Hawks Men’s Basketball are at the Top of their Game
After two Elite Eight appearances in the last two years, the Henry Ford College Men’s Basketball team is still at the top of their game. They are currently ranked third in the nation in Division Two in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA).
Boasting a 20-4 overall record, an 11-0 conference record, and a 16-game winning streak, Coach Chris Shepherd and his team have their sights set on the national championship. “Our only real goal is to win the national title,” he said.
Shepherd did what good coaches do: prepared his team by playing the toughest competition that he could early in the year. The team traveled to Indiana to take on the accomplished NJCAA Division 1 Vincennes University, where they lost 83-80. After that, HFC traveled to Florida to play two of the top Division 1 teams in the country, Tallahassee and Chipola, where they lost by 23 and 25. “What we went down there to get out of it we obtained, we played against really good competition and figured out how hard you have to play against the best teams in the country,” Shepherd said.
Since then, HFC has won 17 of their last 18 games.
While complacency was never a problem, it was something Coach Shepherd addressed. “It can be a challenge to keep guys motivated. Sometimes the message gets a little stale,” he said. “We have a target on our chest, everyone wants to beat us. When we play a team that’s not as talented, we get their best punch.”
But where does the team’s success come from? Let’s look at the numbers.
Henry Ford College men’s basketball ranks second in the nation in both three-point attempts per game and three-pointers made per game. They also rank seventh in assists per game and eighth in personal fouls per game. Other notable rankings include being ninth in the nation in opponents three point percentage and fifteenth in points per game, field goals attempted per game, and field goals made per game.
The Hawk’s ability to exceed at the fundamental parts of the game is translating to wins. If they continue to score at a high level, keep fouls low, and pass effectively, the sky is the limit. Henry Ford College men’s basketball will play in the conference tournament from March 9 to March 12 at Mott Community College in Flint. If they win that tournament, they will earn a spot in the national tournament at Danville Area Community College in Danville, Illinois, on March 21 to March 25.
The schedule for upcoming games is available at: hfcc.edu/athletics.