JONESBORO, AR (astateredwolves.com) – The Arkansas State men’s basketball team cruised to an 81-37 win over Lyon College in its home opener Monday night at the Convocation Center.
Anthony Livingston led the way for A-State with his 16th career double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds, while Donte Thomas added 10 points, five rebounds and five assists on the night. Devin Carter and Nouhoum Bocoum rounded out the scoring with nine points each for A-State.
Following the game, A-State head basketball coach John Brady announced that he will resign his position at the conclusion of the season.
“Over the last two or three days, I’ve thought long and hard about what I really want to do,” said Brady. “I’ve talked to some close friends of mine in the coaching business and some not in the coaching business. I met with (athletics director) Terry Mohajir, who is a great AD – a good guy, a caring guy – today for an hour. I told him where I was, and that regardless of how well we do this is my last year here. I told the players after the game, and I’ve told my coaches.”
A-State pulled away midway through the first half thanks to 7-0 run that included strong post play by Charles Waters, Bocoum and Livingston. Waters got a tip-in off a Bocoum miss to start the run and it was extended when Sean Gardner got a steal and layup on the other end to push the advantage to 14-6 with over 10 minutes left in the half.
The advantage grew to 25-14 after a pair of foul shots by Thomas with 4:23 to go in the half and Devin Carter made it a 35-17 lead with a layup before half to send the Red Wolves into the break with an 18-point lead.
The Red Wolves were balanced in their attack in the opening frame and were led by Gardner and Thomas’ six points. Thomas was a perfect 4-for-4 at the free throw line in the first half and dished our three assists, while Gardner went 3-of-7 from the field.
A-State carried the momentum in the second half and quickly pushed it’s advantage to 37-17. Lyon Briefly cut the deficit to 18 points after a pair of free throws, but a free throw by Thomas and layup by Devin Carter put the Red Wolves up 40-19 and the deficit was never under 20 points for the rest of the game.
P.J. Hardwick made it a 30-point game with a 3-pointer a the 11 minute mark of the second half and the advantage grew to 75-35 on a ‘3’ by Connor Kern with 3:51 to go in the game. Kern, who made his A-State debut, went 2-for-4 from beyond the arc and finished with six points.
“I’ve made some good friends here,” Brady said. “My time here has been fun and it has been good, but this is going to be my last year here regardless of how well our team does – and I think it has an opportunity to do well. I think we have a collection of good players. Terry was supportive of that. I wanted to get it out in the open. I’m not one who can live with misconception or misunderstanding. Terry has been good to me – we’ve had good conversations. I like our players – there’s not a bad guy in there. Sometimes we need to work on some things, but that’s with every team.”
“We’ll see what happens. I think we still need some work, but I think our players understand it. We will continue business as usual. This is just something that it’s where I am at in this point of my career and my life. This is isn’t something I’m going to watch go by. That’s not me. I’m going to coach them, and I’m going to do whatever I think is necessary based on the experience I can draw from to make this team the best it can be.”
Brady is in his eighth season as the Red Wolves’ head men’s basketball coach and is tied for the fourth most wins in school history with 111 to his credit.
“John alerted me today of his intentions to resign at the end of the season, at which time we had a conversation regarding his decision,” said A-State Director of Athletics Terry Mohajir. “I have a great deal of respect for John as a person and coach, and we appreciate his desire to finish the rest of the season as our head coach. We will support him, his coaching staff and our players as they pursue a Sun Belt Conference championship this season.
“Coach Brady has had a great coaching career, including guiding Arkansas State to two Sun Belt Conference West Division championships. We wish him only the best the rest of this season and beyond.”
A-State returns to action Wednesday, Nov. 18 at Savannah State as part of the Global Sports Shootout.