With four starters returning, the Greyhounds have the experience to continue their winning ways but will have to contend with a slew of new Region 2 teams looking to dethrone them.
Four new basketball programs join ASU Mid-South and North Arkansas College in Region 2 with two of them eligible for postseason play this year. National Park College and Southern Arkansas University Tech served their probationary year last season and are now full NJCAA members. And in their first season of competition, South Arkansas Community College and University of Arkansas Cossatot join the fray, although they are not yet eligible for postseason play.
While the Greyhounds have their work cut out for them, they should have the workers to get the job done. First Team All-Region guard Jalen Lynn returns after leading the Greyhounds by averaging 17.5 points per game while shooting 38.3% from the three-point line and 83.5% from the free throw line. The All-American candidate from Collierville, Tennessee, was second in the region in scoring last season while finishing in the top 30 in the nation for three-pointers made and free throw percentage.
Both forwards return after each earned Second Team All-Region honors. Jacksonville's Christian White and West Memphis native Zach Byrd return after averaging 10.6 and 8.9 points, respectively. White pulled down 7.0 rebounds per game and Byrd collected 6.6 caroms per game, and both players had multiple double-figure rebound games with Byrd registering six double-doubles (double figures in points and rebounds) on the season.
The other returning starter is 6'4" shooting guard Ike Moore, an athletic wing who averaged 9.0 points and 3.7 rebounds per game while shooting 36.8% from the three-point line and 71.8% from the free throw line. Also returning is 6'7" forward Garret Finley who averaged 7.4 points and 3.6 rebounds while becoming a much more versatile player in the offseason. Moore and Finley both spent the summer in the gym while taking classes and are eager to show their improvement.
The Greyhounds also welcome back two redshirts in 6'7" guard Zyon Patterson and 6'5" guard Monroe Carr. Although the two did not play in any games last season they both competed in practice every day and gained experience in the Greyhound system.
The top newcomer is transfer J.T. Smith who looks to take over the point guard position. The 6'3" Kensett, Arkansas, native comes from Kilgore College where he sat out last season with the football team after earning All-State honors in football, basketball, and track at Riverview High School. Computer-timed at 4.50 in the 40-yard dash, Smith brings speed and an uncanny ability to see the floor along with both an unselfishness to set up his teammates and an ability to take over when needed.
High school recruits include 5'8" guard Kevin Fulton, a three-time All-State performer from Nettleton High School in Jonesboro, Arkansas, and Daunte Galvan, a 5'9" guard from PSJA North High School in Edinburg, Texas. Both combo guards could see time at the point and wing guard spots as both are dangerous with the dribble and from the arc.
Clifton, from Greenbrier High School (AR), is a dangerous shooter who can also drive and create. Smith and Sharp both come from 5A State Finalist Hall High School in Little Rock (AR) and have won at a high level. Smith is a high-energy guard who can get to the basket and is a physical defender while Sharp can score inside and outside and looks to help on the boards. Meanwhile, the mystery man on the team remains McCullough, whose versatility makes him a dangerous play as he bounces back from an injury that sidelined him the last third of his senior season at North Little Rock High School (AR).
The Greyhounds play in the Mullen/Mitchell JC Blowout Jamboree in Fort Worth October 5 before a couple of home scrimmages October 11 and 17 against Dyersburg State CC and Southwest Tennessee CC, respectively. Their last tune-up for the season is Saturday, October 26, as they play in the Natural State Juco Jamboree in Conway, Arkansas.
The regular season then tips off November 1-2 in the Greyhound Tipoff Classic with games against North Lake College (TX) and Parkland College (IL) and they travel the following weekend to the Fairfield Inn Classic at John Wood CC in Quincy, Illinois. Five of their last seven games before the Christmas break are at home including annual games against Northwest Mississippi CC, Itawamba CC, Northeast Mississippi CC and St. Louis CC. Then after the break the Greyhounds play only two home games in January before returning to The Dog House for seven of their final eight games of the season. Sophomore Recognition Day is Saturday, February 22, against region rival North Arkansas College.
ASU Mid-South then travels to Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas, for the Region 2 Tournament on March 1 & 3 with the winner advancing to host the District XIII Championship on Saturday March 7.