<p>Pictured: (back, l-r) Head Coach Blake Kibler, Gage Bradley (Georgetown), Braxton Clark (Blanchester), Ryan Inman (Lynchburg-Clay), Joey Wilson (Fairfield), Tyler Allen (Lynchburg-Clay), Head Assistant Coach Tyler Inman; (front, l-r) Airic Steagall (Hillsboro), Latrell Haithcock (Hillsboro), Tyler Williams (Whiteoak), Gage Waits (Lynchburg-Clay) and Gage Montgomery (Fairfield).<br />(Submitted photo)</p>

Pictured: (back, l-r) Head Coach Blake Kibler, Gage Bradley (Georgetown), Braxton Clark (Blanchester), Ryan Inman (Lynchburg-Clay), Joey Wilson (Fairfield), Tyler Allen (Lynchburg-Clay), Head Assistant Coach Tyler Inman; (front, l-r) Airic Steagall (Hillsboro), Latrell Haithcock (Hillsboro), Tyler Williams (Whiteoak), Gage Waits (Lynchburg-Clay) and Gage Montgomery (Fairfield).
(Submitted photo)

The 2015-2016 Southern State Community College men's basketball team will consist of three returning players and seven new players to the roster who are from around the surrounding counties.

The men's team is coming off an 8-12 record last season and at one point was the 19th-ranked team in the small school division in the USCAA.

SSCC will have a much tougher schedule this year, but returning second-year head coach Blake Kibler believes his team is wiser and more team-orientated this year.

"We have 10 players from the surrounding areas," he said. "They are some of the most hard-working players that I have ever encountered. Some of them have full-time jobs, go to school full-time and then go hard for us night in, night out.

 

"We have a great group this year. We lost some key pieces last year, including an All-American (Alec Smith of Lynchburg-Clay). We have some big shoes to fill, but guys are taking the opportunities that they are given and striving."

The SSCC head coach also spoke about his team’s offense and defense for his ball club this season, who play their home games at the SSCC Patriot Center in Hillsboro.

"Defensively, we are very fundamentally sound and can keep guys in front," Kibler said. "Offensively, we have a lot of work to do. We also can't let our offense affect our defense. We are a work in progress for sure, but we are moving in the right direction."

The Patriots will host a shootout Nov. 20-21 as they will face Penn State Greater Allegheny at 8:30 p.m. in the Patriot Center on Nov. 20. They will then play Elizabethtown College on Nov. 21 at 5 p.m. at the Patriot Center.