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Wallace State men's basketball returns one of the more experienced rosters in the conference during the 2013-14 season. With leading scorer Jestin Lewis returning, along with guards Marcus Johnson and Sean Anthony, Wallace State's men should flirt with a chance to win its second Alabama Community College Conference (ACCC)/Region 22 title in three seasons.
Wallace State will look to improve upon last season's 18-14 finish, which ended in the ACCC quarterfinal round.
Leading the charge on the court should be Lewis, a 6-foot-2 Virginian. Lewis averaged a team-high 17.1 points as a freshman and was second on the team in assists, earning him second-team All-Region honors and a first-team All-ACCC North Division selection.
Other key contributors returning this season are sophomores Marcus Johnson, Sean Anthony and Quinterian McConico. Johnson started 30 games in 2012-13 and averaged 9.9 points per game while dishing out a team-high 88 assists. Anthony served as Wallace State's sixth man as a freshman and compiled 63 assists and 21 steals. McConico, a forward, averaged 4.3 points and 2.3 rebounds, playing in nearly 10 minutes per game.
A year after suffering a season-ending knee injury, forward Cody Farley, a Pinson Valley grad, returns to the Wallace State fold and should be a huge lift in the paint.
Fourth-year coach John Meeks has also added a handful of transfers and impact freshmen to this season's roster. Sophomore transfers include Marcus Burwell, X-keem Jones, Dominique Taylor and Quayshad Williams.
Lee Moore and Darius Joell highlight the freshman class. Moore was a first-team All-State performer during his senior season at North Cobb (Ga.) HS. Joell has immediately become one of Wallace State's top shooters after a successful senior campaign at Collins Hill High in Suwanee, Ga.
Rounding out the freshman class are Kriston Beasley, Josh Farmer, Marcus Hayes and Marcus Lewis, a Thompson High grad.
Wallace State is less than two years removed from making the program's second NJCAA national tournament appearance after the Lions reeled off four wins in four days as a No. 6 seed at the 2012 ACCC tournament. After finishing fifth in the nation in 2010, Wallace State notched one victory at the 2012 NJCAA Division I national tournament.
Meeks has been at the helm of the Wallace State program for three seasons and has spent five overall as a head coach. Meeks, 30, has compiled a solid 104-60 career record in those five years, including a 54-45 mark at Wallace State, making two national tournament appearances between the two stops.
Before arriving in Hanceville, Meeks spent two seasons as the head man at Louisburg College in North Carolina, where he went 51-15 and guided the Hurricanes to the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division II Basketball Championship. Louisburg notched its first ever tournament victory under Meeks, and he was selected as the 2010 NJCAA District 15 Coach of the Year.
Meeks' entire coaching career spans 12 years and includes assistant stops at Bluefield College in Virginia and three years at NAIA Lee University (Tenn.). He has coached six NAIA All-Americans, one NJCAA All-American, 11 All-Conference players, four conference MVPs, four All-Region performers and one defensive player of the year.
Within the last eight years, Wallace State basketball has set school records for wins (32, accomplished in 2009-10 and 2007-08), been ranked seventh in the preseason by The Sporting News (2009-10), been ranked No. 1 nationally in the NJCAA poll (2007-08) and produced two first-team All-Americans in Cory Cooperwood (2006-07, 2007-08) and L.A. Farmer (2009-10).
For more information about the Wallace State basketball program, contact Coach John Meeks at 256-352-8365 or at John.Meeks@wallacestate.edu.
*Coach Meeks would like to thank this year's sponsors of Wallace State basketball. They include: Dairy Queen in Hanceville; Sonic in Cullman; Ryan's in Cullman; Hardee's in Hanceville; Captain D's in Cullman; Domino's Pizza in Hanceville; Huddle House in Hanceville; McDonalds in Hanceville; Zaxby's in Cullman; Ruby Tuesday in Cullman; Arby's in Cullman (Cherokee Ave.); Taco Bell in Cullman (Hwy. 157 location); Bojangles in Cullman; K-May Donuts in Cullman; Pasquale's Pizza in Cullman and Chick-Fil-A in Cullman.