Gulf Coast men’s basketball team on a roll; back at home this week

Local Sports

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) – The Gulf Coast men’s basketball team may not be in the national rankings just yet, but they are definitely building a case for why they should be.

The 9-2 team has won their last five games and have already taken down a few ranked teams this year.

To add to their case, they haven’t played a game on their home court since their season opener on Nov. 1.

Even though the Dores have two losses on that record so far, the team could be undefeated right now, since they had the lead in both games, but gave it up.

Those two losses definitely woke the players up.

“I’m glad we lost those two games honestly cayuse that helped us shape as a team, refocus and see what we have to do in order to win. The way we were playing we could lose to anyone, which happened, but now the way we are playing no one can beat us except us,” Gulf Coast guard Jammy Pierre-Louis said.

Gulf Coast head coach Phil Gaffney said he has seen a difference in how his guys have been playing after those losses.

“I think the big difference is being unselfish, usually that’s an offensive thing and it is but really on defense we’ve been unselfish. If someone gets beat off the dribble someone’s got to help them, someone’s got to help the helper. It can’t just be well I got my guy, and you got your guy it doesn’t work like that in any sport,” Gaffney said.

The Commodores aren’t even at full strength just yet as they have two former Division I players, Alex Matthews and Goodnews Kpegeol, who have been sitting out.

Once they get those two back, they feel like they can be a real threat in conference play, especially since the Panhandle has two nationally ranked teams already in Chipola and Northwest Florida.

When it comes to those national rankings though, Pierre-Louis said it doesn’t really matter to them.

“All I’m worried about is if we continue to win games and when conference play comes we handle business. That’s all I’m really worried about, I don’t really look at the rankings. I look at the team and how we are doing as a team cause that’s all that really matters,” Pierre-Louis said.

The Commodores are back at home this week when they host South Georgia Tech on Thursday and Florida Southwestern on Saturday.

Their game with South Georgia Tech is actually a special one since they will honor local legend and former assistant basketball coach Leon Miller at halftime.

Miller was an assistant mens’ basketball coach from 1975 to 1977 and alumni from those teams will be back to honor him as well.

“”It’s a little bit cliché, but we really believe that once a Commodore, always a Commodore and these people, they gave a lot when they were here as employees or as players or whatever. And we always want them to feel like they’re part of the Gulf Coast family so we always welcome them back and to me it’s very much like when you see relatives you haven’t seen in a long time and the distant family members so it’s really kind of neat when they can come back we’re going to celebrate them coming back,” Gulf Coast athletic director Mike Kandler said.

The game with South Georgia Tech will start at 7 p.m. on Thursday at Billy Harrison Field House.

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