Rank: #1 SWAC
12-18, 10-8, 4th (t)
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Senior, Guard, 5.1 points per game
Senior, Guard, 6.3 points per game
Sophomore, Guard, 9.1 points per game
Junior, Forward, 7.6 points per game
Junior, Forward, 3.0 points per game