The Grace Tigers and head coach Gary Bailey should be just fine when they return to the court for the 2017-18 season in the NCCAA. Five seniors and five juniors remain from a team that went to the Final Four. Their only loss was All-American point guard Jared Bradford.
Head Coach Gary Bailey released the roster for the 2017-18 team this morning. With only one senior graduating last season, the Tigers should be considered a veteran group with five seniors and five juniors. The Tigers return 4 starters and every player coming off the bench from a team that made it to the Final Four of the NCCAA. The only loss to this team was senior All American point guard Jared Bradford (Sparta HS).
In addition to the returning players, the Tigers signed an outstanding group. After missing the 2016-17 season with an injury, 6-foot-6 sophomore Mike Warren is back for the Tigers.
Coach Bailey on Warren’s return, “Mike can really shoot it and he has added a nice touch around the basket. He continues to impress the coaches at the way he has come back. (He) is another player whose size inside and his shooting ability will give teams match-up problems.”
Hunter Greer is a 6-foot-1 freshman arriving from Allendale High School. The former Falcon was praised highly by his new head coach.
“Hunter had an outstanding summer and can really score it and finds his teammates with some outstanding passes,” said Coach Bailey.
“Hunter was one of the best players in the gym at times this summer.”
Keoante Blackmore is a sophomore transfer from NAIA Division II Concordia University. Coach Bailey quipped that at 6-foot-5, “Keonte brings a defensive mindset and a more athletic style to the team. He is an outstanding young man and a great fit for this team. Keoante will only get better and add to his athletic game as he gains confidence in our system.”
The longest journey to Grace was taken by newcomer DeAndre Metcalfe. Originally from Texas, 6-foot-5 “Dre'” moved to South Korea with his military family.
“This is a player that we worked very hard for,” Bailey told GraceTigers.com. “DeAndre has the ability to be one of the all-time greats at Grace. His size makes him a tough match up at the guard position. His passing, ability to shoot it, and finish at or above the rim will make him an impact player soon.
Juniors returning are Austin Jackson (6-7/F), Caleb Anderson (6-2/G), Grant Garrison (6-6/F), Ethan Kalifa (6-4/F) and Marcus Chandler (6-3/F).
The sophomore class, including Warren and Blackmore, are Brandon Winchester-Jones (5-11/G) and Adam Kregel (6-6/G-F).
The coaching staff for 2017-18 are Bailey, associate coach Dan George and assistants Lee Ash and Nick Wolfe. The Tigers open the season on October 24, 2017 at home in the Aldrich Athletic Center against Spring Arbor. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.