UCC Mainstream Online

Fresh start, fine stats for new 2014-15 pre-season: ’Hawks 4-0

Hannah Hawkins / Mainstream
Titus Rice (11) splits two New Hope Christian defenders as he soars to the rim. Rice had 11 points to help Umpqua win 91-79, in the Nov 28 home game.

UCC men’s basketball team brings a new attitude to the 2014-15 season.
Averaging over 94 points per game, the Riverhawks boast a potentially impressive offensive team. Umpqua (4-0) is off to a fine start for the season, remaining undefeated after playing three games at home and one away.
Last year, the ’Hawks (2-12 league, 6-20 season) had a challenge acquainting themselves to new head coach Daniel Leeworthy’s style of play. The team also ran into academic trouble in the past. This year, the starters as well as the 11-player deep bench seem to be embracing Leeworthy’s coaching strategy.
The starting line up (as speculated by the previous two games against New Hope Christian and Willamette) currently consists of two 5’10” guards, freshman Mikko Balmes (Las Vegas, Nevada) and freshman Joe Baldi (Las Vegas, Nevada), 6’4” freshman guard/forward Titus Rice (Colorado Springs, Colorado) and at forward, 6’7” sophomore Jordan Madrid-Andrews (Denver, Colorado) and 6’4” freshman Staci Richardson (Melbourne, Australia).
The Riverhawks possess two players hailing from Australia: Richardson and Cody Davidson of Gold Coast, Australia.
Early in the season, Umpqua show cases four players in three different 2014-15 NWAC statistical leader categories.
Madrid-Andrews currently grabs 10.00 boards and 1.75 blocks per game. Charles Porter, a 6’7” freshman guard from Las Vegas, Nevada shoots 63.6 percent from the floor. Rice follows close behind with 61.4 percent FGM. Balmes averages an 88.9 percent free throw conversion per game.
In the first preseason game on Nov. 22 vs. Concordia JV, the ’Hawks out rebounded the Cavs 52-35. The 17 extra rebounds resulted in six more offensive possessions and 11 more defensive stops. This does not account for steals and forced turnovers.
Balmes was one of five players in double digit scoring with 22 points. He also had five assists to only two turnovers during his 30 minutes of play.
The game on Nov. 24 vs. Willamette JV allowed 12 of the 16 Riverhawk players to get in on the rotation. Umpqua scored 53 of their 91 total points in the first half, allowing the bench to see some on-court action. The men scored 32 points off the bench compared to just 13 points off bench by the Bearcats.
Madrid-Andrews had all four preseason blocks in this game. The Riverhawks again had five players score in the double digits.
On Nov. 28 vs. New Hope Christian, the ’Hawks posted another impressive bench performance, again scoring 32 points to New Hope’s 5 points off the bench. Umpqua also held a higher points per shot ratio of 1.40 compared to the Deacons 1.14.
UCC had six players in double digit scoring. Baldi and Porter each scored a team high 17 points. Adrian Davis lead the ’Hawks’ defense with three steals.
Dec. 2 put another mark in the wins column as the men challenged Multnomah University’s JV.
This road competition featured Umpqua’s offensive talent. Madrid-Andrews had nine points, 15 rebounds. Rice posted 15 points and grabbed 13 boards. Baldi chipped in 13 points, nine of which came from behind the arc.
The Riverhawks head to Eugene, Or. Dec. 12 for their next game vs. South Puget Sound Community College. This will be one of three tournaments during preseason.
The next home game is scheduled for Wednesday Jan. 14 at 7:30 p.m. vs. Lane Community College.
The UCC basketball schedule can be found on Umpqua’s website at,