Rebuilding the Roster: Southeast Missouri
A new head coach always means massive roster upheaval and the situation at Southeast Missouri is no different.
Mid-April Rick Ray took over the helm. In the intervening months seven players have joined the program replacing staples like Jarekious Bradley, Darrian Gray, Aaron Adeoye, Nino Johnson, and Josh Langford.
Isiah Jones, Antonius Cleveland, Marcus Wallace, Jamaal Calvin, Trey Kellum, Ladarius Coleman, and J.T. Jones provide Coach Ray some stability. If nothing else, these players can teach the massive crop of newcomers where to catch a late night snack, which parties to avoid, and any other mundane campus tips.
Most of the basketball lessons learned last year will only be mildly helpful now that the new regime is settling in.
In fact, holdovers sometimes feel more pressure than newcomers to perform because they were not technically recruited or chosen by the new staff. They are little more than barely wanted adopted children. Very often holdover players find their old roles severely diminished and end up transferring.
It is a not a cozy predicament.
Beyond the natural turnover from graduation and exhausted eligibilities, Southeast Missouri basketball must endure two transfers.
T.J. Thomas and J.J. Thompson (UT-Rio Grande Valley) have left the program.
The list of newcomers is long: Jaylin Stewart, Tony Anderson II, Eric McGill, Robby Dosier, Xavion Dillon, Joel Angus III, Clyde Santee.
McGill, Anderson II, Stewart, and Dosier are the promising freshmen class. The success of the program going forward hinges on their development as a pack. They need to show dramatic improvement each year to push the program towards the top of the OVC.
JuCo transfers like Santee, Dillon, and Angus III were brought in for immediate help. A coach typically snags JuCo transfers when they are desperate for a particular position. Clearly, frontcourt help was the focus. Santee will get all the minutes he can handle on the blocks. Dillon and Angus III will probably be combo forwards in a guard-heavy lineup.
A couple of OVC teams are concurrently rebuilding alongside Southeast Missouri, so the learning curve will be tolerable. Still, modern college athletic administrators are less patient than ever.
Good luck, Coach Ray.