Season Outlook: Bobcat Men's Basketball Freshmen

MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. - As the month of November comes to a close and the early games have all resulted in wins for the Georgia College & State University men's basketball team (3-0), over the next four days GCSU sports information will release the men's basketball season outlook, focusing each day on the players separated by class. Today's (Dec. 2) effort will focus on the seven Bobcat freshmen.

One of the biggest freshmen recruiting classes in recent history, Georgia College men's hoops brought in six rookies to the program, adding one redshirt for a total of seven freshmen on the Bobcat roster.

Three will contribute significantly to the Bobcat efforts this season, with four others redshirting the season to play a more crucial role in the future.

Forward Ryan Aquino (Roswell, Ga.) has seen strong minutes already this season, as one of the top options off the bench in the post. A solid 6-foot-7, Aquino has a "good work ethic" according to head coach Terry Sellers. The rookie has a strong inside presence, and is third on the team with 16 rebounds despite averaging just 14.3 minutes per contest. Aquino can score, averaging 5.0 points per game, tallying 11 points and six boards in his first collegiate game against Fort Valley State University Nov. 21.

Redshirt freshman guard Marvin Harris, Jr. (Tennille, Ga.) is a local product, and quite possibly the most athletic player on the Bobcat roster. At just 6-foot-1, Harris has sky-walking leaping ability. "Marvin is extremely athletic, and has made vast improvements," Sellers said. "He just needs to work on consistency to see his minutes increase. There are times in practice when he's one of our best players."

Point guard Ryan Lively (Cumming, Ga.) was a planned redshirt but his hard work, combined with a season-ending injury to senior guard Chuck Eason (Queens, N.Y.) thrust Lively into playing time right away. "I felt more comfortable with three true point guards going into the season," said Sellers. "Ryan has shown remarkable composure and confidence for a freshman learning a new system."

The four redshirts this season are Nate Hamilton (Snellville, Ga.), Trent Kammerer (Duluth, Ga.), Jordan Stephens (Mt. Sterling, Ky.) and Michael Ross (Blairsville, Ga.).

"Nate comes from an outstanding program at Brookwood," said Sellers. "He has a reputation as an outstanding shooter with the potential to be a good two-guard in this league. His coaches have all referred to him as a ‘gym-rat' with a strong love for the game of basketball."

One of the "hardest-working freshmen" on the Bobcat roster, Ross will fill a three-guard spot in the future for GCSU. "Rarely do you see a freshman with the work ethic it takes to succeed," said Sellers. "Michael has that."

Stephens was the coaching staff's toughest decision to redshirt, as the 6-foot-8 forward is at a position where the Bobcats are the thinnest. With one year of collegiate practice under his belt Stephens will "be ready to make a bigger impact" next season.

Kammerer has a "great work ethic" according to Sellers. The 6-foot-7 forward is a "blue-collar guy" who puts forth plenty of "heart and effort to succeed".

Bobcat fans can look forward to the further development of these seven over the next few years, helping Georgia College basketball to post-season goals. Tomorrow's second of the four-part series will cover the four Bobcat sophomores.

The Bobcats return to action Monday, Dec. 8 hosting Carver Bible College at 7:30 p.m.

The GCSU Department of Athletics sponsors 10 NCAA Division II athletic programs at the NCAA Division II level. As a Division II program, Georgia College prides itself on balancing the life of the student-athlete, evidenced by the Bobcats' multiple appearances in post-season competition as well as documented academic success and community-service involvement. Follow the Bobcats and their positive impact on the Milledgeville community at www.gcsu.edu/bobcats.