Redlands College (also known this season as the University of Missouri prep school) is getting ready for its first game in nearly a month on Tuesday. Redlands has not played since a December 5th win over the Southern Nazarene University JV. They will tip against Mount Olive College in Chicago at 4:00 Tuesday afternoon.
So far, Redlands has lived up to the preseason hype. The team stands 11-and-1 and is ranked fifth in the NJCAA national poll.
"We lost to Fort Smith by one point," said head coach Steve Eck. "All the easy games are over now."
Sonny Weems and the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith took out Redlands 70-69 back on November 16th. Weems, the top-rated junior college player in the country, and Ty Morrison, currently ranked the No. 3 prospect, guarded each other on that night. Redlands had a 12-point lead at one point, but missed six of ten free throws down the stretch and Morrison was held to single-digit scoring in one of his rougher outings of the season.
Eck did not have up to date statistics with him when we spoke, but he did assess Morrison's play so far.
"I would like him to score a little bit more in the second half of the season," said the coach. "But he is guarding real well and getting rebounds."
The Tigers' other recruit from Redlands, 6-foot-8 Vaidatos Volkus has battled his health a little bit this season.
"He sprained his ankle that week we played Fort Smith so he missed a couple of games there. He did play one game, but he probably shouldn't have," Eck said. "Due to the injury, he's not scoring that much right now, but I expect him to get better in the second half of the season."
The month off should most certainly help Volkus. Both players have already signed letters of intent with the Tigers back in November.