By José Umaña
The Owls basketball team started the season on the right foot, winning their first four games. A shocking victory over Joliet JC (86-79 in overtime), ranked second in the nation in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division III polls, was called "a signature win for this program" by Joyner.
"I feel really good about this team and we've had some really tough games this early in the season," Coach Joyner said about his new team leading up to the season. "These guys were able to form a really good bond during the preseason. They did an excellent job at pushing each other during the preseason."
Currently, the Owls are ranked 8th in the nation according to the NCJAA Division III polls with a strong record of five wins and two losses. In an exclusive interview, Coach Joyner spoke about the team, their current status, and who is currently performing
JU: In your last game, you lost to Baltimore City Community College, 90-87. What do you think was the difference leading up to the loss?
Joyner: "The loss to Baltimore City was really tough because we
missed 13 free throws. We played well in the second half and I told our
team not to hang their heads down because Baltimore City is really talented and
one of the toughest teams in the nation. So, the free throws definitely
were the deciding factor."
JU: Josiah Woodruff is the
team's leading scoring, averaging 18 points a game. Explain how you think
Woodruff has performed so far this season?
Joyner: "Woodruff has been a warrior for us this year and it all
started from the summer with his dedication and discipline to becoming a great
student athlete. He's been a true leader for us so far this season."
JU: Who is seen as the team's leader and do you feel they work well together as their own leaders?
Joyner: "Our captains on the team are Corey Wood and Josiah Woodruff. Both of those guys are extremely great leaders because they have what our team motto is "Dedication + Discipline = Success". They both posses an amazing amount of dedication and discipline and it are contagious to the team."
JU: Who do you feel is the most underrated player on the team and why?
Joyner: "Abeeb Ayodeji is probably the most underrated player on the team. He is potential is enormous and he is a ticking time bomb waiting to go off. When he gains the ability to be consistent in his effort, he's going to be really good."
JU: What is your team's goal this season and do you think this team could attend it?
Joyner: "Our team goals are to have the highest grade point average in the MD JUCO, win the MD JUCO [Conference], Region XX [tournament], District VII [tournament], and the National Championships. All are attainable for us and I would disappoint if we don't attain those goals. This is a Division I team in the Division III classification."