The gridiron G-Men are winding down for the last three games of their season. But another team of G-Men is gearing up for their season.Yes, the GSU men’s basketball team is preparing for their season opener and in talking to Coach Larry Wright, the team is more than ready.
” It’s another season, and at this time everybody is gung-ho with high expectations. We feel like we have a good team, but we also feel like we need to continue to get better,” he said with a smile on his face.
Even with the talk of being a better team, the coaching staff also feels the G-Men have greatly improved from last season.
“When you talk about improvement, we went out and got some taller and bigger guys, and guys that can shoot the ball,” Wright said. ” We also have a lot of veterans so that teams won’t be able to double down on Anthony Williams.”
Getting better seems to be the theme of the team this year with new faces on the team like Duran Diaz, Jordan Lemons and Jarred Riley, all of whom coach Wright says will have to step right in and play.
In addition to having young, new talent, the team has six returners who will play a major role while they work toward a SWAC championship.
“Anthony Williams, Andre Ratliff, Jamal Breaux, Emmanuel Calloway, Andrew Prestly, and George Akpele are some of our starters who saw some quality minutes last season,” Wright said. “So we feel that we have six guys who can play on the same page with new guys.”
And play they will, but some polls have Grambling ranked eighth the division.
Jackson State, which won the tournament last year, was chosen to win the SWAC championship, even though Mississippi Valley won the conference last year.
Even with the odds stacked against the basketball G-Men, coach Wright says the team is going to compete but it won’t be easy,
“This [SWAC] is a conference from top to bottom where anybody can beat you on any given day.”
The team looks to have a stronger year as opposed to last season. GSU’s record last year was 9-8 in conference and 12-13 overall.
Coach Wright said the fans should expect to see a pressure defense and a fast breaking offense. He also said the team plans to put more pressure on opposing teams to dictate tempo and to give the fans something to cheer about.
When asked about how this team stacks up against previous years, Wright said, “This team has more depth, and more guys that can do a number of things on both ends of the court.”
So with more talent and high expectations, the team is, in the opinion of coach Wright and his staff, on track to win a SWAC championship.