Blue Raider Basketball In Couple Of Weeks

Blue Raider men’s basketball head coach Kermit Davis addressed the media on Tuesday (10/18/2011) in conjunction with the weekly football press conference. MT opens the season with an exhibition at home against North Alabama on Nov. 7. And yes, you'll hear the games on WGNS. 

Opening statement
“We had 18 practices in July and August before we went to Canada. We went 4-0 in Canada and got some great experience. We have a good nucleus of guys coming back, we have a couple transfers who had to sit out last year, and we have a great recruiting class. So couple all of that with the challenging schedule we know we’re going to have and it ended up being the perfect time to go. It’s really amazing how far along you can be when you have that experience. This is the deepest team we’ve had. Our team is kind of led by Jason Jones, who was the second-leading scorer in the Sun Belt (in league play) coming back this year. JT Sulton was playing about as well as any four-man in our league at the end of last year. Then we’ve got Kerry Hammonds, who set our freshman single-season scoring record last year. James Gallman is coming off a minor knee surgery, but he’s getting healthier. And Shawn Jones may be our biggest surprise yet.”

On hosting the EA SPORTS Maui Invitational Regional Games
“Chris Massaro has some great ties with Dave Odom, who runs the Maui tournament. So we’re hosting the very first inland tournament with some good teams and are very excited about doing that. Our schedule is the toughest one we’ve had. We feel very good about our team, so we were confident to do that. We’ve got a lot of Tennessee flavor on the schedule this year. It’s really tough, it’s going to really challenge us and I think it’ll be enjoyable for our fans.”

On Kerry Hammonds
“Kerry was voted our best conditioned athlete for the past two months. He’s in great shape. He’s been healthy now for awhile. He’s been shooting the ball well, he can defend and rebound. And he has great size for being a two-guard or a small forward.”

On shooting
Raymond Cintron made seven 3-pointers in a game in Canada. He can shoot well. Gallman can really shoot too, but he’s been sidelined a little bit. Even our big guys like LaRon Dendy can shoot from 18, 19 feet.Marcos Knight is a good 17 to 18-foot shooter as well. But I’d say Cintron, Gallman and Hammonds are our three best perimeter shooters.”

On LaRon Dendy
“He’s a really good talent who likes basketball. He averaged 15 (points) and 10 (rebounds) a game in Canada. There aren’t many guys in our league like him, at least since I’ve been here. He’s 235 pounds and can make 3-pointers. He’s still trying to learn how to play with detail offensively and defensively, but he’s a really good talent who looks like someone at Kentucky and Tennessee and other guys across the country.”