Blazers meet new hoops coach -, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Blazers meet new hoops coach

August 3, 2005

Valdosta - The Valdosta State men's basketball team was number one in defense at the NCAA Division II level throughout much of the tenure of the now departed head coach Jim Yarbrough.

Blazer fans should expect to see plenty of offense under Yarbrough's successor.

The Blazers new basketball coach is Mike Helfer who made his first appearance on campus Wednesday morning.

He comes to Valdosta from Southern Tech, a NAIA school where he won 186 games in eight seasons.

Over the last six years, Southern Tech has averaged 26 wins a season and went 32-4.

He takes over a Valdosta State program loaded with experience and talent.

But that talent that is going to have to adjust to a coach who is brining an up-tempo game to the VSU Complex.

Southern Tech scored 90 or more points in 25 of their 36 games last season but Helfer points out that a lot of those points were the result of tough defense.

Mike Helfer said "We play up tempo but we do not play out of control. And I think that is important. If you look back over some teams like Loyola Marymount in the early '90's I thought they played a little out of control ."

Senior center Jon Rogers said " But I believe it is going to be very much the same. Like it means more scoring, more points on the board and hopefully more wins."

Former Valdosta State head coach Jim Yarbrough is now the head coach at Southeast Louisiana University.