Men’s Basketball Season Preview: Edward Waters Tigers
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. –
2019 Record: 13-14 (7-7 GCAC)
2019 Finish: Fourth Place (Lost GCAC Quarterfinals)
Head Coach: Fredrick Summers (Third Season / 25-31 Overall, 14-17 GCAC)
· Robert Thomas (Sr, G, Orlando, Fla.)
· Maurice Johnson (Sr, F, Birmingham, Ala.)
· Chandler Fointno (Sr, G, Dayton, Ohio)
Key Players Lost:
· Dawan Bass (All-GCAC Second Team / All-GCAC Defensive Team / second in GCAC in steals per game / fifth in GCAC in field-goal percentage / sixth in GCAC in steals / eighth in GCAC in blocks per game / tenth in GCAC in points per game / top-15 in GCAC in free-throw percentage / top-15 in GCAC in defensive rebounds per game / top-15 in GCAC in blocks / top-20 in GCAC in points / top-20 in GCAC in rebounds per game / top-20 in GCAC in offensive rebounds per game)
· Anthony Young (Fourth in GCAC in three-point field-goal percentage / sixth in GCAC in three-pointers made per game / seventh in GCAC in three-pointers / top-15 in GCAC in points per game / top-15 in GCAC in points)
· Chris Oakley (Second in GCAC in assist-to-turnover ratio / top-15 in GCAC in steals per game / top-15 in GCAC in assists per game)
· Anthony Fitzpatrick (Sr, F, Compton, Calif.)
· Hari Hall (Jr, G/F, Jacksonville, Fla.)
· Felix Hayes (Jr, G/F, Baldwyn, Miss.)
The Edward Waters College men’s basketball program is coming off back-to-back seven win campaigns in GCAC play and will look to ride a wave of newcomers to the top of the league.
Coach Summers has earned double-digit victories in both seasons at the helm in Jacksonville and was able to break even in conference play a year ago.
The Tigers put the clamp down on opposing offenses and dished out assists all season long in 2019-20, allowing the sixth-fewest points in the country (1960), logged the 11th-most assists per game in the NAIA (17.92) and swiped the 14th-highest steals per contest (9.27) in the nation.
The purple and orange have three high-end seniors returning to the hardwood with Robert Thomas, Maurice Johnson and Chandler Fointno.
Thomas was an assist machine for the Tigers, ranking fifth in assists per game (6.69), seventh in assist-to-turnover ratio (3.16) and ninth in total assists (174) throughout the entire NAIA. While the senior was nationally relevant on the offensive side, he wreaked havoc at the conference-level on defense with the fourth-most steals per game (1.81) and fifth-highest steal count (47) in the GCAC.
Johnson finished sixth in the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference with six double-doubles, had 19 blocks (eighth-most) and drained 45 three-pointers (top-15) a year prior.
Fointno was a model of consistency last year, swiping the seventh-most steals per game average (1.45) and the seventh-best assist-to-turnover ratio (1.84) in the league.
EWC has a boatload of transfers making its way to Florida’s east coast including Hari Hall, Anthony Fitzpatrick and Felix Hayes.
Hall spent the 2014-15 season at James Madison University, being named CAA Rookie of the Week once, logged four double-figure scoring games, and averaged 5.8 points plus 2.7 boards a contest. He left the division one institution after that lone year to financially support his family in pursuit of his music career.
Fitzpatrick transferred over from division two Cal State Los Angeles, competing in 2018-19 before taking last season off. In his lone season with the Golden Eagles, the forward from Compton, California scored ten-plus points in eight games, double-digit rebounds in three, finished second on the team in rebounds and won a CCAA Player of the Week award while averaging 8.1 points and 5.3 boards.
Hayes shined bright for Martin Methodist in 2019-20, ranking third in the Southern States Athletic Conference in threes per game (2.61), fifth in made triples (73) and ninth in points per game (15.18).
Edward Waters will not start its season until December and will not leave the Sunshine State during the entirety of its seven-game slate (does not include an exhibition at North Florida).
The next preview will take place this afternoon with Philander Smith Men’s Basketball.