DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Simply put, the 2016-17 season didn’t go as planned for the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats.
Out of the gate, the Wildcats were behind the eight-ball, as they were without star guard Jordan Potts, who didn’t play at all during the season. The Wildcats struggled to a 10-22 record overall, and a 10th-place finish in the MEAC standings.
Once the off-season hit, the changes began for the program. Back on March 21st, administration and Gravelle Craig agreed to let the head coach’s contract expire at the end of the month, ending Craig’s six-year tenure with the program.
Then, on Tuesday, another pair of dominoes fell in terms of the roster shakeup.
Sophomore Quinton Forrest and freshman Brandon Suggs both announced their intentions to transfer from the program, delivering a big blow to the Wildcats’ depth chart for the 2017-18 season in the process.
Forrest, a 6’5” guard from Windermere, Florida, emerged as a leader for the Wildcats on offense during his second season with the program. He finished third on the team in scoring, averaging 12.2 points per contest to go along with his 5.3 rebounds per contest.
His point-per-game production improved by over seven points from his freshman mark (4.9 ppg in ’15-16).
Forrest was effective from the floor, shooting over 50.0% for the second year in a row. He finished the season scoring in double-figures in nine of the team’s final 11 games, a stretch that included a 28-point performance against the Delaware State Hornets in a double-overtime loss.
Due to the transfer regulations in the NCAA, Forrest will sit one year and have two years of eligibility remaining, starting in the 2018-19 season.
As for Suggs, the native of Winnebago, Illinois just completed his first season in the NCAA. The 6’8” forward was used sparingly this past year, averaging an even 20 minutes per contest, while making 30 appearances.
He averaged a modest 3.8 points and 3.5 rebounds per contest. However, with his size (6’8”, 215 pounds) and athleticism, the potential is there for him to be an impact transfer over the next three seasons.
Shortly after the news broke that he was transferring, offers started to trickle in for Suggs. Within a couple of hours, both the UMKC ‘Roos and UIC Flames offered Suggs. He is a sit-one, play three transfer with a ton of upside.
As the off-season hums right along, expect several schools to reach out to both Forrest and Suggs, as teams look to set themselves up for success in the coming years.
– T. Bennett