GC Basketball Hungry for More in 2022

GC+Basketball+Hungry+for+More+in+2022

Ben Grunert

The GC men’s basketball team enjoyed one of their best seasons in recent history. They finished the 2020-21 spring season with an impressive 10-2 record before falling in the PBC Tournament Semifinal to Georgia Southwestern.

As the second-ranked team in the PBC, the Bobcats ended their campaign with one of the highest winning percentages in GC history. They ended the regular season on a nine-game win streak, their best streak since the 2009-10 season. Their special season only got better as they finished in the nation’s top-25 for the first time in 10 years.

For the first time in school history, three Bobcats were named to All-PBC teams as GC seniors Jordan Thomas and Kohl Roberts received first-team honors. After missing last season with a leg injury, Roberts produced the most efficient season of his collegiate career, putting up 13.4 points per game while shooting an incredible 62.6% from the field.

Meanwhile, Thomas became the first player in school history to earn three All-PBC selections. Thomas had another electric season as he became the third highest scorer in GC history. He also broke the all-time record for most points scored as a Bobcat during the university’s NCAA-era. The GC superstar averaged 18.4 points per game.

Junior combo guard Wesley Simpson also stepped up this season with an All-PBC Third Team selection. The playmaker ranked fifth in assists per game for PBC players, and he chipped in 12.2 points per game on 47% shooting.

GC sophomore Brandon Thomas received postseason academic recognition as the winner of the Elite-16 Award. He earned it with a perfect 4.0 cumulative GPA and became the second-ever Bobcat to win the award.

After taking the 2019-20 season off, junior Chapin Rierson returned for the Bobcats and made a huge impact this year. The sharpshooter hit an incredible 52.2% of his three-pointers, providing the team with spacing they did not have last season. Freshman Luke Chism also took on an important role as he started all but two games for the Bobcats.

With the return of Roberts and his impactful presence in the paint, the team thrived this season. The contributions of Rierson and Chism only added fuel to the Bobcat fire.

In a strange year filled with adversity, COVID-19 unsurprisingly left its mark on the season. The team tested for the virus regularly, and head coach Mark Gainous missed multiple weeks of the season with the virus. COVID-19 also postponed several of their games. Despite these ongoing challenges, the team put together a phenomenal season as they overcame the obstacles of the pandemic.

After a disappointing finish to the PBC Tournament, the Bobcats barely missed out on the NCAA South Region Tournament. However, they aim to come back even stronger next season when most of their seniors return.

“As of right now, everyone is coming back,” Simpson said. “Kohl is still up in the air, though.”

While the Bobcats fell short in the playoffs, they have a lot to build on after their dominant regular season. With the majority of the team coming back for another shot at glory, a PBC championship still lies within reach.