By Stan Veitch/Sports Correspondent/The Messenger
It's an old cliché but it's a true one – records can be deceiving.
That's the message that Gadsden State mens basketball coach Todd Ginn is sending out to his 2015-16 Cardinals.
"We've got a really tough preseason schedule," he said. "But we'll find out who can play and find the right combinations of athletes. There will be a misconception of our record before Christmas."
Even though it's not really a preseason, that's what Ginn calls the non-conference games before Christmas. The conference heats up in the new year.
"We've got 11 freshmen and they've got to get acclimated to the speed of the game and to our playing style," Ginn said. "But I think that we're going to be tough to beat after Christmas.
"With the athletes that we have, I fully believe that we've got a real contender of a team."
This season, Ginn is blessed with size and speed on the floor.
"We're normally undersized but really fast," he said. "But this year, we have both. And the big guys also have speed."
Two freshmen – New Hope's Spencer Heathington and Springville's Zac McLaughlin – provide a lot of height. Heathington stands 6-6 and McLaughlin is 6-9.
When it comes to Alabama Community College Conference basketball, Ginn knows what it takes to make a run. The Cardinals have made the finals in three of the last five years, including last season when Faulkner State defeated GSCC in the championship game in Bay Minette.
"We've got five sophomores that definitely know what it takes to get to the finals," Ginn said.
Four of the five played last year, but guard Deshawn Moore of Collinsville sat out last year and is back. Gadsden City High graduate Tevin Wise is one of the sophomores, as is Brad Robertson of Hokes Bluff. Also returning is guard Chris English of Weaver and guard Brandon Williams of Munford.
Former Gadsden City High forward Theodis Perdue is a freshman, along with guard Carey Broussard of New Orleans, La., forward Reed Power of Logansville, Ga., guard Davey Posey of Collinsville, guard Sidney Scales and forward Dee Johnson of Talladega, guard Tyler Mashburn of Fort Payne, forward Hunter Morgan of East Limestone and guard Jaylen Hill of White Plains.
Ginn is confident that he can find 10-12 players he can put on the floor by Christmas.
"The preseason, as I call it, is a learning period," Ginn said. "I've put together a really tough schedule for the preseason, so the record may be truly misleading."
Pictured is Tevin Wise