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Return to the 2006-07 Top 144 Preview

June 22nd, 2006

By Joel Welser

Broadcast Basketball

 

 

Alabama State Hornets

Overall Rank: #139

Conference Rank: #1 SWAC

 

2005-06: 12-18, 10-8, 4th (t)

2005-06 postseason: none

 

Alabama State exceeded most expectations last season under first year coach Lewis Jackson.  The Hornets are hoping to take that a step further and win the SWAC for the first time since 2001.  Despite the loss of some big time players, Alabama State returns enough talent and brings in some quality junior college transfers and incoming freshmen to fill in the holes and compete for a spot in the NCAA Tournament.

 

Who’s Out: Akeim Claborn was the main post presence for the Hornets last season.  The 6-7 forward averaged team highs in points and rebounds with 14.7 and 7.5, respectively and was the only player to start in all 30 contests.  The backcourt will see Lamarquis Blake, Herbert Warren and Alexander Oliver departing.  The trio combined to average 17.8 points per game and the perimeter will need to have a new look this year.  Seldom used forward Tyler Ray will also not be playing for Alabama State this season.

 

Who’s In: Coach Jackson is looking to bring in players that fit into his up-tempo style of play.  This group of newcomers will help, especially the transfers who can make an immediate impact.  Tremayne Moorer will battle for minutes in the frontcourt.  Moorer averaged 25.5 points and 13.6 boards as a senior in high school before spending one season at Troy.  Combo guard Tahrea Jackson from Brunswick Community College in North Carolina will provide some experienced depth to the backcourt.  The point guard spot could use some further options and will look to incoming freshman DeShean Porchea to shore up that position.  Over the last two seasons shooting guard Brandon Hubbard has led the state of Alabama in scoring while at Gulf Shores High School.  Hubbard might not be starting immediately, but should excel in the ASU offense.  Forwards Kintrell Biddle and Jacques Leeds will battle for minutes under the basket. Jared Howard, a 6-5 wing, redshirted last season and will see his first action for the Hornets during the 2006-2007 campaign.

 

Who to Watch: Alabama State will find two new leaders in Andrew Hayles and Richard Lott, Jr.  Hayles, a 6-5 guard, had a tremendous freshman campaign, averaging 9.1 points per contest and earned SWAC Freshman of the Year honors.  Expect Hayles to take even more shots this year and be one of the top scorers in the conference.  Lott will have the tough job of trying to replace Claborn’s production in the scoring column and on the glass.  The 6-7 junior averaged 7.6 points and 4.9 rebounds as a sophomore. 

 

Final Projection: It’s not all about Hayles and Lott.  The backcourt returns Cedric Mitchell and point guard Dustin Richmond, while the frontcourt has potential in Joel Bosh and part-time starter Miguel Morton.  If the newcomers come around as they are expected, this will be a pretty deep group of players that will battle for the top spot in the conference.  Keep an eye out for Mississippi Valley State and Jackson State to provide some surprises, but the Hornets will get it in the end.

 

Projected Post-season Tournament: NCAA

 

Projected Starting Five:

Dustin Richmond, Senior, Guard, 5.1 points per game

Cedric Mitchell, Senior, Guard, 6.3 points per game

Andrew Hayles, Sophomore, Guard, 9.1 points per game

Richard Lott, Junior, Forward, 7.6 points per game

Miguel Morton, Junior, Forward, 3.0 points per game

#140 Coppin State » Complete List » #138 Ole Miss

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