News and Updates
Hawks Basketball Opens 2018-2019 Season Thursday
Posted on Oct 31, 2018
It’s been four years since Cory Baldwin and the South Georgia State College Hawks raised a championship banner in the Waycross Campus gymnasium. Since that time, the Hawks have graduated nine Division I signees, including three NJCAA All-Americans. They have also reached the semifinals of the GCAA Conference Tournament all four years, only one of two teams to do so.
Baldwin hopes the return of seven players and a tougher non-conference schedule will be the formula to take the Hawks to the top when the season opens Thursday night. The Hawks will play American Basketball Institute at 7 p.m. in the Douglas Campus gymnasium inside the Wellness Center.
The Waycross Campus home opener is Saturday, Nov. 10 at 4 p.m. against Atlanta Sports Academy.
“We returned only two guys last year who had any serious minutes of playing time,” said Baldwin. “This year, we are fortunate to have two starters return as well as five players who played for us in 2017-2018.”
Keyshaun Street and Dwayne Wilson will anchor the starting lineup, although Wilson will miss the first four to five weeks of the season due to a stress fracture in his foot. Street averaged 14.8 points per game last season.
Other players to watch this season include Charles Botchway, who Baldwin said has looked good in the preseason. Botchway played in 11 games in 2017-2018 before suffering an injury. Skyler Baggs also returns for another season and led the Hawks in scoring and rebounding last week during a scrimmage against Middle Georgia Prep.
Baldwin said the more difficult non-conference schedule was created intentionally and features more road games compared to previous seasons. One road game of note is a Nov. 20 matchup against preseason No. 12 Daytona State College.
“The hope is tougher games out of conference will get us ready for when we open GCAA play in January,” Baldwin said.
The conference schedule includes the addition of Southern Crescent Tech, while Atlanta Metro has been dropped from the conference rotation. One conference home-and-home series will generate interest for SGSC fans when the Hawks host Andrew College Jan. 9, 2019 and travel to play the Tigers Feb. 9. The Tigers are coached by former SGSC assistant Justin Newton.
“I will say it’s going to be weird coaching against him,” said Baldwin. “I’ll be pulling for him in his first season…except for our two games.”
The Hawks have been picked by the GCAA coaches to finish third in the conference behind Central Georgia Tech and Georgia Highlands. Central Georgia Tech is the defending conference tournament champion.
General admission to all regular season home games is five dollars with children five and under admitted free.