When John Brady looks down the road toward how his 2012-13 Arkansas State basketball season may play out, he envisions a pretty smooth road.
"I'm not going to say much about last year's team," Brady said as he addressed the members of the local press corps during Media Day at ASU's Convocation Center on Thursday.
"We were picked to win the West last year," Brady said, "and we didn't do that. We had some obstacles along the way that kept us from doing that."
Those obstacles include the expulsion of one of the team's key players in Martavious Adams and a knee injury to Trey Finn.
Finn is back and Brady has depth to go along with six returning lettermen including four starters.
Finn will shoulder much of the leadership load both on the floor and in the locker room. His on again, off again status last year didn't preclude him from averaging double figures with 11.6 points per game and 5.3 rebounds.
Marcus Hooten who averaged 12.5 points and nearly two and a half boards will be called to hold down the wings while Brandon Peterson will man the middle once again and hope to be even better than his 33 blocks and 23 steals.
Ed Townsel, who was called upon last year to change from distributor to scorer late last season, will bring 9.0 points per game either as a starter or off the bench. Townsel finished last season with 103 assists and 66 steals.
Add to the mix Kendrick Washington, whose career was nearly given up for dead last year, and incoming freshman Cameron Golden who Brady says is likely a starter, and the Red Wolvees appear to be in much better shape to start the year off than they finished last year.
"When you are in your fourth year and you have a 6-4 and a half football player as the first guy off of your bench, then you're in trouble," Brady said.
That was exactly Brady's lot last season as the injuries and disasters mounted.
Darion Griswold, fresh off the Red Wold gridiron, and averaged 5.4 points per game and 1.3 rebounds in 16 games.
Brady's outlook seems to be as one of lessons learned from last season's tribulations and says he has confidence that his leaders have grown as well.
"I don't anticipate any of that happening with this team," Brady said. "I'll be tremendously disappointed if these guys sitting in this room allow those things to creep into our team and the progression it can make."
Brady has the tools including depth and leadership to make this one of the most successful seasons in Arkansas State history--if last year's history doesn't repeat itself.
He and his coaching staff are pretty confident it will not.
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