Sun Belt: JUCO a key to the men's game

By Jean Neuberger - October 24, 2006

Talking with the coaches today, the role of the JUCO player has grown to be important for Sun Belt programs, who need to fill voids immediately to stay competitive for NCAA Tournament berths.

"There's got to be a balance with the JUCO players," said UALR Coach Steve Shields. "JUCO players have a place here. Some years, you want to fill the void with high school players who can give you four years of play, but at other times, we have to take care of the void faster, and that's where JUCO players come in."

"We'll recruit the best players we can get," said WKU's Darrin Horn. "And at times, we need players from the junior college ranks."

South Alabama's John Pelphrey echoed Horn's sentiments, and added one more.

"Facilities are also a key," said Pelphrey. "We're lucky we have a place like the Mitchell Center."

"I've been here 12 years, and I know what it takes to compete in this league," said Arkansas State's Dickey Nutt. "I'd love to have all high school players, but to fill a void quickly, you need those junior college players in your program."

So, for all those junior college players trying to find their way to the Big Dance, Sun Belt schools definitely have some openings for you.

Posted by Jean Neuberger at 07:27 PM on October 24, 2006

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