The Alice Lloyd Eagles are coming off a 15-13 record. Coach JR Hammond’s high-octane offense averaged 95.8 ppg to lead the NAIA in scoring and his squad also reached the finals of the NCCAA Mideast Regional Tournament before falling in a close matchup at Bluefield College.
Although several pieces have gone, including four-year starter Austin Crisp and Jake Allen, a wealth of experience does return for the new campaign. Junior Blake Smith returns off an impressive season that saw him average 17.6ppg while shooting 50% from the field and 81% from the foul line. The athletic guard also contributed 5 rebounds per outing and finished 2nd on the club in both steals and blocks. Additionally, he led the squad in highlight-reel dunks. Senior forward Simon Christon (4.4 ppg; 4.6rpg), has totally revamped his game in the off-season and will add valuable leadership, along with a ton of hustle. Scrappy junior forward Chance Cornett (11.2 ppg; 5.1rpg) improved all season and scored a career-high 34 points in his club’s final game. The other senior is guard Ryan House, (8.2 ppg), who has the ability to score points in bunches. Sophomore guard Noah Young (6.9 ppg) had a solid first season and looks poised to step up this year while junior guard Ian Lee has shown he is ready to help as well.
A solid list of newcomers are enrolled at Caney Creek. Those to watch for include sophomore guard Austin Combs and a slew of freshmen: guards Chandler Stewart, and Bryce Slone; forwards Idris Akinyemi, Will Philpot, and Kolton Hofsess; and center Collin Sturgill.
Coach Hammond has set high goals for his club. “Our main objective this year is to compete in every game and position ourselves for a chance to win the conference. In order to do that, we have got to improve our defense, but on the offensive side, we look to put up 100 points a game. I really like the players that we have and know they are up for the challenges we will face.”