Heading into his first year as a head coach, Rob Brown has plenty reason to be enthusiastic.
The Tigers are coming off a very successful 2010-2011 season, where they went 20-7, finishing their season in the state tournament.
With several starters returning, Brown feels that his Tiger squad has potential to be a serious contender on the court.
“I’ve been very pleased with practice so far,” said Brown. “I think we have a lot of experience. We have a great group of seniors and leaders that have been through several seasons. Most of them have either started or played a lot.”
Brown added that they are also a very coachable group.
“If they put their minds to it and put the effort in, I think we can be very successful,” he said.
The Tigers will be returning last year’s three leading scorers – Thomas McMillan, Jonathan Book and Robert Hayes – all of whom are seniors with sufficient in-game experience.
McMillan, who averaged 15 points per game, will return to play the 3 spot. Book, who averaged 12 points a game, will line up at shooting guard, while Hayes, who averaged 8 points a game, will play the 5 spot.
Brown expects some rotation at the point guard position between senior Tyree Treadwell and junior Keenan Lord, while sophomore Kirk Vaughn is currently the frontrunner for the number 4 spot.
Brown also expects to deepen the team’s roster once football season ends.
According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution’s pre-season rankings, the Tigers rank tenth among Class-A public schools; however, Commerce can expect some difficult games, with three of the private schools in region 8-A being ranked in the top 10 as well.
“It’s a tough region,” added Brown. “It will definitely be pretty strenuous competition.”
Although practice has just begun, the Tigers have little time to prepare before their first game of the season when they host the Banks County Leopards on Monday, Nov. 19.
It is Brown’s hope that the Tigers will have time to make some adjustments and play with a bit faster tempo than in previous years.
“It really depends on how well we pick up schemes, said Brown. “We would like to play with more tempo than we have in the past, but it’s going to come down to how quickly we pick up on those concepts. We only have two weeks of practice before our first game, so there’s not a whole lot of time to deviate from what we’ve done in the past.”