So far in 2017, Meadowbrook has gotten to a 2-1 start, with victories over Prince George and Thomas Dale. Now in his sixth year as head coach, Jake Oliver will look to guide this team to dispel their playoff demons.
Departed from the program are four seniors: Jordan Jeter, Johvanni Perkins, Tro’Man Pope, and Daequan Young. A talented guard, Jamon Battle, transferred to L.C. Bird.
Despite the loss of talent, Meadowbrook has a talented and promising backcourt, led by junior Isaiah Richardson and senior Alphonso Mason. Richardson, though 5-7, is a spark plug and the team’s most consistent scorer, with double-digits in each of the team’s first three games. Mason is bigger (6-1) but very streaky; he had a game-high 21 points against Prince George but couldn’t find his shot in other action. He’s a talented wild card looking to find consistency. Lamondre Gregg is a sophomore Oliver says could develop into a big time player.
In the frontcourt, you can find the one Oliver called the team’s most talented player, 6-7 forward Tyrone Coley. In addition to averaging a double-double in the team’s first three games, he blocked six shots against Norview. A player in the mold of former Delaware and MBK star Marvin King-Davis, Oliver said that defensively, Coley is his equal, but offensively he is developing. Javion Patterson (6-4, senior) and Robert Smith (6-5, junior) are two more big bodies in the post. Patterson plays wing and offers an athletic option, while Smith is a true post with a nose for rebounding the ball. Junior Gary Saunders and sophomore Ezekiel Edwards are in the 6-4/6-5 range, and they are raw, but offer tremendous upside.
Oliver acknowledges the team’s lack of playoff success and says that he and his staff have been working to get the student-athletes over the hump.
Players departed: Tytyeona Murray graduated as the team’s only senior. Three other players left the program, so the teams only returning starter is senior Lauren Ford. Taiye Johnson brings some experience to the table.
Backcourt: Sophomore Ta’nay Burnett (5-5) is one guard in what will be likely be a three guard line up all season long. Sophomore Chandler Hicks and freshman Mya Ellis will round it out. Burnett, in the role of point guard and a team leader. She handles the ball well and she will be coach Daniel Connor’s floor general. Hicks will play out on the wing, she is a good rebounder for a guard, and also gets after it on defense. Ellis is basically learning the game, but she is a good scorer who can take it off the dribble on both sides. Once she learns the flow of the game, she could be stat sheet filler for Connor.
Frontcourt: Ford (6-1, senior) is the leader of the team, and Johnson (junior, 6-3) will give the front court size and skill. Ford can play all five positions, she’s a presence, and she makes things happen, both offensively and defensively, and she is a good offensive and defensive rebounder. While the post isn’t her most desired position, she plays it well. Ford profiles as a wing type player at the next level, and she is committed to Division II Catawba College. Johnson is being looked at by Radford and Norfolk State, and she could be a Division I caliber player. Long and tall, she block shots. and she is improving all aspects of her game. Connor said her main goal is to work on her footwork and improve around the basket.
Last season (6-17) was Meadowbrook’s first losing season in over ten years; Connor says that they are in a position to rebound handsomely. They have already started off the season 2-0 with wins over Prince George and Thomas Dale.