LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN -- The Covenant men's basketball team entered its first year as members of the USA South Athletic Conference in 2013-14. The competition was tough as the Scots finished the season with an 8-17 overall record.
The overall record marked the first time in the Kyle Taylor coaching era that the Scots did not improve their record from the previous season. 2013-14 also marked the first season that Covenant did not have a senior on the varsity roster.
Junior forward Colton McGriff earned third team All-USA South honors after averaging 15.4 points per game to go along with a team-high 7.2 rebounds per contest. Fellow junior Nate Frierson had a career season as he averaged 7.8 points and 2.9 assists per game. Sophomore Chris Boyd posted 7.2 points and 5.6 rebounds per contest.
Freshman Ben Phelps shot nearly 50 percent from 3-point land for the majority of the season before finishing at 42.7 percent for the year. Phelps tallied 7.2 points per game in his rookie season. Playing in the second semester, Daniel Garrett was a spark offensively for the Scots as he averaged 7.9 points, four rebounds and 1.1 assists per game.
Covenant got out to a fast start in non-conference play. After exhibition games against NCAA Division I opponents Kennesaw State and Chattanooga, the Scots opened the regular season with a 71-65 victory at Berry. Covenant bounced back from a loss to Emory & Henry with consecutive wins over SAA foes Sewanee and Millsaps to improve to 3-1 on the season.
The Scots took a long road trip to Minnesota to face Crown and Bethany Lutheran. After dropping a heartbreaker to Crown in the final seconds, the Scots responded with a 94-76 win over Bethany Lutheran as McGriff scored a career-high 35 points.
Covenant entered USA South play with a 5-5 record after a 94-90 overtime victory against Berry before Christmas Break. The Scots edged Ferrum 71-68 to open conference action but would lose the next five games. A two-game win streak followed, including a victory in overtime against eventual USA South Tournament champion, and NCAA Tournament participant, LaGrange. The Scots would come close several times in the final month of the season but could not claim another victory.
The overall record might have been a disappointment, but Covenant looks to be strong next season as McGriff and Frierson return to lead a host of rising seniors along with several other key contributors.
USA South Player of the Week
Colton McGriff - 2 times (Dec. 9 and 16)
USA South All-Conference
Colton McGriff - 3rd team
Chris Boyd - All-Sportsmanship
Georgia Basketball Coaches Association All-State
Colton McGriff - 2nd team
CoSIDA Academic All-District