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Program Spotlight: Polk State College

By HoopMIA, 09/09/20, 11:00AM EDT


Head Coach Brandon Giles enters his second season at Polk State. He follows in the footsteps of his father, Josh Giles, who coached Polk State basketball from 1987 to 1999. Giles’ love for basketball began as a young boy in a basketball family. He grew up playing in youth leagues in Auburndale and Winter Haven, Fla., where he developed diverse relationships that would continue into his adulthood. Giles graduated from Auburndale High School, where he was a starter for three years and was named the 2006 Polk County Player of the Year.  At Western Carolina, Giles was a three-time First Team All-Southern Conference player.  Today our staff caught up with Coach Giles to discuss his program and the upcoming season:


2019-2020 Polk State Signees:

  1. Tk Smith – Kent State
  2. Clarence Jackson – Wichita State
  3. Kerry Richardson – Texas Corpus Christi
  4. Malcolm Stevenson – Queens
  5. JJ Rosario – Texas A&M Commerce
  6. Bernat Vanaclocha – Sign with Albacete Basket in Spain


2020-2021 Returners and Newcomers:



  1. Tommie Lewis – Avg 8.5ppg; 4.2rebs, 3.4asst 47%FG, 42.4%3ptFG - Offered by Cleveland State, high interest from Iona, NM State and Ga State
  2. Wilton Storr – returning 4/5 that is a good rebounder and catch and finisher around basket
  3. Dayron Garrett



  1. Ishan White – 6’8” Chipola Transfer, who is a do it all type of kid, can handle it and shoots it just as well as any of our guards. Plays above the rim with high major type athleticism. Will rebound with the best of them
  2. Tionne Rollins – 6’1” IPFW transfer, great pace on the floor, who is a three level scorer. Has shown to shoot the ball really well thus far with great control on the floor. Knows how to get others a shot. 
  3. Tyrese Powers 6’7” – Signed with Jacksonville University out of HS but did not qualify. Great kid with a high motor who is capable of scoring both inside and out. Good finisher around rim who bring a solid rebounding effort.
  4. Tay Williams 6’7” 4 man with great athleticism. Will do it all on both inside and outside. High motor with great ability to shoot it from the outside.   
  5. Zy Wright – 6’4” wing – high IQ with solid shooting ability. Knows how to use his body and get to the rim. All round great basketball player. Excited about this kid
  6. Dave Francois – 6’6” Central Wyoming transfer - Catch and shoot threat. Will knock down the 1 dribble pull up. Long and athletic
  7. Zarion Griffin – 6’2” combo our of Stateboro, GA. Ability to score from anywhere on the floor
  8. Kaleb Mack – 6’1” combo guard out of Greenville<, SC – knows how to get to the basket and finish. Great at creating for others.
  9. Tyrone Victor – 6’10” C out of Massachusetts, big strong body with great passing ability out of the post. Moves very well with solid athleticism.


What are your expectations for Polk this coming year?

Much of this year will be about adjusting to the current circumstances as well an opportunity to grow. As I believe all adverse situations and change are opportunities to grow. I personally welcome the changes, there’s no other choice. As far as our student athletes go it will be imperative that we help them develop a mindset to overcome and stay positive. No college athlete imagines a year of college like this. But unfortunately it is what it is. The beauty of it with the guidelines in place we will still be able to practice and get better from an athletic standpoint. From an academic standpoint I believe student athletes will be able to lock in and focus more on their studies with classes being online. Recruiting is still up in the air as travel for 4 year universities may not be as available as it has been in the past. All in all I’m eager to get started.


How do you feel about NJCAA decision to move basketball to a spring session?

Its what needed to be done, I feel that it will allow our teams to better prepare for the season.


What players will you miss the most from last season? Who are you most excited to coach next year?

Coaching three top 50 JUCO players was a gift last year. I will miss all three however my 2019-20 team overall was a great group of guys who had fun together on and off the floor. I will miss being around each and everyone of them. I am excited to coach this entire team. I see things in every player that can contribute to winning, in the classroom, community and on the floor.


What changes do you expect to see in all of college basketball this coming season due to COVID-19? (Non-NJCAA how it effects 4-year schools recruiting calendar)

It will be imperative that we do a great job of filming all practices, scrimmages, and games. With the limited amount of travel 4 year schools will have, relationships and film with be extremely important during these times. Much of recruiting seems that it will be done through word of mouth.


Who would be your all time-starting 5? (Of the guys you coached at all schools)

Keon Clergeot – Auburndale HS

TK Smith – Polk State College

Warren Hall – Warner University (NAIA National Player of the year)

Clarence Jackson – Polk State

Bernat Vanaclocha – Polk State