PERKINSTON — There will be a new coach striding the Mississippi Gulf Coast sidelines when the men's basketball season gets underway Friday night.
Jason Harrison takes over the Bulldogs this season, and fans will expect to see some in-your-face play.
"They're going to see aggressiveness," he said. "We're going to pick up, speed the game up, try to get quick shots. We want to shoot more shots than the other team. They're going to see a very hectic but controlled style of play."
Gulf Coast tips off the season at the Weathers-Wentzell Center at 6:30 p.m. The game will be streamed at https://livestream.com/MGCCCBulldogs/events/8873382.
Harrison came to Perkinston after 10 years as an assistant at Holmes, where that version of Bulldogs had the reputation for playing brutally tough defense. He's instilling that same attitude in these Bulldogs, and he's got some talent to make it happen.
The squad is deep, so expect to see lots of bodies. Harrison wants to see a balanced scoring attack.
"We've got a good team, but nobody just stands out all the time," he said. "That's good because you can't just key in on one player. People are going to try to take away Jayden once I unleash him, but we've got to have our shooters make shots and crash the boards."
Jayden is Jayden McCorvey (Fr, Pascagoula/Pascagoula), a Clarion-Ledger Dandy Dozen selection last season, is probably the most talented offensive player. Harrison said he's a guy who can break out of the motion offense and create his own shot.
D'yasmond Booker (Fr., Pascagoula/Pascagoula), McCorvey's high school teammate, brings toughness Harrison and his assistant coach Tyler Adams will have to keep reined in.
Out-of-state guard Justin Minter (Fr., Wenonah/Birmingham, Ala.) is another tough player who's a winner. He's a combination guard who can shoot and pass.
Three returning guards are known for their outside strokes. Dillyn Neely (So., Biloxi/Biloxi) made 10 3-pointers in a single game last season and shot 44.4 percent from behind the arc, while A.J. Banks (So., Pearl River Central/Carriere) will get more playing time this year. Mykah Brown (So., Petal/Petal) brings a big body to the perimeter.
Aaron Harrison (Fr., West Philadelphia/Philadelphia, Pa.) brings a West Philly game to Perk. The point guard will get downhill in transition and can finish at the rim with an array of body contortions and spins off the glass.
"He's a driver-slasher," Harrison said. "He's a better rebounder than people think. He has a quick second and third jump. He's a tough, gritty guy."
Teh'Juan Powell (So., Salem/Conyers, Ga.), the third out-of-state player, has a wide body and strong mid-range game.
Harrison will be coaching in the MACJC South for the first time, but he knows it will be as tough as always. Playoff seeding typically gets determined in the final week of the season, and Gulf Coast will be looking to extend its state-best streak of 21 straight seasons in the postseason. The next longest is five.
"I think when we play hard, we're pretty good," Harrison said. "We have a chance to win a lot of games if we stay focused on the task and play together. We can become a pretty good defensive team."
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