Thomas Ashworth, Correspondent
Jacksonville State men’s basketball coach Ray Harper announced two changes to his staff: Tysor Anderson has been promoted to assistant coach and Dennan Morrow is the Gamecocks’ new coordinator of basketball operations.
“Ty’s ready for this step,” said Harper. “He’s going to work extremely hard. I think he’s a relationship guy, I think he’ll do a great job with our guys and also on the recruiting trail. Dennan is just a basketball junkie. His dad was a high school coach, he understands the game. I think he’s got a chance to be a star.”
Harper explained that there are a lot of new staff and players adapting to the team’s “system” and learning how to play together.
“We’ve had a great group up to this point and I can’t wait to get started playing other people,” he said.
Anderson said that he was excited to get back into the coaching realm.
“I’m a basketball coach,” said Anderson. “I’m glad to be in a basketball coach’s role. Working with our guys day in and day out, with individuals at practice, in the film room; that’s the stuff I’m most excited about on a daily basis.”
Anderson is the grandson of coaching legend Charles “Lefty” Driesell, who was the fourth-winningest NCAA Division I men’s basketball coach when he retired in 2003 after leading the basketball programs of Davidson College, the University of Maryland, James Madison University and Georgia State University.
“Growing up around my granddad and seeing him work from the time that I was a little kid, the biggest thing I got from him was his work ethic,” said Anderson. “Nobody ever outworked him. He used to always say ‘the harder I work, the luckier I get.’”
COVID-19 has affected the team in many ways, and Anderson has recognized that when judging the upcoming season.
“Our success is always focused on wins or losses, but when you don’t know how many games you’re going to play, we’ve got to be able to take on the daily challenges,” he said. “This year, more than any year, it’s important that we as a coaching staff and as a program really focus in on what we’re doing day-to-day and finding solace in the small victories every day.”
Morrow, the new coordinator of basketball operations, said he was “very fortunate and excited at the same time to be able to join a staff with Coach Harper.”
“Obviously a really successful coach at multiple satops and I’m just very fortunate to be able to learn from him and hopefully be able to contribute to a little more future success,” said Morrow.
Morrow noted that 2020 scheduling is “kind of in limbo right now.”
“Road trips will be a smaller group that we’re traveling with and we will have stronger precautions on the road,” said Morrow. “Most of our stuff will be done in the hotel or in the gym, there won’t be too much outside activity other than at those two spots.”
“Hopefully we can bring a championship to Jacksonville,” he said. “It should be a fun and exciting year.”