Phil Gaffney enters his second season as the Head Coach of the Men's Basketball program. Gaffney has enjoyed success coaching at the Junior College level setting the record for most wins in a season at four different schools, Georgia Highlands (34), Guilford Tech (28), Mohawk Valley (27), and Columbia-Greene (22) and looks to do the same at Gulf Coast. Last year (his first year), Coach Gaffney and his Commodores were crowned the Region VIII Champions. This year, Coach looks to defend his Region Title and compete for a National Championship. We caught up with Coach Phil Gaffney to discuss his team:
2019-2020 Gulf Coast State Signees:
Cam Holden- UT Martin
Maurice Gordon- Valdosta State
Jacolbey Owens- Valdosta State
Deion Butler- St. Louis College of Pharmacy
2020-2021 Returners and Newcomers:
Travon Mayo: Avg 7.2 ppg and shot 40.4% from 3 as a freshman. Athletic shooter, strong defender. Freshman starter. DI transfer from NC A&T
Jammy Pierre-Louis: Avg 7.1 ppg and shot 40.5% from 3 as a freshman. Long range shooter, quick, athletic.
Davonta Cook: Avg 10 ppg and 4 apg in Region 8 Tournament.Fast NYC pg. Solid shooter, great handle. Fresh starter.
Derrick Harden: Freshman starter. Long, athletic rebounder, skilled ball handler and passer for size.
Kaylein Marzette: Skilled wing, slasher, shoots 3 well. Quick, defends.
Tay Hall: Freak athlete, rebounder, shot blocker. Avg 16 ppg, 12 rpg, 3.5 bpg at Washington HS (Atlanta)
Khyree Taylor: Pure point guard. Strong, super quick. Guards.
Damani Thomas: DI transfer from Niagara. Athletic, quick,
Roman Wilson: Skilled big, athletic shot blocker. Former 3-4 star recruit.
Trashawn Wilson: Athletic shooter, versatile, can play several positions.
Zam Compere: Redshirt freshman. Athletic slasher. Strong.
What are your expectations for Gulf Coast this coming year?
We hope to defend our Region 8 championship and compete for a National Title. We won our first Region 8 championship in 48 years, and would like to do it again.
How do you feel about NJCAA decision to move basketball to a spring session?
I think it was a great idea. Hopefully, all of this Covid will be gone, or at least manageable four months from now.
What players will you miss the most from last season? Who are you most excited to coach next year?
Cam Holden averaged 20 ppg and 10 rpg,. His leadership will be sorely missed.
I am excited to coach Damani Thomas, a high energy transfer from Niagara University. He has a chance to be very good.
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)
I am not sure. They keep pushing everything back. Nobody knows when this virus will be over. Hopefully, it will normalize soon. Football is now being played in many parts of the country- hopefully that will lead the way for basketball.
Will you be open to playing more geographically located prep schools this year?
How does the new law in the state of Florida allowing college athletes to accept endorsements affect the junior college student athlete?
I don’t think it will have any effect on the JUCO athlete. I don’t think the NJCAA has changed their by-laws to allow the athlete on our level to benefit yet. Even if they do change the rules, I don’t think it will have much impact on our athletes.
Who would be your all time-starting 5? (Of the guys you coached at all schools)
Terrence Thompson- Started at Wake Forest
Kyvon Davenport- 1st team NJCAA All-American. Memphis leading rebounder, leading shot blocker, 2nd leading scorer.
Charlon Kloof- Led St. Bonaventure to NCAA tourney as starting point guard.
Vice Davis- 3rd team NJCAA All-American
Ty Cockfield- Led entire Sunbelt conference in scoring at Arkansas State.