A deep, young basketball team ready for season to begin

As the Richland College basketball team looks to rebound from a 7-21 season last year, one thing is certain for head coach Jon Felmet’s squad this year: The T-Ducks are deep at each position.

However, in order for the T-Ducks to translate this luxury into success, “the players will need to stay ‘bought in,’ ” Felmet explained. “Our issue last year was that we had several guys who thought their abilities were much higher than Richland College, and they never bought into the work that was expected.”

Although the team is young, this is not an issue with this unit as the T-Ducks open their season tonight – the beginning of a tough non-conference schedule. Each game the T-Ducks play this season to prepare for Metro Athletic Conference play is against a Division I junior college.

“Our fans will see a deep, tough, hard-nosed team,” Felmet said. “Our strength could potentially be in our numbers. We have seen signs of several guys pushing for minutes, which lead to our weakness – consistency. There have been a few guys who have been at the top of the depth chart, at the bottom and middle. The inconsistency is major right now. That happens with young guys, though, and we have 11 of those.”

The T-Ducks also have four returning players from last year in Ricky Roberts of Clarksville, Thomas Davis of Lufkin, Perry Jackson of Milwaukee, Wis. and Matt Brown of Tatum.

Roberts, who red-shirted during the 2009 National Championship season, is expected to bring toughness and leadership in the post while Davis, voted MAC Freshman of the Year last season, will have to step up and show the coaching staff that last season was not a fluke, Felmet says.

Meanwhile, if Jackson, who red-shirted last year, can get past injuries, Felmet expects him to provide toughness on the defensive end of the floor and scoring on the offensive end.

Brown, Felmet describes, is a big, strong physical guard who has done a good job of playing his role in scrimmages leading up to tonight’s opener.

“If these four guys can bring more consistent leadership then the 2010-2011 season will be a fun one,” Felmet said. “If they do not, we will have a roller-coaster season, and the sophomores will look back and say ‘what if’ or ‘I should have.’ ”