SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Both Georgia Southern head basketball coaches were optimistic about their teams' upcoming 2018-2019 campaigns Thursday.
Head men’s coach Mark Byington and head women’s coach Kip Drown were guest speakers at Thursday’s Georgia Southern Greater Savannah Area Alumni luncheon, and both were quick to share their excitement for the season tipping off next month.
“We’ve been right there at the top of the league every single year. So we’re trying to go from good to great," Byington says. "We’re trying to go from that three-seed to the one, or the two to the one and be the top team in the league when all is said and done in March.”
“I think our players really believe that this is the year we’re going to have our breakout, that we’re going to go to another level with the program," Drown says. "So they’re excited about it, and so am I.”
The Eagle men enter the season with eyes on a Sun Belt title and NCAA Tournament berth. Senior point guard Tookie Brown withdrew from the NBA Draft, and joins seniors Ike Smith and Montae Glenn on a team picked third in the conference.
Byington likes his team’s length and believes this will be his most athletic team. More than any physical attributes, Byington likes the way his team is approaching this season. He says it’s all led by those three seniors.
“I like that we have three seniors who understand the finality of the senior year," Byington says. "They understand that they have to make the most of this season. Their urgency has been great, which has been kind of feeding into the other guys.”
Entering his fourth year in Statesboro, Drown is excited to coach a team fully made up of his staff’s recruits. He also believes this will be the best offensive team of his tenure.
“This group can score points. You look at the top teams in the Sun Belt, this is an offensive league,” Drown says. “Troy, Little Rock, those teams can score. That’s an area we really feel like we’ve improved.”
The Eagle men will host Charleston Southern on October 30 in an exhibition that will benefit the American Red Cross. Both teams open the season officially in November. The women welcome Wofford to Statesboro on November 6, while the men host Carver College a day later.