State Fair Community College Basketball begins its mens and womens regulars seasons Friday with the McDonald’s Classic in Sedalia.
The Lady Roadrunners, which received four of five possible first-place votes in the Region 16 preseason poll, host John Wood Community College 5:30 p.m. Friday, followed by the SFCC men’s team and College of Faith at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, the Classic continues for the Lady Roadrunners at 5:30, hosting Kirkwood Community College.
The Roadrunners host Murray State 7:30 p.m. Saturday.
Missouri State University – West Plains faces Murray State men’s team play at 3 p.m. Friday, and host College of Faith at the same time Saturday.
All games are located at the Fred E. Davis Multipurpose Center.
Last season, the Lady Roadrunners won Region 16 over Mineral Area College and finished 22-8 overall.
The SFCC women return six sophomores, including Alexis Cowan, who averaged more than 7 points per game despite a late-season injury.
Aaliyah Cowan, Bre’anna Lamar, Danae’ Cole, Kendra Boone and Ahjana Oakes, a combined 18 points and 11 rebounds per game from last season, also return for the Lady Roadrunners.
The Lady Roadrunners went 6-1 in exhibition play. The SFCC men played in three jamborees in October, and finished 8-3 during the preseason.
Willie Jimerson Jr. is the lone returner for the Roadrunners in 2016-17. He is one of four sophomores on the roster, including Vonny Irvin of Missouri State – West Plains, Corey Mendez of Stetson University and Amir Smith, who transferred from Rice.
There are eight freshmen on the SFCC men’s roster, including its tallest players Isaac Bassey, who is listed at 6-foot-11 and Jamar Kemp, who is 6-foot-8. Jamar is the son of former NBA All-Star power forward Shawn Kemp.
The Roadrunners finished 19-10 last season, and placed fourth of five in the Region 16 preseason poll. Moberly Area Community College, which defeated SFCC in the regional tournament final, were voted No. 1 in the preseason poll.
Alex Agueros can be reached at 660-826-1000, ext. 1483 or on Twitter @abagueros2