|Richard Kirklin||Sr (REDSHIRT)||----||----||----||----||----||----||----|
New Players (rankings from PrepStars)
Todd Abernathy 6-1 Freshman Unranked
Byron Burnett 6-9 Jr. Transfer from Southern Union (AL) CC
Bam Doyne 6-4 Freshman Unranked
Tommie Eddie 6-6 Jr Transfer from Coffeyville (KS) CC
Ed Glass 6-2 Jr Transfer from Kaskaskia (IL) CC
Marvin Moore 6-6 Jr Transfer from Southern Union (AL) CC
Jarvelle Scott 6-7 Freshman #51 ranked
(1) High post and shooting forward positions. Justin Reed (6-8) and Aaron Harper (6-7) are the only returning starters and, indeed, the only returnees who have much experience. Reed is a likely first-team All-SEC performer and Harper is a solid player and a fine three-point shooter. Reed will take care of the high post, with help from Tommie Eddie, a 260-pounder from Brooklyn, who played for the NJCAA national runner-up team, 6-7 Chris Rhodes, and Jarvelle (Warren) Scott, a 240-pounder who could be a big help if he keeps his academic house in order. Harper will be backed up by Marcus Moore, who averaged 23.1 ppg at Southern Union. There is also 6-7 Kendrick Fox, who almost dropped out of sight last year, and little-used 6-9 Richard Kirklin.
(2) Coach Rod Barnes, who has the reputation of getting the most out of his talent. However, last season was rather disappointing (14-15 overall, and 4-12 in conference play including a 10-game losing streak), for the first time, Barnes lost players in the off-season. (The main defection was 6-4 Trey Pearson, a starter as a freshman, but 6-10 senior John Gunn and 6-3 sophomore Jonathan Loe also departed.)
(3) Seven newcomers provide a considerable amount of potential, and several of them will have to play a lot of minutes.
(1) Experience? There is precious little of that except for Reed and Harper.
(2) Size? The only low-post player is Burnett, a 250-pounder who is mainly a rebounder. When he goes out of the game, Reed or Eddie will have to help there.
(3) Shooting guard position? Todd Abernathy, Bam Doyne, and 6-0 Justin Johnson will contend for time. Doyne, the Arkansas Gatorade Player of the Year in 2001-02, is considered by Rod Barnes to be "a great defender." Abernathy is the son of Tom Abernathy (a starter on the unbeaten Indiana team of 1975-76 and later an NBA player), and was a prolific scorer at Carmel (IN) High School.
(4) Point guard position? This position was a problem area last season. Ed Glass will likely start; he averaged 15.1 ppg and 5.4 assists in his sophomore year in junior college. and Barnes considers him to be very mature. Todd Abernathy and Justin Johnson will be the backups.
Overall Prospects for 2003-04
Barnes will have to do a great job of coaching to go anywhere with this inexperienced team. He has done it in the past and just might do it again. On paper, however, the Rebels look like a good bet for sixth place in the Western Division.