Everyone who has watched the Tarleton Texans over the past two seasons knows all about the guard play. It is how the Texans get after teams.
They force the pressure on the perimeter, which leads to turnovers and opportunities in transition. But, the key returner and key newcomer for Tarleton are both forwards who can have an immediate impact on the outcome of a game.
Standing at 6-6, Freddy Hicks has the ability to play multiple positions. And for the entirety of his time at Tarleton has played out of position. Along with Hicks, Chicago State transfer Coreyoun Rushin has the opportunity to have a big year for the Texans.
Coreyoun Rushin 6-5, Graduate, Transfer – Chicago State
Rushin comes over from former WAC foe Chicago State. And I love the move. The motor on Rushin is constantly on overdrive. Rushin started 26 of 27 games last year for the Cougars. And was the fourth leading scorer on a squad that won more games in one season than it had in the previous four combined. 10.1 points and 7.1 rebounds per game while playing out of position quite a bit. It should be an immediate fit in Stephenville alongside Freddy Hicks.
With his physicality, Rushin can guard the four and five positions. But with his quickness and length, he can also guard the 1-3 positions. The other characteristic that makes this a perfect fit is Rushin played 30 minutes per game at Chicago State. And we know how Billy Gillispie likes guys that can play a lot of minutes. Three of the starters for Tarleton played over 30 minutes per game last year. And Shakur Daniel was playing over 30 minutes per game before getting injured. And in his final two games after coming back from injury, Daniel played 32 and 31 minutes, respectively.
So, Rushin will fit in nicely at Tarleton and give some more depth to the Texans bench.
Freddy Hicks 6-6, Jr., F, Searcy, Arkansas
Billy Gillispie mentioned that Hicks is dealing with a foot injury right now. Here is to hoping that it is not serious and we will see him take the floor come Nov. 7. Tarleton NEEDS Freddy Hicks. The 6-6 forward is the only Tarleton player to start all 31 games in 2021-22. And in those 31 games, Hicks played 31.1 minutes averaging 12.8 points and 5.3 rebounds.
And also in those 31 minutes, Hicks was usually playing out of position and guarding most opponents big men. Hicks had to go up against Fardaws Aimaq…twice. This is a good thing and a bad thing. Hicks can knock down perimeter shots and take defenders off the dribble. And with his athleticism and physicality can bang with the big boys. But, it’s a challenge and one that you really don’t want your best player to have to deal with for 31 minutes per contest.
However, in 2022-23, Tarleton still lacks the size which means that Hicks will once again have to play out of position. In his final six games of the 2021-22 season, Hicks scored in double figures. And in those six games, Hicks shot better than 50 percent in all but two contests.
It’s wouldn’t be right to say everything revolves around Freddy Hicks. But, it is safe to say that without Freddy Hicks playing or even playing well, Tarleton’s chances of success will be minimal.