Raised expectations is what this year's
edition of Tiger basketball anticipates. With seven returning
lettermen, one redshirt freshman guard, and one redshirt post from
Chattahoochie Community College, the Tigers expect improvement over
last season when the squad was all freshmen and sophomores.
Unfortunately, David Layne, who was the second leading scorer as a
freshman, moved to California and did not return. However, the
addition of 6'6" 275 lb. Rico Stanley in the post should help
reduce the loss of Layne.
Justin Browner, a 5'8" combo
point/wing from Marietta, Ga returns his 17-point average and
honorable mention All-NCAA mid-east region selection to the team for
his third year as a Tiger. According to coach Nelson, justin can
split the seams and hit the three. With quick hands and feet Browner
was second in steals per game last season. complementing Browner is
another quick-handed full speed ahead guard from Covington, LA Joel
Bailey. At 5'10" Joel brings a heart full of hustle to each
practice and game and was the third leading rebounder from last year
and lead the team in steals.
Tylar Johnson from Akron, Ohio, is a
strong physical point guard who competes fiercely. Tylar was a rookie
last year who had been away from basketball for a few years but lead
the team in assists. Lazerick Boyd from Memphis is a 6'4" combopost/wing who does a little of everything. Coach Nelson
said 'Z' needs to look for his catch and shoot offense more
instead of drive first, mainly because he can shoot the three well."
Cody Carson from Oneida, is a designated bomber who led the team in
charges drawn last year. Carson is expected to continue providing
long range shooting while continuing his defensive efforts. Brandon
Carpenter from Lenoir City, is a 6'3" small post who brings an
excellent basketball IQ, unselfish attitude on both ends of the
floor and some streaky offense from long range. Carpenter was second
in charges drawn last year. Tyrece Irons from Oak Ridge, is a
redshirt freshman who brings a strong body to the guard
position. Irons has range and power at 6' and plays within himself
for maximum impact on both ends of the floor. Jeff Golden
returns his 6'7" size and 83" reach for his second year of
organized basketball . Golden is from Marietta, Ga. and led the team
in blocked shots and averaged 10 points the last 10 games. Rico
Stanley from Colombus, Ga. brings a great basketball IQ and a
powerful body with a soft touch to the post. A redshirt last year,
Stanley has an assortment of post moves and can be called upon
to shoot the three ball. Jeff Waggoner is a sophomore from
Nashville, who has a strong powerful game, a deceptively
accurate 3 point shot, but needs more improvement in the floor game.
The greatest adjustments freshmen have
to make is the consistent effort every day in practice and learning a
new system, but the freshmen are making good strides in those areas
and Coach Nelson feels good things are ahead for this group.
The Hiwassee Tigers took a blow when
Golden was not allowed to practice, workout or play for a month while
some medical tests were conducted. fortunately, those tests came back
negative and he is expected to rejoin the team for the fourth
game of the season.
Overall, the Tigers face a strong
schedule with two NCAA division 1 teams, three NCAA D-II teams, two
NCAA D-III, six NAIA teams, and six NCCAA teams which the Tigers are
members in the same athletic association.
Some local games for the Monroe County
fan base include, Bryan College, Carson-Newman University, LMU,
Sewanee college and Covenant College.
Homecoming will be Saturday, Nov. 17,
when Bob Jones University comes to Rudy Youell Gymnasium. Tip-off
time is 3 p.m. for the women's game and 5 p.m. for the men's
Come out and see the Tigers in
For ticket information call
423-420-1235 and ask for the athletic office.