IVCC Classic: Eagles finding identity on court

Five games into Chris Herman’s first year as head coach of IV’s basketball team, the Eagles have shown everything from fantastic teamwork to confusing plays to the disappointing.

The promising Eagles are at a record of 2-3, but it is hard to judge this squad by only their record. There have been outstanding performances by many of players from this squad; none greater than sophomore forward Torrance Johnson who has scored 45 points and gathered 36 rebounds in only two games.

Johnson who missed three games due to a concussion is the biggest piece to the Eagles puzzle for success; a puzzle that coach Herman has not had all the pieces for since game 1. Other players like Delano Clanton and Tyree Coe, both regular starters, have missed time due to conduct issues with the school.

These absences that will continue moving forward have really hindered the Eagles in their recent games. Hosting the IVCC Classic Nov. 14-15, a four-team two-day event, the Eagles split their games 1-1 losing to Oakton Community College by 2 in the final seconds and handling Waubonsee Community College 54-51.

The Classic offered two teams from the Arrowhead conference (IVCC and Carl Sandburg) and the Illinois Skyway conference (Oakton and Waubonsee).

This competition allowed coaches and teams to see the quality of their squads compared to others in the area, and there was talent everywhere including point guard Zerell Jackson from Oakton and forward Josh McAuley from Waubonsee. These two players both shined against the Eagles with Jackson scoring 16 points and McAuley with 23 points.

Without Johnson or Clanton, it was up to the other players of IV to step in the limelight and many players took the challenge.
Allias Roberts-Burnett averaged 13.5 ppg in the Classic and served the crowd of the IVCC gymnasium with a plethora of spectacular plays. Sophomore point guard Jazz Drane racked up 9 assists and 23 points in the two games and Tyree Coe dropped 14 points in his one start in the Classic.

It was a team effort for the Eagles and everyone served a role; players like Keith Thompson, Austin O’Sadnick, and Jaylyn McGee may not have lit up the score cards but served as the big bodies down low with Johnson out. Guarding Josh McAuley all game is no easy task but these worked did it efficiently.

The best overall team play in the Classic goes to Carl Sandburg, however, who won both their games and are still undefeated this season at 7-0. This team does not win with superstar performances, but rather efficient basketball on both sides of the court.

Sandburg, a conference rival to the Eagles, did not play the home team in the Classic but the squads will be seeing each other twice in January.

After the classic, IV took on two opponents from the larger MWAC conference: Parkland College and Illinois Central College, both of which were double-digit losses. Both MWAC teams come from larger programs at larger schools and it was too much for the broken IV team with players still out.

Despite the losing record, the Eagles have shown an abundance of talent from all of their players, but never together. There have been other issues as well like free throws and inconsistency in the Eagle’s offense, all things coach Herman and the players looks to improve on.

Tyree Coe in an interview early last week said, “My goals this season are to win conference and make it to nationals.” Torrance Johnson has hopes of a 20–win season. But until all the pieces of the puzzle can come together on the court, the true potential of this team is still up in the air.

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