The 2019-2020 basketball season preview

This season’s squad touts nine freshmen ready to roar Nov. 8

Gaige Gagnon | Staff Writer | Oct. 30, 2019

The GC Men’s Basketball Team welcomes nine freshmen to the team, making it the youngest group head coach Mark Gainous has coached in his time at the college. 

After losing four starters last season, Gainous and his team look to start nearly from scratch. There are only two upperclassmen playing this year since Kohl Roberts, senior forward, injured his knee. 

The schedule is tough. All eight of the team’s non-conference games this season are on the road. 

Still, Gainous expects the team to be competing for the conference championship. 

This year, the team must play to its strong suits. Gainous wants the team to be faster paced, more team-oriented and tougher. The offense orients itself around teamwork, movement and consistency at the 3-point line. 

Gainous foresees this team playing at a faster pace. 

“We were a lot bigger last year with Isaac and Cole up front,” Gainous said. “This year we’ve got a lot of new guys that aren’t as big as those guys, so it’s just a different play style but the boys are working hard.”

Since the team is smaller, it’s important for the players to play hard and tough. Teamwork is always important, but this team must play for each other this year to achieve success. 

Rebounding will play the most pivotal role in determining the team’s success.

“The most important thing is rebounds, not necessarily offensive rebounds, it’s great if we can get offensive rebounds, but we have to control the defensive glass,” Gainous said. 

This could be a challenge for Gainous’ men since size is not a strength of the team.

“I don’t care if we got bigger guys, smaller guys or thinner guys,” Gainous said. “It’s always a challenge and we have to put a point emphasis on our rebounding, so that’s the biggest thing I see for success this season. ” 

The leading scorer from last year, Jordan Thomas, junior guard, has a big role to play this year. Not only does Thomas score, but he can involve his teammates as well.

“I expect him to average five assists a game,” Gainous said. “A lot of times if he screens and the guy curls or pops, two may go with him, so naturally teams are going to try and focus in on guarding him because they know he was second-team all-league as a sophomore.”

Gainous believes Jordan Thomas will have a monster year.

“He’ll make everybody else better just by being on the court,” Gainous said. He’s a very smart player too, so he’ll get the double teams.”

AJ James, freshman guard, believes consistency is a key to success this season.

“The energy is always good in practice,” James said. “Our goal is to win the Peach Belt.”

In the offseason, players did a lot of lifting, conditioning, and working with the trainers to stay healthy.

“Practicing and competing every day, guys getting into the gym on their own earning their spots,” said Wesley Simpson, sophomore guard. “We push ourselves and that’s the only going to push the rest of the team harder.”