Last year, the Morehouse Maroon Tigers fell short in the conference semifinals to eventual SIAC champions Benedict College. However, this season is shaping up to be a memorable one.
It all began with consecutive victories over Johnson C. Smith, 77-70, and Fayetteville State, 66-59. This week, the Tigers open their home schedule with 7 p.m. games in Forbes Arena on Friday against Fisk University and on Tuesday, Nov. 24, against West Georgia.
The team is looking to improve on their 15-11 record last year and No. 2 seed in the conference tournament. The Tigers will need to perform better at the end of close games because seven of the team’s 11 losses were decided by five points or less.
With only one senior departing due to graduation, look for the Tigers to capitalize on the returning veteran leadership and experience from the tough losses.
“You want your seniors to take charge of the locker room,” coach Grady Brewer said. “They know the rights and wrongs of the game. You can never have too much experience.”
The team will boast eight seniors, with All-SIAC center Tyrone Brown and guard Javarius Gay hoping to leave Morehouse with something along with a degree – a championship ring.
The team also has a group of young talent, players who want to create their own legacy.
Sophomore Tyrius Walker had a standout first year, taking home the SIAC Freshman of the Year award and leading the team in scoring (13.8 per game), assists (72) and steals (32). During the offseason, Walker diversified his game to overcome the upcoming defensive plans against him, and so far he has averaged 17 ppg.
“My main focus is on team goals because without them, I wouldn’t have accomplished what I have today,” Walker said. “I’ve had this feeling all summer of winning the championship.”
Brewer recruited four freshmen that he believes can make an “immediate impact to the team” – forwards Omar Alston (10 points against Fayetteville State) and Gerrell Dickson, along with guards Ayinde Russell and Anthony Farrar (11 points, four rebounds and four steals against Johnson C. Smith).
There is much optimism for the upcoming season as Morehouse College pushes to gain more respectability in the athletics department. Expectations are high for all of the sports teams.
“As the athletic director, I am anticipating a banner year with accolades across the board,” Andre Pattillo said. “The combination of returning athletes and recruits will be the key to their success.”
Behind every great sports team is an even greater fan base. The energy from the fans fueled multiple come-from-behind victories and buzzer beaters last season. To increase crowd participation, committees across campus plan to continue sponsoring events and giveaways during home games.