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Return to the 2006-07 Top 144 Preview

July 20th, 2006

By Joel Welser

Broadcast Basketball

 

 

Arkansas Little Rock Trojans

Overall Rank: #116

Conference Rank: #2 Sun Belt

 

2005-06: 14-15, 5-9, 4th East

2005-06 postseason: none

 

Every time Arkansas Little Rock strung together a few wins last year, it would be followed by a couple loses.  Despite a couple major departures, the Trojans have enough talent to improve and turn their 5-9 record into 9-5.
 

Who’s Out: Elijah Muldrow and Zack Wright are big losses.  Muldrow, a 6-2 guard, averaged 11.0 points per game and was the biggest long range threat for the Trojans.  Wright is leaving the program after averaging 12.2 points and 5.9 assists as a junior.  That departure leaves a question mark on the point guard spot, especially with injury concerns surrounding heir apparent point guard Buddy Harding.  There are plenty of quality options in the list of newcomers if Harding is sidelined for a lengthy amount of time; however, he is expected to be ready to play by mid-August. 

 

Who’s In: Steven Moore might not start immediately as a freshman, but the point guard has the potential to be starting sooner than later.  Moore is quick on both ends of the floor, can score and will develop into a great defender.  The main thing Moore lacks is experience, which is why fellow newcomer Corey Johnson has the early leg up on the point guard spot.  The junior college transfer is ideally a deep shooting two guard, but can run the point if he has to.  Terrance Akins redshirted last year with a foot injury and could be in the mix at the point guard spot.  Akins is a dynamic scorer, who topped the 1,000 career point mark in two seasons at Holmes Community College in Mississippi, and will see plenty of minutes at the two if his services aren’t needed running the show.  Adding more depth to the backcourt are redshirt freshmen James Jackson and Kyley Newth.  The frontcourt will find a boost with the addition of Derrick Bails and Rashad Moss.  Bails, a perennial double-double forward in high school, brings some more bulk to the frontcourt.  Moss, a native of the Bahamas, is expected to see minutes immediately.  The 6-7 forward has experience at the junior college level and can score from inside and out.

 

Who to Watch: Rashad Jones-Jennings is undoubtedly the star.  We’ll give him a double-double on the season right now, but he is going to need some help from players like Lekheythan Malone, Byron Ray and DeAndre Eggins.  Malone quietly racked up nearly ten points per outing as a freshman and is on breakout season alert.  Ray is a solid scorer and Jones-Jennings’ assistant glass cleaner.  Eggins averaged 7.4 points per game in 11 starts as a freshman last year and those numbers should improve when Eggins slides into Muldrow’s starting role on the wing. 

 

Final Projection: The Sun Belt is pretty much up for grabs, and with Jones-Jennings, the Trojans have the star to vault them closer to the top than many expect.  The key is at point guard and if Harding, Johnson or Moore can’t handle the job, Arkansas Little Rock will slide down to the middle of the pack, or worse.  The rest of the pieces are there for Coach Steve Shield’s squad, including sliding Eggins to the two and inserting Ray at the four for a bigger lineup. 

 

Projected Post-season Tournament: none

 

Projected Starting Five:

Steven Moore, Freshman, Guard, DNP last season

Terrance Akins, Junior, Guard, DNP last season

DeAndre Eggins, Sophomore, Guard, 7.4 points per game

Lekheythan Malone, Sophomore, Forward, 9.9 points per game

Rashad Jones-Jennings, Senior, Forward, 12.2 points per game

117 Sam Houston St » Complete List » 115 UNCW

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