12 The Compass Wednesday, December 9. 1992
Vikings primed for a winning season
By Jody Riddick
"Enter to Prepare...Exit to Succeed" is
this year's theme for the ECSU 1992-93
basketball team, according to ECSU's
head coach Claudie Mackey.
"Enter to prepare simply means once
you put on that blue and white you will
prepare mentally to go on the basketball
court to do the kinds of things that will be
asked of you to perform," said Mackey.
Coach Mackey, now in his seventh year
at the helm of tiie men's basketball pro-
gram,said he'sasexdted about thisyear's
team as he has ever been in his tenure.
With three returning starters from last
year's team, a few valuable reserves and
four newcomers, the 1992-93 Vikings are
truly a team on the rise.
Leading the way for the Vikings is 6'7
forward, Nate Higgs, an All-CIAA per
former and Smith Pre-Season All-Ameri
can. Coach Mackey is also relying on
retumingguards6'7Martin Lacewell and
6'0 Shawn Walker, along with key re
serves like Lamar Barrett, John
Richardson, and Derrick White.
Among the newcomers, 7'1 center Jo
ve' Ford and 6’6 forward Ron Nowlin
will join Higgs, Walker, and Lacewell in
the starting lineup. With hard work this
unit could compete with any starting five
in the ClAA, Mackey believes.
"Once this group of guys learn how to
play together, they will te very exciting
to watch," he said. Other newcomers
expected to contribute are Sharano
Woodley and Stephawn Kee.
Assistant Coach Alfred Johnson feels
that this year's team is better than last
year's because of the retuming players.
"The retuming guys are a year older than
the new guys," Johnson said. "Also the
new guys have extended roles and they
have done a good job of listening to Coach
Mackey as well as following the lead of
the retuming players."
The coaches and the players of the
1992-93 squad have high expectations
"Our main objective is to win the CIA A
championship," said sophomore guard
John Richardson. "Everyone is working
hard in practice, unlike last year when we
didn't work as hard as we should have.
But this year Coach Mackey is pushing us
hard to strive and to be the best we can
Coach Mackey is looking forward to a
'Too many times we equate winning
and losing by numbers ra^er than look
ing where a team starts and then fin
ishes," Mackey said..
Assistant Coach Johnson is also feeling
positive about this year's team.
"I think that it is important that we take
each game as a separate event aad play
each game individually and use ead\
game as a stepping stone to improve by
doing these things we vwll be successful,"
- 4 -j - V /" ■'\ V -I
Pictured with Chancellor Jenkins is Jo-ve Ford. Ford, the starting center for the
Vikings this year, is the first seven footer to play basketball at ECSU.
The Vikings have been impressive so
far in the early part of the season. The
Vikings captured two wins by vanning
the University of North Alabama Tipoff
Tournament Nov. 20-21 in Florence, A1
on the campus of the University of North
Alabama. The Vikings defeated Paine
College 80-75 in the opening game of the
tournament. Eleven players scored for
the Vikingsand nine players played for at
least ten minutes. Nate Higgs, an All-
American candidate led the Vikings with
17 points. Jo-ve' Ford, 7'0 sophomore,
had 14 points and eight rebounds in his
first game at the Division n level. Shavm
Walker added 11 points for the Vikings
and Nate Higgs led the Vikings in re
bounds with 10.
Junior guard Shawn Walker scored 33
points and junior forward Nate Higgs
added 22 to lead the Vikings to a 95-90
victory over the University of North Ala
bama in the championship game of the
UniversityofNorth Alabama TipoffTour-
Walker was named Most Valuable
Player of the tournament and Higgs, and
All-CIAA pre-season pick, was nam^ to
the all-tournament team.
ECSU is the only CLAA team ever to
defeat North Alabama at home.
After theNorth Alabama Tournament,
the Vikings traveled to play Jacksonville
State University Nov. 23 and won a 109-
108 victory. JacksonvUleStatewasranked
18th nationally by a leading pre-season
poll amongst Division II schools. Ron
Nowlin, a 6'6 forward led the Vikings
offense pouring in 32 points, including
eight three-pointers, and grabbing eight
rebounds. Nate Higgs scored 18 points
and grabbed 13 rebounds.
Jo-ve' Ford added 17 points and
grabbed nine rebounds, and Shawn
Walker chipped in 14 points for the Vi
The Vikings traveled to Fayetteville
State Dec. 2 and played a hard fought
game, but lost 87-83. Jo-ve' Ford led the
Vikings with 26 points, 12 rebounds, and
two blocked shots. Nate Higgs, had 16
points and 15 rebounds, Ron Nowlin
added 21 points, and Shawn Walker
added 10 points.
The Vikings played their first home
game Dec. 4 in the first round of the ECSU
Invitational Tournament, defeating St.
Paul s College 76-73 in the men's champi
onship game. Nate Higgs was named the
most valuable player and Shawn Walker
was named to ti\e All-Tournament Team.
The Vikings entered the second half
with a twelve point lead shooting 68 per
cent from the floor; their aggressive de-
^^"^^ferc^theTigers into shooting only
The Vikings will continue to use their
shuttie' offense to help spread the of
fense, said Mackey.
Ondefense, the Vikings willplaylotsof
^ to man defenses, combination de
fense, and match up zones. Also defen
sively, a group to watch for the Vikings
this year is called the "posse."
consists of five players
about 6'0 taU, but they are great^on^dS
fense and have been a great help in the
Vikings three victories accordingtoCoach
Mackey. Members of the "posse" are
guard Lamar Barrett, guard John
Richardson, forward John Bullock, for
ward Sharano Woodley, and center Der
"These guys aren't all that tall, but they
play tenacious defense while they're on
the fl(X)r and also they are fun to watch,"
The co-captains for the 1992-93 Viking
squad areforward Nate Higgs, andguard
Lamarr Barrett. "In terms of leadership,
there isn't one specific leader for us this
year," Mackey said. "All the guys are
leaders for us this year. "Each player has
so much to offer to thisteamso they areall
leaders to me."
Running the point guard position for
the Vikings this year is Martin 'Twiggy"
"This is a new position for Martin, but
I think he'll feel comfortable with it once
he gets the hang of it," Mackey said.
Lacewell averaged 14 points per game
and 5 rebounds per game last season,
Shawn Walker is playing the shooting
guard position this year while last year he
played the point guard position.
Shawn because he is us^ to playing the
point, but I feel that he will adjust to this
px)sition just as Martin will to the point
guard position," Mackey added. "The
transition of these two players inaybea
little rough at first, but I feel that the
change will work for us."
Walker averaged 13 points per game
and 2 rebounds per game last season.
"Walker isa very good outsideshooter
and he can stick the jumper when we
need it in the stretch," Ma^ey said.
Nate Higgs, is back at the power for
ward position again this season. Hi^
led the team in scoring and rebounding
last season averaging 20 points and
rebounds per game. Higgs is a pi^
son All-QAA pick, a pre-season QAA
Player of the Year Ondidate, and a
season Street and Smith Small College
"Nate is a very good, solid
he works hard in practice and his na«
work carries over when he's on the co
in the game," Mackey said.
very exciting player to watch, and ne
very well-rounded player."
Overal Mackey and Johnson are oo
ing forward to seeing a great season
"I think that we have a group of gup
who are going to try their best to
v^dnnine back to this basketball pr^
and to the campus of ECSU," ^
said. ''We want to keep the fails
and excited about the j(he
thisyear, but at the same time we ne^^^
support from the university
the students and the faculty and the
munity as well.
We need the university's s“Pr,
through the good times and the
times as well," Mackey said.