Ivory not settled on starting lineup for opener

Arkansas-Pine Bluff men’s basketball coach George Ivory thought he was settled on a starting lineup for the Golden Lions’ season opener against Tuskegee (Ala.) today at Atlanta’s Morehouse College.

Then he learned just before the trip one of his freshmen hasn’t yet been cleared to play.

Ghiavonni Robinson, a 6-foot-3 guard expected to contribute significantly for the Lions, will not play today or Monday night against Morehouse as he awaits clearance from the NCAA. Ivory said he was going to start the Leflore County (Miss.) High School graduate before learning he would be unavailable.

That leaves Ivory with a choice of two guards. He’s confident he’ll start forward Davon Haynes and center Daniel Broughton, both seniors, and junior Tevin Hammond at point guard. Ivory said he’ll choose among juniors Jaylon Floyd and Marcel Mosley and sophomore Trent Whiting for the final two starting roles.

“I really didn’t want to go with two point guards in the lineup,” Ivory said, referring to Hammond and Mosley. “I may go with Whiting and Floyd to give us a bigger lineup and bring Mosley off the bench.”

Mosley (6-0) and Whiting (6-6) each started one game last season. Mosley, a 35.3 percent three-point shooter, usually gives the Lions scoring help off the bench while Whiting, who only averaged 1.3 points per game last year, has improved his ball-handling according to Ivory and can slash well to the basket.

Ivory said Saturday night the issue at hand with Robinson is his course work at a non-athletic high school he attended for half of his sophomore season, adding the NCAA has not yet approved the work.

Grades are not a problem. Robinson scored a 20 on his ACT and posted a 3.4 grade-point average, according to Ivory.

The coach plans to use his entire bench for the first two games. Today marks the debut for key newcomers including junior forward Sean Tingle, junior guard DeAndre McIntyre and freshman center David Tillman.