After a home loss to rival USC Aiken two seasons ago, Georgia Regents coach Dip Metress vowed to return his team to excellence.
Metress did just that.
After enduring a 14-13 campaign two seasons ago, the Jaguars bounced back in a big way. Georgia Regents returned to the NCAA Division II Tournament for the first time in three seasons and posted a 24-8 campaign – the most wins since the 2010-11 squad went 30-4.
In the postseason, the Jaguars knocked off Anderson before losing to the fifth-ranked Pacers, the eventual Southeast Regional champion.
Georgia Regents will now have to replace seniors K.J. Sherrill, Harold Doby and Ryan Weems. Sherrill provided a big boost inside the paint, posting 14.7 points and 6.7 boards a contest. Weems, a shooting guard, led the Jaguars with a 15.8 scoring average with a team-best 55 3-pointers, while Doby averaged 9.6 points and a team-high 6.9 rebounds a game.
“These three seniors got us back in the postseason,” Metress said. “I told our returning guys, they don’t know this feeling because they’ve never lost in postseason. They’ve won a game in postseason and lost a game in postseason, and hopefully it’ll carry over to next season.”
Georgia Regents returns a solid core, including Peach Belt Conference Freshman of the Year Keshun Sherrill. The starting point guard is the team’s top returning scorer, averaging 11.7 points a game. Sherrill also shot 46 percent from the field, 88 percent from the foul line and dished out 110 assists to 38 turnovers.
Along with Sherrill, juniors D’Angelo Boyce, Devonte Thomas and Devon Wright-Nelson are all expected to return. Boyce dished out 114 assists to 34 turnovers, while Thomas drained 46 3-pointers. Wright-Nelson, who showed his potential explosiveness with 28 points against Anderson, averaged 9.5 points a game.
The Jaguars have depth at the guard and forward positions, especially with freshman forward Kelvin Howard and sophomore forward Michael Graham red-shirting this season. While Metress will likely add another scorer to replace Weems, the team’s pressing need is at center, where Metress will likely fill the void with at least two big men.
“We’ve got to get some interior guys who can play through contact,” he said. “We’ve got a good core back.”