By: Nick Kieser
The 2018-19 basketball season is going to be tipping-off on Nov.2 at Snead State Community College.
With a record of 8-18 to finish last year’s season the coaching staff is preparing their players for another season.
“This year we have five guys coming back beside George Stanberry that played in about every game last year. We have Justin Goodson who is a pretty good shooter returning as well,” said head coach Rusty Melvin.
Stanberry, according to Melvin, is the best junior college basketball athlete in the nation. Scoring 726 points last year Stanberry was the men’s JUCO basketball leader in points to finish the season.
“Jordan Buchanan from Bowling Green is the most improved player from last year. He hit a shot in the tournament last year to put the game into overtime,” said Melvin.
Starting at the beginning of the school year the team reported to practices, and according to Melvin, he could not be there most of the time due to his wife having hip replacement surgery.
Having assistant coaches Ethan Abner, Ken Miller, and Neil Patel to run the practices the roster was still working out every day on a routine schedule.
“I feel good about it. This is the most enjoyable group of kids that I ever have had to coach. The assistants had them going all September while I was out on leave taking care of my wife. I have been back since the start of October and they have the tempo set already,” said Melvin.
“I need to be more vocal this year. I have last years experience to go off of, and I am still learning to be the best leader that I can be,” said Stanberry.
The 16-man roster has its first regular season game on Nov. 2 at Snead State Community College. Game one in Gallatin is Nov. 5 versus Bethel University’s junior varsity team.
“I am excited and focused. I want to win more. The more wins will equal having good opportunities this year. We have more size and role players on this roster now,” said Stanberry.
“We need to be leaders for everyone on the team. We will keep mentoring each other as well. Team chemistry will help make this team good this year,” said guard Kevin Rimmer.
Winning two games on the road last season and averaging 79 points a game is how the men’s team finished, but this year the schedule, according to Melvin, is not an easy one.
“You can just tell the way they play that they have confidence in themselves. I see them in the gym shooting and working on things. I do not have to tell them to play hard. They know what I want from them,” said Melvin.
“Work on more of my defense, and being in the right place at the right time. We are trying to put Vol State on the map. The more support the better,” said Stanberry.