Colts Are On Their Way Toward a Dream Basketball Season
Entering Tuesday’s doubleheader against the County College of Morris, the Colts men’s team is carrying a record of 8-1 for coach Winston Smith, while the Colts women’s team is 7-2 for coach Michel Powell.
December 5, 2023
It’s been a remarkable performance for a program that has stepped up a class and is now competing in the 157-team NJCAA Division II level this season. The men’s program even received votes in the national Top 20 rankings for the first time after its 7-0 start. The Colts only loss came to undefeated Montgomery County Community College in Pennsylvania by two points in overtime.
“Division II is great for our university,” said Winston Smith, in his second year at Middlesex College. “We can now go play Division II schools in our conference, where we have Mercer, Raritan Valley, County College of Morris and Lackawanna. Now we can go off to different nearby states and play and represent Middlesex. It’s great to get our brand out there.”
Known for his tough defensive style while at St. Patrick’s (now The Patrick School) and University of Massachusetts, Smith has got the Colts playing the same way.
“We hang our hats on our defense, our rebounding and we play hard,” Smith said. “If we do those three things, we give ourselves a chance to win every night.”
Jahmere Glover is one of the Colts leading scorers along with Saivon Pressley and Nigel Garcia, but Smith feels like one of the Colts strengths is their depth.
“To be honest, I play like 11 different guys,” Smith said. “That’s one of the reasons I think we are good, because we can go deep into our bench where other teams may only have 2-3 guys. We have 10-11 guys that can contribute.”
Last year, the Colts finished 14-16 and made the post-season. Smith isn’t getting too far ahead, but he does believe it’s great to see the team get some notice.
“It’s great for our guys and it’s great for Middlesex College to be recognized in the polls especially this being our first year in Division II,” said Smith. “A lot of us weren’t sure how this would go, but we brought in some really good guys and we can keep this going.”
The Colts women’s team had won three in a row entering Tuesday’s action. Sophomore Vanesa Rivas was named Garden State Athletic Conference Player of the Week last week after averaging 21 points over her last three games.