Buffaloes set for 2017-18 season

Published 9:40 am Thursday, October 26, 2017

Even though the Milligan men’s basketball team only graduated one senior last season, head coach Bill Robinson feels this year’s squad will look quite different.
A big reason for the change will be the introduction of three new players, freshman Trey Johnsen (Greensboro, N.C.) junior Greg Rollins (Galveston, Texas), and sophomore Desean Greene (Houston, Texas).
“The team is going to be very different even though we have a ton of returners,” said Robinson. “The three guys we have coming all come in with a defensive mentality. They all believe they can be defensive stoppers which is great because we will be able to do more stuff.”
Johnsen, who is a 6’3 guard, graduated Northern Guilford after spending three years at Lincoln Charter his first three years of high school, during which he named to the All-Conference team.
“He just does all of the little things,” said Robinson. “In our scrimmage the other day he led us in scoring. He is tenacious and gets to the rim.”
A 6’3 guard, Green is transferring in from Victoria College where he was named to the All TCCSL second team.
“He played at Victoria College,” said Robinson. “It was a club sport but at least he a year of post-high school basketball under his belt.”
In college, Rollins attended both Concordia College and Navarro College for a year each.
“He has gotten two years experience at the college level,” said Robinson.
Including three new players, who Robinson described as very athletic, will create a competitive atmosphere among the team as they all vie for playing time.
“They all play very hard,” said Robinson. “When you get that kind of infusion into your program, it makes everyone else want to play harder. Now it is going to be more competitive for playing time.
“During practice, you have to be competitive among your own team if you want to be competitive against your opponents,” said Robinson. “Everybody is going to be fighting for playing time. Everybody is going to be fighting for their spot. That way practice is going to be more intense, and games are going to be more intense.”
The Buffaloes will return second-team all Appalachian Athletic Conference players junior Jacob Cawood (352 points in 2016-17) and junior Tyler Nichols (397 points in 2016-17).
Milligan will also return starting point guard Daxton Bostian, who is a 5’10 sophomore. In 2016-17, Bostian had 285 points and 111 assists for the Buffs.
“He has a heart of a tiger and plays so hard and so fast,” said Robinson.
With all potential contributors this season, Robinson said he believes the team will be able to play at a high pace while continually mixing up their defensive scheme on each trip down the court. With the complexity that’s involved with constantly changing up defenses, comes the need for leaders to keep the Buffaloes focused.
“It is an across the board effort,” said Robinson. “David Casaday (senior) is one of those guys that is a goofball off the court, but on the court, he is very focused and wants to keep everybody serious.
“Cawood is the same way,” continued Robinson. “He is a junior and a leader. He wants to make sure everything is done the right way.”
“My son (senior Will Robinson) is a fifth-year senior and is battling through it,” added Robinson. “He is still battling injuries that he is going to have to play through and live with the rest of his life. So he doesn’t want any nonsense. If the players are not going to take it seriously, he is going to step up and say something. He knows this is his last shot and he wants to succeed.”
This Saturday, the Buffaloes will open up the season on the road at the University of the Cumberlands. Their first home game will be on Nov. 14 as they host Truett-McConnell for an AAC contest.

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