Meet your 2017-2018 OJC Rattlers
Under the direction of second-year head coach, Brendan O’Connor, the Otero Junior College Men’s Basketball team is set to build upon their success from the 2016-2017 season. The Rattlers finished the 2016-2017 season with a record of 20-9, advancing to the Region IX Quarter-finals, falling to eventual champion, Gillette College.
Men's Basketball Season Outlook
As the Rattlers start a new season, they are looking to the leadership of returning sophomores. Coach O’Connor remarked, “We felt like we really over-achieved last year as group with so many young players in the rotation. Now with this team, we have six players (Jervae Robinson, Andre Arissol, Jonathan Scott, Chudier Bile, Sekou Cisse, and Jesse Barnes) that all played significant minutes as freshman, and their experience will be very valuable. Furthermore, we had two very talented wings, Will Wittman and Josh McNair, that red-shirted last season and we expect both of them to make an immediate impact.”
When the Rattlers tip-off in November, there will be some new faces for the program as well. Some of them are transfers like guards Reggie Gibson and Nick Noskowiak, while others, Kevin Dawson, Marquise Johnson, Miguel Lopez, and Henri Langton, are fresh from the high school ranks.
“We are very pleased with the additions we made in this year’s recruiting class. They are all very talented players, but more importantly, they’ve done a great job of buying-in to our system and culture. Our older guys have shown them the way we do things, and to their credit, the new guys are jumping in with two feet and trying to learn as much as possible,” said Coach O’Connor.
In addition to new players for the Rattlers, there will be a new assistant coach as Lucas Archuleta joins the program. Archuleta played for OJC from 2010-2012 and was on the Region IX Championship team in 2012.
“We are thrilled to have Lucas back at Otero. He has grown into a rising coach in our profession, and he has a great ability to relate to our players and help their development as young men,” said O’Connor.
While looking at the landscape of the tough and competitive Region IX, Coach O’Connor said he knows their work is cut out for them. “Our region, from top to bottom, continues to get tougher each season. Our goal is to be the best team we can be in March. We want to keep our focus on always putting the team first, having an attention to detail, and competing at all times. If we’re able to do those things, I think we can put ourselves in a great position at the end of the year.”
2012 Region IX Champions!
In 2012 Otero Junior College won the Region IX championship for the first time in the college's history, earning a trip to Hutchinson, Kansas for a berth in the National Tournament of the National Junior College Athletic Association.