The highly-anticipated beginning of Dalton State’s basketball season is rapidly approaching.
The first chance for fans to see the first ever Roadrunner squad of the four-year-era will on Saturday, October 26th. The first annual Silver and Blue Scrimmage will be held at Dalton High School gym. Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m.
Dalton State coach Tony Ingle said the scrimmage will also provide some time for nostalgia.
Roadrunner assistant John Redman will coach one of the teams with help from former North Whitfield High School coaches Brady Creel and Gary Cochran.
The other squad will be coached by Roadrunner volunteer assistant Tony Ingle Jr. His help will come from retired Dalton Junior College coaches Mel Ottinger and Dick Coleman.
A great deal of hard work has gone into assembling a competitive team of scholar athletes and Coach Ingle is looking forward to the Wednesday, October 30th, season opener at the Arthur R. Outlaw Recreation Center on the campus of Spring Hill College in Mobile, Al.
The team then travels to Jackson, Ms. to face Belhaven University at Rugg Arena/Heidelberg Gymnasium on Friday, November 1st. The first two games tip-off at 7:00 p.m. CDT (8:00 p.m. EDT).
The Roadrunners return home before heading to Central, SC (near Clemson) to play Southern Wesleyan University on Tuesday, November 5th at 7:30 p.m. EST.
Basketball Home of the Roadrunners
All of Dalton State’s regular season home games will be played at the Northwest Georgia Trade and Convention Center, less than a mile from campus.
The arena’s seating will be configured to seat 1,950 fans. An impressive 720 reserved tickets have been sold with a few more still available through the trade center box office.
“We want it close in and we want it loud,” Dalton State athletic director Derek Waugh said of the configuration.
In addition, a large section of seats is being reserved for Dalton State students, faculty, and staff. The first home game will be on Thursday, November 7th at 7:00 p.m. The Roadrunners will host Hiwassee College.
The 2013-2014 Roadrunners
In a relatively short period of time, DS coaches have assembled a mix of players from college freshman to senior leaders.
Ingle says Ricky Sears, a 6’1”, 190 lbs. senior from Decatur, Al., is “one of our go to players.”
“He brings much needed experience, leadership, and an uncanny ability to score both inside and out,” Ingle added.
Sears followed Roadrunner assistant coach John Redman from Spring Hill College. As a freshman at Wallace State Community College in Hanceville, Al., the Lions won the state JUCO championship.
Sears transferred to another Alabama junior college for his sophomore season. He averaged 20 points, six assists, five rebounds and 4 steals at Bevill State Community College in Sumiton.
Sears left junior college as a top-ten player to play for Spring Hill College. After a year, he came to Dalton State because “it is a great school and has great coaching.”
Sears would like to play professional basketball after college with hopes of eventually owning a business.
Ladaris Green is a 6’10”, 225 lbs. junior for the Roadrunners.
He is a graduate of Beach High School in Savannah.
“Ladaris is a multi-faceted player who brings great versatility to our program,” said Ingle. “He can play five positions and is a true team player.”
Green played for Coach Ingle at Kennesaw State. As a redshirt freshman, during the 2009-2010 season, he ranked in the top-five in rebounds in the the Atlantic Sun Conference with an average of 7.9 per game, and in blocked shots (1.63, second). He recorded double-digit rebound games on 10 occasions, including three games of 15 or more.
During his sophomore season, Green scored 19 points and pulled-down 12 rebounds in the Owls win over Georgia Tech.
“I hope to help start a new program off well with a great coach and athletic department,” Green said. Long-term goals include playing pro basketball and working for the FBI.
Desmond “Dez” Phillips is a 6’, 170 lbs. senior from Austin High in Decatur, Al.
“Dez is a walk on senior with a good team attitude,” said Ingle. “He will do what is necessary to help his teammates. He can score and will compete.”
Phillips averaged 18.3 points, three assists and three rebounds per game during his freshman season at Lindenwood University – Belleville in Belleville, Il. He then transferred to Spring Hill College.
The early education major said he transferred to DS to “graduate and play for a great coach.” Phillips would one day like to teach and own a business.
Raheem Mosley is a 6’9”, 205 lbs. junior forward from the Birmingham suburb of Bessemer. He came to Dalton from Marion Military Institute in Marion, Al., one of only five military junior colleges in the U.S.
“Roheem is very athletic and one of our big men inside,” said Ingle. “His strengths include rebounding, blocking shots, and he is a very tough competitor.”
Mosely was first team all-conference for the Marion Tigers, averaging 8.93 points per game last season. His high of 26 points came last December against St. Thomas.
Nathan Terry is a 6’8”, 250 lbs. sophomore from Santa Rosa Beach, Fl.
He started his college career at Faulkner State Community College in Bay Minette, Al.
Leaving junior college after only one season, Terry wanted to be a part of the first Roadrunner team. “Dalton State is a great school and Coach Ingle is a great coach,” Terry said.
“Nathan is one our big guys that is a banger,” said Ingle. “He can score inside and out and will provide toughness on the interior.”
Terry is a business major who would like to one-day work missions in Africa.
Dylan Smith is a 6’0”, 180 lbs. junior from Winfield, Al. He played his high school basketball at South Walton (Fl.) High School where he averaged 20 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists, and 3 steals per game.
Smith played two years for Gulf Coast State College. He averaged 8 points, two rebounds, and 2 assists per game in what DS assistant Redman calls “one of the most powerful junior college conferences in the country”.
“Dylan is known by coaches and teammates as ‘Fonzie’ because he has a cool head and a hot hand,” said Ingle. “His greatest strength is his shooting ability from three point range.”
A Florida Academic All State, Smith is a majoring in marketing at Dalton State.
Preston Earle is a 6’4”, 190 lbs. junior guard from Harding University High School in Charlotte, N.C. who played junior college basketball for Catawba Valley Community College in Hickory, N.C.
Starting 26 games last season, Earle averaged 13 points per game with a 74.4% free throw percentage for the Buccaneers.
“Preston is an athletic lefty who can do it all,” said the coach. “He has been one of the toughest and hardest working players on the team during practice.”
A sports management major, Earle was attracted to DS by the opportunity to play for a new program.
Anthony Hilliard is a 6’0”, 170 lbs. junior from South Central High in Greenville, NC. Hilliard played JUCO at Catawba Valley Community College in Hickory, NC. He and Preston Earle were teammates. The new Roadrunners were members of last season’s All Region X JUCO Second Team.
“Anthony is probably the quickest and fastest player on the team,” said Ingle. “He is an outstanding ‘on ball’ defender and he has good offensive skills.”
Caz Cole is a 6’7”, 190 lbs. redshirt junior from Dalton.
Cole was a four-year letter winner in basketball and lettered two years in track and field at Dalton High School. He has been playing at Auburn University - Montgomery.
Cole came home for his junior year “to play for coach Ingle and to represent my hometown.”
“Caz is a local product with outstanding leaping ability,” said Ingle. “Our fans will love some of his offensive rebounds and dunks.”
The accounting major looks forward to passing his CPA exam and traveling.
Erich Allen is a 6’7”, 225 lbs. sophomore from Fleming Island High School in Jacksonville, Fl. He played his freshman year at Montreat (NC) College where he averaged 10.3 points per game in limited playing time.
“Erich is one of our most versatile players,” said Ingle. “He has really impressed our coaching staff with his ability to score. He has the ability to drive it, or post up and score from the outside.”
Allen is a criminal justice major who plans to attend law school.
Galen Smith is a 5’10”, 155 lbs. freshman from Robinson Prep School and Piscataway Tech High School in Piscataway, NJ. A scholar athlete, Smith was a member of the National Technical Honor Society.
“Galen has really been a surprise to us in regards to this toughness and outside shooting,” said Ingle. “We expect him to have even better results as he gains experience.”
Demetrious Jacobs is a 6’4”, 195 lbs. senior from Harlem NY. As a sophomore, Jacobs helped Missouri State-West Plains to a 31-4 record and a number one junior college ranking.
After JUCO, Jacobs moved to Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, La.
“He brings very much needed college experience and toughness to the team,” Ingle said of Jacobs. “He is one of the best individual one on one players on the team. He is highly skilled.”
Jerrico Williams is a 6’10”, 250 lbs. junior from Greater Gwinnett Christian in Norcross, Ga. He played JUCO for Gordon College in Barnesville, Ga.
“Rico is a big inside player who is learning our system,” said Ingle. “He has shown steady improvement. With continued hard work, he has a chance at a great future here.”
Williams plans to earn a degree in criminal justice and play pro basketball or to become a police officer.
Sean Tate is a 5’8”, 140 lbs. junior from Sequoyah High School in Canton, Ga. He racked up 24 points and five assists per game during his senior year to lead the Chiefs to an undefeated regular season and 29-1 final record.
He played his first two college seasons with NJCAA member Chattahoochee Tech. Last season, he averaged 14 points and 2.4 rebounds per game.
“He’s a true point guard,” Ingle said of Tate. “I believe he will be a crowd favorite because of his tenacity on defense, his quickness, and his offensive skills.”
Tate is a business management major.
Monolito Hamilton is a 5’9”, 150 lbs. freshman from Deland High School in Deland, Fl.
“He is quick, smart, and gets the most out of his abilities on both ends of the court,” said Ingle. “He has shown steady improvement.”
He averaged 15.4 points, 4.4 assists, and 3.6 rebounds per game last season and was named to the class 8A all-state second team. Hamilton was the FBAC All-Star game MVP.
The computer science major hopes to one day coach high school basketball.