The Bryan College men's basketball team is predicted to finish fourth this season in the Appalachian Athletic Conference, according to the preseason coaches' poll. The Lions finished last season in third place and made it to the conference tournament championship. The team led the AAC in scoring defense (71.68), was one of the top teams in the conference in field goal percentage defense (.422), and was one of the top teams in assist to turnover ratio (.85). The Lions start this season on Monday at home verse Tennessee Temple University and will kickoff conference play at home on November 13 verse Virginia Intermont College.
Key returners for the Lions include sophomore forward Brandon Cole and senior center Derrick Walker. Cole, who averaged 12.77 points per game and 8 rebounds, was named the AAC's Freshman of the Year last season. He led the team in field goal percentage for the season at 50.7%. Walker only played second semester last year led the team in rebounds per game (9.07) and blocks per game (1.07), and he was second in points per game (13.6) and assists per game (2.67). He will only play second semester this season as well.
Bryan Head Coach Don Rekoske commented, "I'm excited about our season. I believe that as the year goes on we could become a really good basketball team. I think that our team has optimism coming in to this season with several key players back from last year. We had six freshman last year that played significant roles and have returned for this season. Brandon Cole, Robert Troino, Michael Norris, and Jeff Long head up that group. Hunter Chastain is another sophomore that has really improved during this offseason. Some of our upper classmen that we expect to play significant roles this season are junior Alan Holt and senior Logan Sharpe. I also expect Terrell Maryland, a 6'6 junior college transfer from Pitt Community College, to play a major role. Caleb Tuck , Ryan Landers and Trent McClaurin are three freshman that we expect to contribute this season."
The 2014 AAC Tournament is set for Feb. 26-March 1, 2014, at the MeadowView Marriott in Kingsport, Tenn.
Team (First-Place Votes)
Tennessee Wesleyan (9)
*-Coaches ranked teams in predicted order of finish from 1-10. Each team received 10 points for a first-place vote, nine (9) points for second, etc.