New faces look to give JDCC hoops a boost
By By BRUCE HIXON Sports Editor
Good or bad, there is not much left to remind Jefferson Davis Community College Warhawks basketball coach Allen Gainer of his 2003-04 team.
Considering JDCC compiled a disappointing 9-20 overall record, 4-11 in the Alabama Community College Conference a year ago, it is probably for the better the calendar has changed.
JDCC returns just two players from last year's team. Of those two, only guard John Madison saw significant playing time and that came only after a series of injuries and other miscellaneous events that involved players in front of him on the depth chart.
"We had some players we'll really miss from last season, but at the same time I think we've brought in a bunch of recruits with the talent and desire to be successful in our league," Gainer said.
One of Gainer's biggest areas of offseason recruiting was size. Last season the Warhawks did not have anybody taller than 6-5 on the roster. This year they have seven players 6-5 or taller.
"I don't think we will change things that much. We'll probably run similar schemes. We'll just be bigger doing it," Gainer said. "We may play a little more zone on defense and we may be a little more deliberate on offense, but otherwise I don't think we'll change things a whole lot."
The Warhawks will probably turn over their floor general duties, better known as the point guard role, to Cory Webb, a 5-8 freshman from Centerville (La.).
"We usually don't look at players that small, but Cory has tremendous athleticism. When he wants to, Cory can be a great offensive and defensive player for us. The biggest question about Cory is the decisions he makes on the court," Gainer said.
Sophomore Chris Owens (Santa Rosa Beach, Fla.) is the other returning player from last season. Owens will have a similar role to the one he had last season, which is as a backup for the point guard spot.
"Chris hurt his shoulder during one of our preseason jamboree games and has had to miss some practice. We don't think it's too serious and he should be ready to go by our opener," Gainer said. "Chris has been doing a better job of taking care of the ball so far. He loves the game. He'll do what we need him to do."
At the shooting guard spot, Arthur Richardson, a 6-5 freshman from Niceville (Fla.), is expected to get the call. Madison, a 5-11 sophomore from Century (Fla.), will also get significant playing time in that role.
"Arthur may be our most exciting player. He knows the level of intensity it takes to be successful. Arthur shoots the ball very well from the perimeter although he can also score off the drive. We'll probably rely on him a lot, especially early in the season," Gainer said. "John is a very streaky shooter. When he is on, he is really on. Right now he has shown signs of being a little more consistent than last season."
The Warhawks inside game figures to get a big boost, literally, with the addition of Richard Ford, a 6-8 freshman from Birmingham. Ford spent the second semester with JDCC last season after transferring from Weatherford Junior College in Texas, but was unable to play.
"Although Richard wasn't able to play with us after he transferred, he was able to practice with us so he already has a good idea about our system and what he needs to do. Richard handles the ball well and shoots it well from the perimeter. We also look for him to be very active on the glass," Gainer said.
Terren Spann, a 6-3 freshman from Abbeville, and Jairus Jackson, a 6-0 freshman from Mobile, will back up Ford at the small forward spot.
"Terren had a good preseason for us. He plays very hard and with a lot of intensity. He also has some versatility. We could probably play him at four of the five spots. Jairus is a lot like Terren. He has very good knowledge of the game and is like a coach on the floor," Gainer said.
The power forward spot is perhaps the most contested position on the team. It will be split between Kedric Wilson, a 6-5 freshman from Raceland (La.), and Sam Smith, a 6-5 freshman from Americus (Ga.).
"Both Kedric and Sam have different skills. Kedric is probably a better defensive player and rebounder, while Sam is probably a better offensive player. Sam is an exciting player. He jumps well and can dunk the ball. They will both do a lot of rotating in and out," Gainer said.
The center spot is also highly contested. Keith Myers, a 6-5 freshman from Angie (La.), will probably get the starting nod for Tuesday's opener but Donovan McMullen, a 6-11 freshman from Atlanta (Ga.) will also get a lot of playing time.
"Before this season, the tallest player I had was about 6-5, 6-6. It's a pleasant change to have Donovan inside at 6-11. He is a good shot bloker and can alter the opponent's shots. Meanwhile Keith is a good rebounder. He has some adjustmnets to make when it comes to scoring, but I think that part of the game will come around for him," Gainer said.
JDCC Basketball Schedule
See WARHAWKS Page 8
Nov. 9 Pensacola Christian Home 7 p.m.
Nov. 13 Gadsden State Home 2 p.m.
Nov. 20 Lawson State Away 7 p.m.
Nov. 23 Keesler Air Force Base Away 7 p.m.
Dec. 2 Keesler Air Force Base Home 7 p.m.
Dec. 7 Bevill State-Jasper Home 7 p.m.
Dec. 10 Border Bash Tournament at Americus (Ga.) (vs. South Georgia Tech) 7 p.m.
Dec. 11 Border Bash Tournament at Americus (Ga.) (vs. Coastal Georgia) 1 p.m.
Dec. 14 Gadsden State Away 5 p.m.
Jan. 6 Bevill State-Fayette Away 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 8 Huntingdon Away 5 p.m.
Jan. 10 Chattahoochee Valley Home 7 p.m.
Jan. 12 Faulkner State Home 2 p.m.
Jan. 15 Northwest Shoals Home 4 p.m.
Jan. 18 Wallace-Selma Away 7 p.m.
Jan. 22 Southern Union Away 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 24 Enterprise Home 7 p.m.
Jan. 27 Huntingdon Home 7 p.m.
Jan. 29 L.B. Wallace Home 7 p.m.
Jan. 31 Bishop State Away 7 p.m.
Feb. 5 Chattahoochee Valley Away 6:30 p.m.
Feb. 7 Alabama Southern Home 7 p.m.
Feb. 10 Wallace-Selma Home 7 p.m.
Feb. 12 Faulkner State Away 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 17 Enterprise Away 7 p.m.
Feb. 19 Southern Union Home 7 p.m.
Feb. 24 Bishop State Home 7 p.m.
Feb. 26 L.B. Wallace Away 7 p.m.
Mar. 3 Alabama Southern Away 7 p.m.