SANFORD - "Very, very athletic."
That's how Central Carolina Community College men's basketball coach Doug Connor describes the 2014-2015 team. "It may be one of the most athletic teams ever at the school. We've got great athletes."
Connor, who is in his 10th season with the Cougars, said he is excited about the season. "We're big. We're fast. We can shoot. We're really excited about Cougar basketball."
The Cougars, which compete in the National Junior College Athletic Association Division III, will be missing two key players from last year's 17-14 squad, including MVP Julian Bailey (Fayetteville), who is now at Milligan College, and Jenaro Harris (Concord), who is now at Erskine College. Bailey and Harris averaged 13.4 points per game and 10.9 ppg, respectively.
Among the top returnees are Billy Brunson, a 6-3 guard/forward from Raeford; Deinzel Greene, a 6-0 guard from Charlotte; V. Diamond Gibbs, a 6-7 forward from Fayetteville; and Deion Gilchrist, a 6-0 guard from St. Paul's. Brunson played in all 29 games last year, averaging 7.9 ppg. Greene started all 29 games a year ago, averaging 13.3 ppg. Gibbs played in 28 games last year, average 4.6 ppg. Gilchrist saw action in four games last year, averaging 4.5 ppg.
Here is the complete roster for the 2014-2015 CCCC team:
"We're deep in every position," said Coach Connor, who explained that his goals include academic success, to mold the players into a team, and to compete for a conference championship and win the tournament for the opportunity to go to the nationals. "I can't wait for the season to start."
The Cougars open the season on Nov. 2 at Tidewater CC in Virginia. CCCC opens its home schedule on Nov. 6 vs. Mt. Olive JVs.
Nov. 2 - at Tidewater CC, 6 - Mt. Olive JV, 8 - Tidewater CC, 10 - Wake Tech, 12 - Guilford Tech. 15 - Bryant Stratton @ Region X Blast Off (Sandhills), 17 - at Mt. Olive JV, 20 - St. Andrews JV, 22 - at Cape Fear CC.
Dec. 1 - at Guilford College JV, 3 - at UNC JV, 6 - Caldwell CCTI, 13 - at Virginia Western CC.
Jan. 3 - Virginia Western CC, 10 - at Caldwell CCTI, 12 - at Guilford Tech, 15 - Methodist JV, 17 - Wytheville CC, 21 - at Sandhills CC, 22 - at Methodist JV, 24 - Davidson County CC, 27 - at Wake Tech, 31 - at Wytheville CC.
Feb. 4 - Belmont Abbey JV, 6 - at Milligan JV, 9 - at Davidson County CC, 11 - Sandhills CC, 20-22 - Region X Tournament at Sandhills.