The East Georgia State College men’s basketball team had a very successful 2011-2012 season, making it to the conference playoffs where they were unfortunately eliminated in the first round. That loss didn’t overshadow what the team had accomplished during the season.
Expectations are just as high heading into this year with the return of Jordan Johnson, Corinthians Brown, Brian Byrd, and Larry Bullock along with the freshman that Coach Neil Bailey was able to bring in. Johnson was one of the best point guards and freshmen in the conference, averaging 12.7 points, 3.5 rebounds, 5.1 assists, and 1.7 steals per game. His return brings a ton of experience and leadership to a team that lost so many of its best players.
Brown injured his knee in the third game of the season, ending his freshman year. During his two games, Brown showed that he can score with anybody though, as he averaged 23 points, 7.7 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and three steals in those first two games.
Bullock was a big player off the bench for the Bobcats, usually taking over whenever Johnson needed a break, but also filling in for the other guards in Coach Bailey’s 3-2 system. He averaged 4.4 points, 0.5 rebounds, 0.9 assists, and 0.7 steals per game.
Byrd played more as the season went on, coming off the bench and lighting a fire with his abilities on offense and hustle on defense. He averaged 2.2 points, 0.8 rebounds, 0.3 assists, and 0.2 steals per game.
Coach Bailey was able to add a lot of depth and size with the new players. Tommy Williams, Da’Vanon Felder, Jaquavious Tennyson, Jon Blair, Brian Peason, and Watson all stand at 6’5” or taller, and that much consistent size will allow Coach Bailey to never really be at a disadvantage down low. Guys like Gary Bailey, Tre’ Hagood, Alex Reid, and Deion Craig will provide the depth and playmaking ability from the guard positions.
Of the 10 new players, if six or seven can step up and play consistently strong basketball, this basketball will be more than fine. If a few of them can really step up and become forces, this is a team that will very much be in the conference title hunt at the end of the year. This looks like a solid selection for at least a conference playoff berth once again.