By JOHN JAMES MARSHALL, Journal Sports
If there’s something that seems different about Bossier Parish Community College basketball this year, it’s because there is.
When head coach John Anthony Anglin got the job two years ago, he had to deal with all the issues involved with an abbreviated COVID-19 season.
Just before last year’s season started, star player Dakari Markray was killed in an auto accident. Along with the emotional toll, the aftermath basically cost the Cavaliers the entire preseason.
But as the 2022-23 season dawns, Anglin is faced with the simple joy of normalcy.
“We’ve had to fly by the seat of our pants the past few years,” Anglin said. “It’s good to have some consistency. I’m excited about this group and they’ve been really coachable in the preseason.”
The Cavs will open their season tonight at the BPCC gym against North American University JV at 7 p.m. And you better get used to seeing BPCC at home. Of the seven games the Cavs will play this month, zero will be on the road.
In junior college basketball, roster turnover from year to year is something every coach has to deal with, but Anglin has a team that is a good mix of familiar faces and incoming impact players.
“We’ve got more experience in our older group than we have had in the past,” Anglin said. “Hopefully that is going to help us with game experience to go with the guys who have already been here.”
Returning players include Christian Caldwell (Southwood), who is playing at BPCC for the third season by utilizing his “free” year from COVID. “He’s gotten a lot better and has probably been our best player so far in preseason,” Anglin says.
Kendrick Delahoussaye, who started 30 games at point guard, is back for another season. “He’s been solid and consistent, but we’ve brought in some guys who have pushed him and made him better,” Anglin said.
Eric McKnight (Southwood) is also back and “has put on some weight and made a lot of progress,” according to Anglin.
New players include three Division I transfers: D’Marcus Hall (Calvary/UL-Monroe), 7-foot center Hugo Clarkin (San Jose State/Sacramento State) and 6-foot-2 guard Jon’Quarious McGhee (Opelousas/Nicholls State).
There are also two junior college transfers: Damani Claxton (Chipola) and Elijah Beard (Big Sandy Texas, New Mexico JC).
“Those two guys are bringing us some winning experience from successful junior college programs,” Anglin said.
In junior college, teams get four scrimmage opportunities in the preseason. BPCC had only one last year and none the year before that.
“We know a little bit more about our guys going into the season than we have in the past few years,” Anglin said.
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