JACKSONVILLE — Several players on the Jacksonville State basketball team were
gathering in the bleachers behind the basket Thursday before their daily pickup
games when coach James Green walked across the floor.
One of the better players was wearing a baseball cap, and it was noticed.
As he passed the group, Green simply tapped the top of his head, an unspoken
reminder that hats are not worn indoors on this coach's watch. The player
quicker removed his headwear.
Good thing Green didn't see another starter a couple minutes later with his
basketball shorts hanging from his thighs.
"No, we will not allow them to wear their hats inside," Green said in
response to an ice-breaking question from athletics director Jim Fuller in his
introductory news conference Wednesday. "We will not allow them to have their
pants falling off. And there are a lot of other things we will not allow them to
do, and there's a lot of other things we'll demand that they do.
"I don't think there's anything wrong with that. I think good discipline and
hard work is something that's been around for a long number of years and helped
people be successful, and if it was good enough for the people in this room and
myself (in the past), I think it'll be good enough for them."
It's exactly that approach that put Green's name atop DeAndre Bray's list.
Bray, a rising senior and the only player so far made available to media
since Green's hiring, was on the 11-member search committee that narrowed the
pool of candidates to nine semifinalists and, eventually, the four finalists
from which the school hired Green.
Bray had the Mississippi Valley coach in his personal final two, and it was
the 11-year head coaching veteran's winning record, experience with transition
and discipline that were the tipping points for the point guard.
"I have a good understanding with him because my high school has his style,"
Bray said. "His discipline, the way he talks, the way he acts and carries
himself is the way my high school is, so I relate to that.
"I just feel he's ready to make a difference for us and help us out. I think
Coach Green is going to do a great job, just by what he's telling us. The body
language and all that, it's good vibes."
Green met with his new players briefly Wednesday — and with Bray individually
Thursday — and mapped out his plan for the Gamecocks to be, as Bray described
it, "great basketball players on and off the court."
It didn't take long for them to understand there's a new sheriff in town. No
hats indoors. No earrings. No baggy pants.
"It's discipline; that's all we needed anyway," Bray said. "Coach (Mike)
LaPlante had discipline, too; it's just things got away, and some things you
"Coach Green coming in, he's making, not rules, just common sense stuff you
shouldn't do and you should do, little things that will help us become greater
people. … He doesn't want to hear anything about us doing anything wrong because
we're old enough (to know better). We're young men, and we know what to
About Al Muskewitz
Al Muskewitz covers golf and Jacksonville State
University sports teams for The Anniston Star.
See story at The Anniston Star's website: www.annistonstar.com