The following excerpt comes from Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook, the “bible” of college basketball now in its 32nd printing. Edited by SEC Digital Network contributor Chris Dortch, Blue Ribbon is a 400-page preview that features full stories on 345 Division I teams. To order a copy, go to www.blueribbonyearbookonline.com or call 877-807-4857.
Key returning player: Johnny O’Bryant (6-9, SO, F)
O’Bryant’s freshman year was interrupted in January when he broke his hand in practice. That cost the former five-star recruit five games. O’Bryant (8.5 ppg, 6.7 rpg) will make up for lost time this season.
“He’s going to have to play a lot of minutes,” Jones said. “But he’s in great shape. He’s done a tremendous job in the weight room, really changing his body.”
Jones will use O’Bryant all over the floor. He has the size to bury opponents in the paint, but also the touch to step out and knock down jumpers.
Last season O’Bryant was up to the task of tangling with SEC frontcourt players. He scored 18 points against Arkansas and 17 against Alabama and collected three 11-rebound games, against Arkansas (twice) and Ole Miss.
Key newcomer: Shavon Coleman (6-6 JR, G/F)
Coleman, originally from Thibodaux, La., is a great athlete who in addition to hoops played football and was a long and high jumper in high school. Last season at Howard he averaged 15.7 points, 6.6 rebounds and 1.7 assists.
“He’s a gamer,” Jones said. “I had the opportunity to watch him the last couple of years. He’s quick off his feet and can really get to the basket. He’s also a good defender.”
So far in preseason practice Coleman has demonstrated his versatility, even playing some in the post because of injuries and a lack of depth in the frontcourt.