Arrow Shoots Straight About The Future

As the the 2008-2009 season winds down for college basketball, South Alabama coach Ronnie Arrow, just back from visiting the Final Four in Detroit, took a few minutes to look at the season to come for the Jaguars.

With the spring signing period about to begin, the attention of most Jag fans is on recruiting, particularly with USA losing four very productive seniors in DeAndre Coleman, Brandon Davis, Ronald Douglas and Domonic Tilford. Ronnie Arrow, however, does not view the cupboard as bare.

"I think we're going to bring back a real solid nucleus," he said. "LaShun Watson, Bryan Sherrer and CJ Garner will be back at guard and Philip and Charles Tabet and DeAndre Hersey will do a good job up front."

Philip Tabet and Hersey are particularly responsible for Arrow's optimism. He believes that Tabet can be one of the top 3 or 4 inside players in the Sun Belt now that he will not be playing behind a group of upperclassmen. "He has one intangible that you can't coach," said Arrow. "He has the will to get offensive rebounds. That is such a great thing for a shooter to know that there is someone who is going to crash those boards and get your team a second chance whenever you let it go."

Hersey is coming off a very productive redshirt year made possible by the presence of three quality seniors in front of him. He is now up to 211 pounds with the goal to reach 220 by the start of next season. With his seven-foot wingspan and ability to step out and hit the three, he reminds Arrow of MTSU all-conference performer Desmond Yates. "I think he has a chance to be the Newcomer of the Year in our league," predicted Arrow. Along with production from a highly-rated trio of incoming freshmen signed in November, Augustine Rubit, Javier Carter and Andre Gowins, Coach Arrow anticipates his post players will be able to hold their own in the Sun Belt.

When it comes to recruiting, the Jags will be looking to fix their greatest weakness from 2008-2009: perimeter play. USA will be looking to use their three available scholarships to bring junior college players to add experience where needed. They would prefer to bring in one more frontcourt player to bolster the young players there and two guards. That being said, Arrow would not be averse to a one of the new guards to be a high school player. "We don't want to find ourselves two years down the road having to replace a bunch of players like we're doing now," he said.

With the dead period for recruiting ending on April 9th, USA will have one or more players visiting campus in the near future. Arrow says that the Jags are in a good position with several quality prospects and he expects the spring signing period to be kind to the USA program. For the program's fans, they certainly hope this prediction is an accurate one.

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