The East Georgia College men’s basketball team, which features four players from Liberty County, has its first home game of the season at 7:30 tonight against Middle Georgia College in Swainsboro.
A strong Liberty County presence on the Bobcats, who have started the season 2-0, is a trend that coach Neil Bailey started when he became the school’s basketball coach and implemented the program in August 2009.
Among his first Liberty County recruits were Derrick Nesbitt, William Jackson, Andre Holliday and Joseph Owens. Later that same season, he added former Bradwell player Dana King.
During that inaugural
season the Bobcats went 9-6, including winning nine out of their last 10 games.
In the team’s second season, King, Nesbitt and Holliday returned, and Bailey added former Liberty Panthers Lamar Richardson, Terrell Johnson and Lazaruss Baggs. Richardson was the second leading scorer for the Bobcats that season, averaging 15.2 points per game. He finished his career as the young program’s all-time leading scorer with 955 points. He was the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association’s eighth-leading scorer; he also had the second-most 3-point field goals (99) and led the state in free-throw percentage (84 percent), marks that also ranked 17th and eighth, respectively, in the National Junior College Athletic Association. Richardson helped the Bobcats finish 17-14 record in the college’s second season of competition and a fifth-place finish in the 10-team GCAA. He also was named to the all-conference first team this season.
Last year, the Bobcats signed former FPCA standout Jordan Johnson, whom Bailey said was one of the best freshmen point guards in the conference. Johnson averaged 12.7 points per game, 3.5 rebounds, 5.1 assists and 1.7 steals. The Bobcats finished 19-11 last year.
This year, the Bobcats return Johnson and feature former Bradwell Institute player Jalen Watson, Jon Blair and Jordan’s former FPCA teammate D. J. Felder.
EGC opened on the road Nov. 1 with a 102-75 win over Clinton Junior College in Rock Hill, S.C. Johnson was scoring leader for the Bobcats as he exploded for 31 points, including shooting 6-for-11 from behind the 3-point line. He also added four rebounds, two assists, and two steals, according to the EGC athletic website.
Blair scored 14 points and five rebounds, and Watson had 13 rebounds in the game.
The Bobcats beat Brewton-Parker JV, 106-71, Monday in Ailey.