Tiger basketball to open Tuesday

Demopolis High School will start its basketball season Tuesday night on the road against the Bibb County Choctaws.

Second-year head coach Rodney Jackson enters the 2012-2013 season with a new look roster, returning only three players from the squad that won seven games a season ago.

Leading the way for the Tigers this season will be underclassmen Roderick Davis and Cortez Lewis and senior guard Tommy Wilson, a trio Jackson will call upon to set the tone for the team.

“Cortez and Roderick brought a sense of toughness to my team last year. We were in a lot of games and we played tight and I thought we played better defensively. They just have those leadership qualities that I’m looking for and, hopefully, it can transfer to the new guys that I’ve got coming in,” Jackson said. “Tommy brings a sense of toughness. One thing we’ve been on Tommy about is not turning the ball over, not going so fast, just calming down. Tommy just gives us that change of pace guy. Tommy knows his role when he comes in is to play defense and score.”

The remainder of the Tiger roster will be filled by newcomers including junior Demetrius Kemp, who has established himself as a standout on the gridiron. Kemp’s hard court role will see him come off the bench as a key source of energy in the post.

“I’m expecting good minutes from him, hard minutes,” Jackson said of Kemp.

Transfers Keiunta Jefferies and Kevin Isaac will play key roles for the Tigers in the backcourt and along the wing.

D.J. Howell and Tyler Perkins will move up from the junior varsity squad while Rashad Lynch will look to make his Demopolis High School athletics debut.

“They are motivating each other. They know exactly what’s expected of them and they do it,” Jackson said of the squad. “To me it’s all about defense and being mentally tough, physically tough. I believe this team will bring that to the table.”

Jackson said he anticipates an high-tempo, defense-oriented brand of basketball from his squad, a formula he expects to have the Tigers in contention with every team on their schedule.

“This is a team that, if I weren’t coaching them, I would go watch them play,” Jackson said. “I really like these kids and I think they are going to put on a good show.”

The Tigers will open on the road against Bibb County Tuesday before hosting John Essex Thursday and traveling to A.L. Johnson Friday.

“My goals for this week are for us to play hard and execute. As long as we do those two things, whatever the outcome of total wins and losses, that will be fine with me,” Jackson said.