New year, new team, new expectations for men’s basketball

By Latesha Johnson |
Photo by Dylan Busse

As the season slowly approaches, the Flagler men’s basketball team is preparing for what is expected to be a turnaround year for the Saints.

Finishing with a 9-17 overall record and 2-16 conference record last season, the team is looking to improve and compete at its highest level.

Head Coach Bo Clark has brought in six new players and now has a full-time assistant by his side to help the team reach expectations for a winning season.

The team has begun its pre-season conditioning process along with a few hours of individual and team practice sessions each week.

Clark is looking forward to what he believes will be a rewarding season.

“I don’t have an overall win-loss goal, but I would like to see us compete in the conference tournament and go on to win the conference and region championships,” said Clark.

He is looking for an immediate impact from the new players and is hoping that they will bring a lot to the team as a whole.

Richard Brown, Matt Conway, Adam Jones, Alex Saunders, Matthias Sigurdarson and Quayshad Williams are the newest additions to the program.

“These guys will help us out with our rebounding, defending and shooting abilities,” said Clark.

Sophomore transfer Adam Jones looks to fulfill Clark’s goals, as well as accomplish a few of his own.

“I’ll have a defensive presence inside and add versatility as well as leadership to the team,” said Jones.

Jones said he hopes to win the conference championship, but is already looking beyond that: to being named the Player of the Year.

In early May, Jake Pickett was hired as Flagler’s first full-time assistant basketball coach.

Pickett said he only has one expectation for the season and that is to keep getting better.

“Our league is very difficult,” said Pickett. “If we stay positive and get better every day, we will compete at a high level in the league.”

Clark is excited to have Pickett around and said that he will bring experience to the team and staff, as well as a high basketball IQ.

Returning player and senior Ryan Barnes is seeking to finish on top in his last year in a Saints uniform.

“I want to win it all,” said Barnes.

He believes that the new guys, along with the eight returners, will be able to get that done this upcoming season.

“We all have to come together collectively as a team and realize that no one person is bigger than the team,” said Barnes.

He said that the new players have showed that they can play hard and play together, which is an asset to any team.

With the regular season approaching in November, the Saints will continue to work hard so that they are nothing short of their expectations.

Although it sounds good, it will not be easy as the Peach Belt is one of the highest ranked conferences in Div. II basketball.

“The Peach Belt is no picnic. It’s very tough,” said Clark.

But the Saints look to step up their game and get it done.

The regular season will kick off at home against Trinity College on Nov. 14 at 8 p.m.

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