By DeKendric D. Stamps
Picked to finish seventh in the SWAC pre-season poll, the Golden Lions of Arkansas-Pine Bluff have quietly put together a strong 6-1 conference start holding a 5-0 Lion’s Den record at H.O. Clemmons Arena.
Coach George Ivory is no stranger to having success after being picked low in those pre-season polls. In 2010 Ivory put his own personal touch on the Lion’s season. With a disappointing 0-11 start, UAPB finished the season as SWAC Champions gaining a NCAA tournament berth appearance.
Pine-Bluff is led by the big cat in the middle, 6’6, 250 pound senior center Terrell Kennedy, who averages 13 points and 5 boards per game and is also the anchor of a stifling defense which preys on its opponent’s mistakes.
Kennedy is not feasting alone. The rest of the attack includes sophomore Sensation Daniel Broughton, junior Swingman Davon Hayes and the senior floor-general Lazabian Jackson.
It seems Ivory made the right decision to remain with this Golden Lions program after off season talks emerged with his alma mater, Mississippi Valley State, about becoming the head coach of that program. According to Ivory, “It never was about the money”. It was about being loyal to the program which was good enough for him.
Ivory’s loyalties have guided the Golden Lions to second place in the SWAC standings half way through the season. With key wins on their mid-season road trip, which could include a first place showdown with the red hot Jags of Southern University; a 6-0 home court record is on the horizon.
There are some great things going on in Pine Bluff. And who knows, we may all be hearing the chants of “U-A-P-B Golden Lions” in Garland, TX as another Lion’s program continues to live life like it’s Golden; raising the 2013 SWAC Basketball Championship trophy.
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