Hindered by the loss of senior center Mike Lovett, who suffered a knee injury in the third game of the season, the Bulldogs won just two games last year while finishing last in the District 11-A standings.
Although Cornersville returns four starters from last year's season's squad, the Bulldogs have had several new players come out for the team this year that Randolph believes can compete for playing time.
"The guys have been getting after it. Hopefully we'll all come together when the season starts. Right now we're focusing on getting in basketball shape," said Randolph. "We'll have more depth this year because we've had some guys come back out for the team that can help us. My starting lineup is definitely not set in stone right now. I just want the kids to compete and have fun. I'd like to win too and move up in the District standings, but if we do things right the wins will take care of themselves."
In the backcourt, Cornersville has three starters returning in sophomores Tate Lowery (PG), Zach Smith (SG), and Jamie Crowell (SG).
After receiving some playing time as an eighth grader, Lowery took over the starting point guard spot as a freshman before a knee injury sidelined him late in the season..
Along with being a good ball handler, Lowery has the ability to get to the basket and can finish around the rim.. He also possesses a nice midrange jumper and is a solid one-on-one defender.
"Tate was thrown into the fire as an eighth grader. People had high expectations of him last year, but he was still just a freshman. The more he matures the better he is going to get," said Randolph.
Smith is the best outside shooter on the team and can score in bunches when he gets hot from three-point range. He has a good midrange game as well and can finish when he gets into the lane.
Having gotten a lot bigger and stronger since last year, Crowell is a good defender and rebounder. He has also improved as an outside shooter and is a good ball handler and decision maker.
Senior forward Hayden McMahon returns to the starting lineup as well, while Jacob Griffis and Dakota Lovett will share playing time at center.
McMahon has started the last two years and is a versatile player that can play any of the guard spots along with small forward. Despite having a tall, lanky frame, McMahon is deceptively quick off the dribble and can get to the rim. He can also score on the low block when guarded by a smaller player and is a solid defender and rebounder.
"We will run some half court sets to get him the ball when he has a mismatch. I'm hoping he has a big year for us," said Randolph.
Griffis and Lovett, meanwhile, are both strong rebounders and will provide the Bulldogs with bulk in the paint defensively.
Senior swingman Alex Walker and junior guard Tyler Lowery each came back out for the team after taking a year off from basketball, but both could challenge for a spot in the starting lineup.
Walker is a good shooter and ball handler that can also go down on the block and score, while Tyler Lowery plays with a great motor and is a tenacious one-on-one defender.
Junior Jacob Reeves will back up Tate Lowery at point guard. Although diminutive in stature, Reeves is a reliable ball handler and passer that sees the court well.
Sophomore forward David Looney could also see playing time off the bench and is a solid shooter and ball handler.
Senior Chance Dalton, sophomore center Hunter Swinney, and freshmen guards TaTa Davis, J.D. Crabtree, and Trevor Wells are also working hard to earn time on the court.
Cornersville Bulldogs 2012-13 basketball roster
2012-13 Cornersville Basketball Schedule
|11/16||Riverside Christian Academy||Away||6:00|
|12/20-21||Community Christmas Classic||Away||TBA|
|12/28-29||Richland Christmas Classic||Away||TBA|
|1/14||Riverside Christian Academy||Home||6:00|
|2/11-19||District Tournament @ Richland||TBA|