2018-2019 Men's Basketball Preview

Skyler Barnes drives around a defender last season. Barnes is among the team's leaders entering the 2018-19 season.

University of the Ozarks Head Men's Basketball Coach Travis Carruthers is ready to move on after a tough first year leading the Eagles. Carruthers is expecting much better results for the 2018-19 season with a deeper squad and more talent on the roster. The Eagles return five players with at least some starting experience from last season and will benefit from having a pair of inside players returning from injuries. A pair of younger players combined with a veteran player lead the Eagles at the guard position. Sophomores Bryson Johnson and Zach Bobo made an impact last season, and Skyler Barnes returns for his senior season at the guard spot. Johnson, 5-foot-11, averaged 8.3 points and 4.3 assists last season. Bobo, 6-foot-5, made the American Southwest Conference East Division All-Freshman Team. He finished second on the team in scoring (10.5) and third in rebounding (5.0). Barnes, 6-foot-3, averaged 8.0 points and hit 30-of-74 (40.5%) from the three-point line. Senior Clay Conley and junior Kenneth Williams provide the Eagles with more depth at the guard spot. Sophomore forward Ethan Bowman displayed flashes of potential a year ago after transferring in at semester. There will be plenty of competition for playing time as the coaching staff brought in a talented group of new players. Inside player Tim Turpin, who stands 6-foot-6, scored 8.0 points and grabbed 3.3 rebounds per game and will be joined by big men Cory Wilhelm and Kelvin Knight, both of whom are coming off injuries. The Eagles are coming off a 3-22 record last season, but Carruthers has already seen a difference early on. "We are going to go as far as we grow together," said Carruthers. "I have a firm belief that the teams that have a sense of togetherness, go the furthest.  My expectation is to get better and grow more together each day."

Returning Starters:
Bryson Johnson, Tim Turpin, Zach Bobo, Skyler Barnes

Key Players Off The Bench From 2017-18 (returning): Clay Conley (Forward), Ethan Bowman (Forward)

Newcomers: Jacobe Davis (Guard), Cordy Winston (Guard), Javian Williams (Guard), Deon Blakemore Jr. (Guard), Javion Collins (Guard), Lance Gardner (Forward), Darnel Renelique (Forward), Derrick Godley (Guard), Hunter Wright (Guard), Sean Cohns (Forward), Kaper Shean (Guard), Josh Price (Guard)

Top Returning  Scorer: Zach Bobo (10.5)

Top Returning Assist Leader: Bryson Johnson (4.3)

Top Returning Rebound Leader: Skyler Barnes (5.4)

Team Field Goal Percentage: 42.2%

Team Opponent Field Goal Percentage: 46.8%

Team Scoring Per Game: 71.8

All-Conference Players Returning: Zach Bobo (All-Freshman Team)

2017-18 Record (ASC):
3-22 (1-17 ASC)

2017-18 Conference Finish: Seventh (East Division)



Coach Carruthers Quote
"If I had to pinpoint what our strength would be right now, it'd be our depth. But skill only goes so far. We have to continue to grow as a group and focus on what will get us to our ultimate goal. And those focuses include defense, rebounding, attention to detail and taking care of the ball."

2018-2019 Schedule
6 vs #Williams Baptist
9 at Rhodes
12 at #Central Arkansas
20 vs Dallas
23 at ^Webster
24 vs ^Westminster (Mo.)
27 at Hendrix College

1 at Texas-Tyler
3 vs *McMurry
5 vs *Hardin-Simmons
15 at *Mary Hardin-Baylor
17 at *Concordia University Texas
29 at &Oglethorpe
30 vs &Sewanee

3 vs *Howard Payne
5 vs *Sul Ross State
10 at *Belhaven
12 at *Louisiana College
19 vs *Texas-Dallas
21 vs Texas-Tyler
24 vs *LeTourneau
26 vs *East Texas Baptist
31 at *East Texas Baptist

2 at *LeTourneau
7 at *Texas-Dallas
14 vs *Louisiana College
16 vs *Belhaven
21-23 at American Southwest Conference Championship Tournament
*American Southwest Conference game
^Webster Classic
&Comfort Inn and Suites Holiday Classic