Lions basketball set to start 2021-22 campaign

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The 2021-22 FHU Lions Basketball season began on Wednesday when the team traveled to Point University. The home opener will be on Homecoming – Saturday, November 6 – when they Lions will face off against former AMC foe Harris-Stowe at 4 p.m. Photo by Jeremy Wright

The Lions basketball team is set to start its 2021-22 campaign, and they are looking to rely on both experience and a few new faces in the second season competing in the tough Mid-South Conference.
The team will open up the season on the road in non-conference action against Point University on Wednesday before playing three home games – also non-conference – with two of those being the Christian College Classic against Florida College and Faulkner University.
They will then jump into conference play with their first MSC game being at home against Cumberland University on November 18.
“This is the best preseason we’ve had since I’ve been at FHU,” third-year head coach Drew Stutts said. “I feel like our guys have been consistent in their work ethic, and with this group, you can just tell early on that this is a group who is a family and really together.”
This Lions roster is the perfect mix of returning players with vast experience, including two-time All-American Kortland Martin and All-Conference guard Wanya King, along with returners who were able to get their feet wet in the new system a year ago coming back with expectations to make a big impact, guys like Ryley McClaran, Dawson Bailey, Logan Bonds and others that help make this one of the deepest Lions rosters in recent memory.
“We’re a really deep team,” Stutts added. “We have a lot of talent, and it’s not going to be a deal where we’re just relying on one or two guys. We really want to spread it out this year.”
As far as new faces are concerned, one new player is Zach Baugher, a transfer out of Taylor University in Upland, Indiana, as well as a few freshmen who are expected to make a quick impact like Alex Rush and Geraldo Lane.
“The transition to Freed has been a great one so far. We have a great group of coaches and a great group of guys on this team,” Baugher said. “They have all been very welcoming, and it is such a family atmosphere. I have loved being part of this team so far, and I can’t wait to have a great year with this team.
“We have a great squad that is the most together and competitive group of guys that I have been a part of.”
This will be the second season in the Mid-South Conference for the Lions, a conference that features the defending National Champions and preseason No. 1 overall team Shawnee State, as well as two other preseason Top-25 teams in Georgetown (No. 21) and Thomas More (No. 23). The Lions were picked fifth in the conference following a year when they were picked 11th out of 12 teams but finished sixth once the season ended.
“I feel like we’re moving the program in the right direction, in general, since I’ve been here,” Stutts said. “I think we’re starting to get the program some of the respect that it deserves, but we still have another step that we need to take to get it to where we want it to be.
“The challenge is a good challenge, and it’s one that we’re accepting and we look forward to.”
With the jump in the preseason rankings in the MSC, the Lions’ expectations also get bigger, hoping to not only compete in the conference, but also in the nation, and get back to the National Tournament once the regular season ends.
“Our expectations are winning the conference tournament. That is what drives us this season,” Martin said. “That’s the expectation we are placing on ourselves, not to get distracted by the highs and lows or ebbs and flows that will come throughout the season, but staying focused on doing whatever we can to have the best season possible and do our best come tournament time.”
The 2021-22 season began on Wednesday when the team traveled to Point University, and the home opener will be on Homecoming – Saturday, November 6 – when they Lions will face off against former AMC foe Harris-Stowe at 4 p.m.

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