Prospecting: Stormers Men’s Basketball Team Hoping to Strike Gold

MATC heading to NJCAA Division II national tournament in Danville, Illinois

Mark Feldmann,

March 15, 2023

MILWAUKEE – The Milwaukee Area Technical College men’s basketball team is venturing down south later this month in search of a national championship.

The Stormers, ranked No. 7 in the National Junior College Athletic Association Division II poll, will travel to Danville Area Community College in Danville, Illinois, to play in the NJCAA Division II national tournament.

On Tuesday, the NJCAA unveiled the bracket for the tournament, being played at Danville’s Mary Miller Complex for the 30th season in a row.

MATC players, coaches, students, faculty and staff gathered at the Downtown Milwaukee Campus to watch as the NJCAA announced the pairings.

The Stormers (28-4) got the seventh seed in the 16-team field and will play the Mott Community College Bears (24-8) from Flint, Michigan, at 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 21. If they win, MATC will play at 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 22, against the winner of the game between No. 2 seeded Niagara County and Central, seeded No. 15.

The tournament starts at 9 a.m. Tuesday, March 21. The championship game is scheduled to be played at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 25.

Find out about the NJCAA Division II national tournament

MATC has never won a national title in men’s basketball. The team placed fifth at the 2018-19 national tournament. The Stormers were the top-ranked team in the nation in 2019-20, but the national tournament was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Last season the Stormers won their first game, then lost their next to be eliminated from the tournament.

“There is always a value to being there (Danville) before,” said Travis Mrozek, MATC’s assistant athletic director and one of the team’s assistant coaches. “You understand the environment. There are a lot of hard core fans down there who attend every game. We know the lay of the land and that’s always a benefit.” 

Undefeated Davidson-Davie Community College in North Carolina (32-0) received the No. 1 seed in the tournament. 

The Stormers will travel to Danville, about 235 miles away in southeastern Illinois, on Sunday, March 19. They will practice at the arena on Monday, March 20, before playing Mott the next night, Mrozek said.

Mott competes in the Michigan Community College Athletic Association Eastern Conference and won the NJCAA Region 12 championship. In their history, the Bears have won four national titles and finished second three times.

MATC, which won the North Central Community College Conference regular season championship, earned a spot in the national tournament by beating Olive-Harvey College 100-93 on March 11 in the Region 4B championship at Rock Valley College in Rockford, Illinois.

The Stormers trailed 48-45 at halftime, but made 16 of 24 shots in the second half to earn the win. Before the championship, MATC defeated College of Lake County 89-52 in the region quarterfinals and Rock Valley College 78-64 in the semifinals.

Shelton Williams-Dryden led the Stormers with 20 points, while Mikale Stevenson had 17 points and 15 assists. Ke’Varius Taylor scored 17 points and grabbed a team-high seven rebounds.

See photos from 2022-23 men's and women's games

This week Stevenson was named to the NJCAA All-Region first team, while Williams-Dryden and Mason Johnson were selected to the All-Region second team.

For the season, Williams-Dryden has averaged 15.7 points and nine rebounds per game. Stevenson is averaging 12.4 points per game and has dished out 240 assists. Johnson, who graduated from Milwaukee Public Schools’ Golda Meir High School, is averaging 13.1 points and 7.7 rebounds per game.

About MATC: Wisconsin’s largest technical college and one of the most diverse two-year institutions in the Midwest, Milwaukee Area Technical College is a key driver of southeastern Wisconsin’s economy and has provided innovative education in the region since 1912. More than 25,000 students per year attend the college’s four campuses and community-based sites or learn online. MATC offers affordable and accessible education and training opportunities that empower and transform lives in the community. The college offers more than 170 academic programs — many that prepare students for jobs immediately upon completion and others that provide transfer options leading to bachelor’s degrees with more than 40 four-year colleges and universities. Overwhelmingly, MATC graduates build careers and businesses in southeastern Wisconsin. The college is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

MATC Stormers