The Gulf Coast basketball program finished 20-9 last season, and although losing a few key starters, return big man Andrew Fishler and guard Devon Baulkman, who averaged 15 ppg last year for the Dores. Several talented freshman are on the roster as well, and got their first taste of what the season may hold on Sunday as the Commodores held a JUCO Showcase. One of those new players is redshirt freshman and Rutherford grad Jon Wade, who is the all-time leading scorer for the Ram program.
Commodore head coach Jay Powell telling me that Sunday's event didn't just provide exposure for those younger guys, but was a wake up call to the powerful Panhandle Conference.
"For the first time, these players are playing against guys that can knock down jump shots," said Powell. "Every player here can play off the bounce pretty well. Every time a shot goes up you have to block out, or at least get a body on somebody and go for the rebound. The incoming freshman I hope will learn from this and realize why this is a whole new level. I have plenty of talent, but the hard work and the effort level has to rise a little bit for us to be successful."