By: Zane Watson
Lake Worth, FL -- The Palm Beach State College Men’s Basketball team enters the 2019-20 season with a new coach and a new roster. They will look to continue their success from last season, where they finished with a 21-9 record. Last season, the Panthers finished first in the Southern Conference. The Panthers seek to continue their success under the direction of new head coach Richard Grant.
Coach Grant comes to Palm Beach State from Broward College and is excited to have the opportunity to coach at Palm Beach State. In his debut as head coach, Grant will be looking to make a stronger connection between the team and the college. His vision involves connecting team not only with the PBSC community, but also with academics. Grant believes academic success is important to the team, explaining “How you do one thing is how you do everything.” On the court, Coach
Grant will focus on improving the team’s toughness. While he believes today’s basketball players show a high level of athleticism, Grant stressed the importance of toughness to the success of the team and players.
PBSC’s roster will consist entirely of new players. The Panthers have 11 transfers from around the nation that will take the court this season. These transfers come from many different schools, including several NCAA Division I programs. There are players from six different states, Washington DC, and three European countries. To Coach Grant, the incoming transfers all have the potential to play at higher levels. He believes that the players can earn opportunities by improving their habits.
The Panthers have a strong group of forwards who have a good mix of size and athleticism. Donald Green, a transfer from Chattanooga State, brings a versatile skill set to the team. Green will control the pace of the game. Power forward Tim Holland brings a hard-working mindset from Temple College (TX). At Temple, Holland scored 9.6 points per game and averaged 6.8 rebounds per game. Fellow power forward Mohamed Fofana has the skills to take over the game. Fofana scored eight points per game with Butler CC (KS) last season, including a season-high 22 points against Cloud County.
PBSC enters the season with a variety of talented guards. Each of the guards brings unique strengths to the team. University of San Diego transfer Emanuel Hylton is a large, versatile guard. At 6 feet 4 inches and 220 pounds, Hylton can move fast for his size. Coach Grant tabbed Florida International University guard Phillip Smith as a strong leader who acts in a dignified manner. Nick Edwards will use his speed to his advantage. Edwards, who received a scholarship offer from Division I Chicago State University, will use his speed to get by opposing defenders and make plays.
Shawn Cornelious and Matthew Allman are recovering from injuries, but once they recover, they will contribute to the team. Cornelius, a forward, plays a smooth game. Allman will bring a wide variety of skills as a guard. His strengths extend beyond shooting; he is also an effective rebounder and defender.
Before beginning Southern Conference play, the Panthers will face a variety of opponents at several invitationals around Florida. Palm Beach State will travel to invitationals in Davie, Winter Haven, Ocala and Melbourne.
The Panthers have 11 games against teams ranked in the NJCAA Region VIII preseason coaches’ poll, and two of those opponents are also ranked in the top-10 of the NJCAA national preseason poll. Palm Beach State will face the preseason number one Florida SouthWestern College Buccaneers in Ocala on December 14. Florida SouthWestern is ranked third in the nation entering the season. The Panthers will host four top-10 teams, including Eastern Florida State College. The Eastern Florida State College Titans are ranked fifth in the NJCAA preseason poll.
PBSC’s first home game of the season is Friday, November 1, when the Panthers welcome Triple Threat Prep to Lake Worth. All PBSC home games will be played at Elisabeth W. Erling Gym on the Lake Worth campus.
You can follow the Panthers on Instagram at @palmbeachstatehoopz. You can also follow PBSC Athletics on Facebook, Twitter at @PBSCPanthers and on Instagram at @pbscathletics. For more news, roster and schedule information, visit pbscpanthers.com.