By: Ben Abrams
Coach Alfred Barney wants to achieve two goals during his 12th year as the Men’s head basketball coach, and eighth year as the athletic director at Georgia Perimeter College.
The first goal is to do everything he can to send the student athletes who represent GPC out into the world as mature adults. The second goal is to restore order to the Men’s basketball team.
When asked about any thoughts on the previous season where the team’s record was 16-14 in the regular season, and 8-12 in the GCAA conference, Coach Barney said, “You can always learn from failure, but it’s not necessary.” “I don’t see any shortcomings as failure just as a sign to keep trying, because you will not always be rewarded for the work that you put in.”
With the coach’s goals to bounce back from a lackluster season the year before, there are some who may question the experience on this year’s team. This team will consist of 14 players, nine of which are freshmen.
Despite the lack of experience in playing ball on a collegiate level, the players have Coach Barney’s full support and optimism for representing GPC.
Coach Barney remarked with excitement, “With nine freshmen on the team it gives us the opportunity to teach these kids how to play the game, and set them up for success in the future.”
Another advantage the coach believes he has with his players is their hunger to win to complement their sound discipline. These two qualities are what the coaches were looking for to execute their strategy on the court this year, especially with their plans to press and trap the opponent on defense for the entire game.
Coach Barney also likes the numbers, because the team can provide a balanced scoring attack. The philosophy on offense is that the team is better with five or six players scoring 10 to 12 points instead of one or two players scoring 25 to 30 points a game.
One of the advantages GPC will have this year will be their returning sophomore guards.
Coach Barney reflected, “Last year our guards did not have the exposure they needed to succeed at the college level.”
With a year of experience playing at the collegiate level, the point guards are expected to show major improvement on the court.
The main focus of the season is to have players think about playing as one team. Coach Barney does not want to have to rely on one or two star players. The coaches believe they need 14 men on the floor who will be able to finish a game at any time of the season.
It does not matter who is on the starting lineup; Coach Barney wants to make sure that he can rely on his player to do what he needs to do to win the game.
The first step of achieving these goals is to learn to play as a team. Coach Barney believes if the team can do this then they have a legitimate shot to win the GCAA conference championship.
Winning the conference championship will advance them into the NJCAA national tournament. If they can reach the national tournament, then Coach Barney believes that this team can pursue an opportunity to win GPC its first ever national championship in Men’s basketball history.
Let’s keep our fingers crossed and hope for an awesome season this year! Go Jags!