2011-12 Lumberjack Preview: Fowards
Nov. 8, 2011
This is the second in a three-part series taking a glance at the 2011-12 Lumberjack basketball team. The `Jacks will open up the season on Nov. 11 vs Centenary at William R. Johnson Coliseum.
NACOGDOCHES, Texas - A fresh new corps of forwards should bring an energetic and athletic look immediately to the floor for the Lumberjacks this season, with a bevy of newcomers set to take over for Danny Kaspar's troops.
One of the first orders of business this season was to fill the shoes of departing power forward Jordan Glynn, who was one of the Southland's top rebounders each of the past two seasons and now is thriving on the European circuit, and small forward/combo guard Eddie Williams, who left his four-year mark as one of the best all-around players SFA has had in recent memory.
But Kaspar will have several options to fill those voids with a pair of junior college players Jonathan King and Joe Bright, and true freshman Jacob Parker who could be the first freshman to open the year as a starter for Kaspar since former point guard Marcus Clark.
"Jacob really picks things up quickly and is a very good outside shooter," Kaspar said. "He needs some strength, but that will come with time. I really like how quickly he picks up things, and whether or not he starts for us, I expect him to be a major factor for us."
Parker was an all-state selection at Bixby High School in Bixby, Okla., and will bring a long, wiry 6-6 frame to the court. He averaged 19 points and 10 rebounds during his junior season at BHS and reminds Kaspar of former power forward and current assistant coach Nick Shaw, who played for the `Jacks in the 2007-08 and 2008-09 seasons.
"Nick (Shaw) was probably a better pure athlete, but Jacob is more advanced skill-wise than Nick was at this age," Kaspar said.
Along with the freshman Parker, King and Bright will be asked to contribute immediately as well on the wings. Both have the versatility and athleticism to play multiple spots on the floor, and pending the situation and matchups that Kaspar chooses to go with, each will likely see significant court time.
King, at 6-5 from Panama City, Panama, averaged a double-double last year at East Mississippi Junior College, ranking in the top 15 in the nation in rebounding with 10.5 per game. An all-conference choice at EMCC, King's squad qualified for the national tournament in each of his two years and finished his sophomore season ranked 12th in the nation.
"Jonathan is more of a post type of forward who can post you up, but also has a nice 15-17 foot jump shot and can drive to the basket," Kaspar said. "His greatest strength is going to the boards. He is a tenacious rebounder."
Meanwhile, Bright joins former `Jacks Benson Akpan and Denzel Barnes as transfers from Howard College who have made their way to Nacogdoches. At 6-4, 2-5 pounds, Bright will be asked to play both the small and power forward spots at times and Kaspar is looking for him to replace Williams as the lockdown defender that SFA has been fortunate to have for the past four seasons.
"Joe is a very tough kid and comes from a very good junior college program at Howard College," Kaspar said. "He's kind of a glue guy, meaning that he's capable of going out and scoring 15 points on a given night, but more often we'll count on him for 8-10 points a night and being a very good defender."
At Howard, Bright averaged 10 points and 5.3 rebounds on his way to earning all-conference honors as a sophomore, one year after getting a junior college national championship ring with the Hawks as a freshman.