Sports column: Can Jags make playoffs?

Patrick Loera

At the end of 2012, the basketball season started well at San Jose City College as both the men’s and women’s teams looked like contenders to make the playoffs.

The thoughts of playoffs quickly become mirages once conference games began in 2013.

To put it in perspective, Speed City won the Tipoff Tournament in November to start the season, lost four straight games following the Thanksgiving theft incident and then bounced back to win eight straight games, including the SJCC Classic and Hancock Tournaments.

Speed City shot more than 40 percent in 10 out of 15 games in 2012 to go undefeated at home with 11 wins, four losses and playoffs looking imminent.

Since conference games have begun, Speed City finds itself in fourth place in the Coast Conference-South with four wins and four losses.

Part of the reason is because they have shot over 40 percent from the field just once in the past eight conference games.

The Lady Jags, on the other hand, were having trouble finding their rhythm in 2012 as players got injured early in the season, and there were only four games where they shot higher than 40 percent.

This left the bench minimal time to rest and caused them to end 2012 with six wins, nine losses and playoffs looking unobtainable.

Since conference games have begun, they have found themselves in the same position as Speed City: four wins, four loses and in fourth place in the Coast Conference-South.

In contrast to Speed City, the Lady Jags shot more than 40 percent at six out of eight conference games.

Now that conference play is well under way and the season is nearly over, playoff chances are looking dim but not out of sight.

Luckily, teams can also make the playoffs with a positive overall Rating Percentage Index.

The RPI gives both teams another chance of making the playoffs based on the difficult schedule even if they have had an evenhanded record during conference games.

With this in mind, Speed City should make the playoffs without a problem assuming they do not throw the rest of the season away with careless play. But the Lady Jags may have to win three out of four games to make the postseason jump.

In any event, both teams will have to improve drastically on defense and offense as conference games come to an end and the postseason either becomes a foregone conclusion or next season’s wishful thinking.