In season number six for the NJCAA Region XVII program, one thing is obvious as this sweat box they call summer workouts fills with squeaks, dribbles, and yells. GNTC has something they haven’t enjoyed in quite some time - a true depth chart.
The last two signings of the off-season shows the program’s interest in good ball handlers as all-region standout point guards Quinton Cotton (Model) and Josh Green (Dade County) both recently inked with the JUCO program.
“We lost our All-American point guard in Matt Woods after this year,” said sixth-year head coach, David Stephenson. “We had our work cut out for us to replace him. I think we’ve come out very lucky. With Quinton and Josh, we know they’re not afraid to go to the basket or distribute the ball. (They are ) Just quality student-athletes.”
It was just five months ago that the 6-foot-1 Green was running through his region and helping Dade County easily take home their sub-region title. He paced the Wolverines with 29 points in the championship game. Meanwhile, the 6-foot Cotton reached the 1,000-point mark for his Blue Devil career shortly after the Christmas break.
"This is just a great move for me,” said Cotton. “Coach Stephenson really seems to understand me. I like that he wants me to have my education first. I’m looking forward to this year.”
As for Dade’s former top trigger man, Green says he’ll miss Wolverine Basketball.
“I loved the up-tempo style of play we had at Dade,” said Green.
If Georgia Northwestern keeps this year’s squad intact for the duration, Green won’t miss a thing.
“We’ve prided ourselves on playing 94 feet of basketball each trip down the court,” said Stephenson. “With the depth we have at this point, if everything pans out, we’ll be able to do that for every minute of every game if we wish.”
Both Cotton and Green battled regularly in Region 7-AA. Expected to make the Bobcat roster for 2012-13, these two prep stars will actually be battling it out with another northwest Georgia point guard for the starting spot at that position as Sonoraville’s Tavish Reynolds is also committed to the Bobcats for next season.
“We are blessed at the position,” said Stephenson. “More importantly, we have young men who understand that college comes first. They are also men who understand what it means to be a role player. We are already seeing that commitment in summer workouts.”
Dade County and Model High Schools have been a source of quality incoming freshman for the Bobcats over the last several years. Bobcat starting shooting guard Fernando Lemus, Jr. is Model’s second all-time leading scorer. Woods, the out-going All-American; Ben Patton, GNTC’s all-time leading three-point shooter; and Jesse Moore, who served as a student coach last season for Stephenson, are all former Dade County standouts.
Off-season signings for last year’s Region XVII semifinalists loaded Stephenson’s cupboard with true talent at every slot.
“We have true big men, big shooters, fast hands, and a possible full roster with its priorities in order,” said Stephenson. “I say possible roster because no one has officially made this year’s team until tryouts are complete in August.”
Tryouts will officially take place on August 23 and 24 for all students of Georgia Northwestern at 6:30 p.m. at Rossville Athletic Complex.
The Bobcats open up the season on November 2 at Georgia’s Toccoa Falls College. In the six years the program has played on the intercollegiate level, Georgia Northwestern has won its conference title twice.
For information on all Cats Country intercollegiate athletic programs, check out the “Athletics” page at GNTC.edu. You can also e-mail the Office of Sports Information at email@example.com or call (706) 764-3813.