense and team offense. We must get contributions from other individuals on this team to compliment (sophomore co-captain and leading scorer) Shaneece (Stephens) and she must realize that she has the support of her teammates."

Stephens is averaging 16 points per game for BCC. She is the only player in double figures. To that end Bellamy is looking to Stephens and classmate Shante Stevenson to set the tone.

"The ball is in their hands mostly and they must realize that execution starts with the two of them," Bellamy said.

"We will do fine as long as we continue to play hard and fight no matter what obstacle is in front of us. We have had several regrouping sessions and I think this game will give us the confidence we need to get back on track."

The BCC women are averaging 58.4 points per game while allowing opponents an average of 73.6.

St. Louis, which competes at the NJCAA Division II level compared to Division I for BCC, comes into Thursday's game with a record of 8-2 and on a five-game winning streak. It is scoring an average of 76.4 points per game while allowing only 30.7.

As for the BCC men, head coach Jeremy Shulman is looking to the Tampa Bay game, Monday's 4 p.m. match-up at always-dangerous Polk State College and Wednesday's 5:30 p.m. game against the Webber International junior varsity precious preparation and improvement opportunities prior to conference.

"More than anything, we are looking to shake off the rust of Christmas break, as well as make some adjustments and improvements before heading into conference play," Shulman said.

"Two of the three games are on the road, which will give us more road experience, and the game at Polk State on Monday, in particular, will be a tough, physical game that should prepare us.

"With such a great conference, our guys have to get better on the defensive end, especially on rotations, as well as on the boards, for us to achieve our goal of winning conference. We have to get better at the details of the game, the little things, that often determine wins and losses."

Fortunately for BCC there have been more of the former and less of the latter but Shulman believes BCC has not yet found its stride.

"We are 12-3, which I am very proud of, but I also don't feel we are even close to being as good as we can be this year," he said. "So I demand perfection from the guys, so we can get closer and closer to reaching our potential. I try to find a good balance between expecting perfection, and at the same time living with certain types of mistakes, so that the guys play with unbelievable confidence when the games start. This can be a truly special team, and it's my job to make sure we reach our lofty goals."

Sophomores and co-captains Addison Spruill and Nyles Evans are leading BCC in scoring, averaging 16.6 and 16.4 points per game respectively. BCC is averaging 88 points per game offensively while allowing opponents an average of 48.3.