One of the toughest regions in the NJCAA, year in and year out, is Region XIV, East Texas. This year should be no different, as one of the most talented teams in the region will be Scott Monarch's Panola College Ponies. One of his top returning players, Mykal Riley, is already receiving plenty of Division One recruitment. Riley, a 6 foot-6 185-pound swing man, is one of the top shooters in the country.
Riley, a native of Pine Bluff, AR, averaged 16 points and seven rebounds per game as a freshman. A very long-armed swing man, he can score in a variety of ways. He can shoot it from deep or score off the dribble. Riley is perfect for the up-tempo pace that the Ponies play.
"He can really rebound, really run the floor, can really shoot," Monarch said. "He's a solid 6-6, long type of 6-6. I don't know who to compare him to, but he can really get up and down the floor. He's also starting to do a lot more off the dribble."
Southwest Hoops Report rates Riley as an Upper Mid/Mid Major prospect. He does have a slender frame which he'll need to improve when he reaches the DI level. Plenty of schools are already aware of him.
"UAB is coming and Marquette," Monarch reported. "Little Rock has already been in, he's just a few miles from there, and UTEP has been in to see him."
Marvin Kilgore and Charles Bronson are also receiving plenty of Division One interest. Darren Hopkins, Monarch reports, has narrowed his choices to Houston, TCU and New Mexico.
"It's enough to drive you crazy," Monarch said of the recruiting frenzy. "We're talking about at least ten schools with every kid. We have been dealing with it every day since Tulsa in some shape or form."
NJCAA Region XIV is normally one of the most unpredictable regions in the country. Expect this year to be no different. Last year, Paris Junior College, who finished third in the Region, during the regular season, won the Regional and National title. Could this be the year, that Panola reaches the NJCAA National Tournament? JucoJunction will be there to follow the Ponies as they strive to reach their ultimate goal, Hutchinson, KS.