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Archers Look to Build on Eighth Place National Finish

October 31, 2014

Jake Hensel  
Jake Hensel is one of only two returning players from
the team that finished eighth in the nation last
season.

If the St. Louis Community College men’s basketball is to make a return trip to the NJCAA Tournament following last year’s eighth-place finish, it will be with a vastly different group than the one head coach Randy Reed led a year ago.

 

The Archers, with just two returners, have seen their roster overhauled from last season’s 22-win campaign, but talent and experience will still be in ample supply. Joining returners Sean Robinson and Jake Hensel are sophomore transfers Joe Henderson, Gabriel Coach, Devon Booker and Donald Stribbling. Reed has also brought in eight freshmen to this year’s group.

 

Tasked with replacing the two-man offensive force provided by Randy Reed II and Cortez Connors from a year ago, the elder Reed emphasized that depth was a priority in assembling this season’s roster.

 

“We have no superstars on this team,” Reed said. We’re going to be pretty deep. Last year, we had two studs—Connors and Reed. But this year, we have a lot of depth and everybody’s just pretty good. We have some guys who can score a little bit, but offensively, we don’t just have to depend on two guys. We don’t have to rely on those two guys to score 40 points. Everybody can give me 10, 12, 14 points a game—a balanced attack.”

 

Entering the regular season opener this evening in Sedalia, Mo., against Coffeyville Community College, Reed’s roster is so balanced that defining a starting five has been challenging in the early going.

 

“Our second team is beating our first time right now,” Reed said.

 

For Reed, who took over a storied STLCC program a year ago, added his own chapter with the Archers’ best finish since moving to a districtwide program in 2011. Now with a region tournament title and a full offseason behind him, the Archers’ head coach has wasted no time in setting the bar high for his program.

 

Furthermore, Reed continues to reap the benefits of a lengthy and illustrious career as the head coach at McCluer North High School, where he won three state titles and garnered the attention and respect of many area high school and college coaches. The residual benefits regarding recruiting and transfers are clear to see.

 

“It was big to get my name out there and have some success,” Reed said. “With the transfers, I didn’t really have to go look for many of them. They mostly came to me. A lot of guys knew about me around Missouri. There are guys here who came to an open gym and a workout and wanted to play for me. These guys are good players. We were eighth in the country last year, and we want to do better than that this year. That’s our goal.”