Charles Shedrick is averaging a team-leading 17.4 points per game for Clayton State in his senior season for Clayton State. (Special Photo: Kevin Liles, Clayton State)
MORROW — What might seem like an inconvenience for some players, has served as a motivational point for Charles Shedrick in his final season at Clayton State.
With a coaching change entering his senior season, Shedrick has been asked to learn a new coaching system and style. On top of that, the Lakers’ second-leading scorer was ineligible for the first part of the season.
“It has been going fine for me,” said Shedrick, who is averaging a team-leading 17.4 points per game. “I’ve been trying to fight through it. I think we have kind of found our rhythm.”
With fellow senior Omari Murray ineligible the first semester while clearing up an NCAA issue, Shedrick has carried most of the scoring load for the Lakers under first year coach Paul Harrison.
Once Murray returned to the team, Shedrick had to re-adjust his style to help benefit the team. Murray is averaging 11.4 points per game. Because Murray hadn’t satisfied the NCAA rule of full-time student status, he wasn’t able to practice with the team from Aug. 10 until Dec. 9.
By that time, the team had already started to get into its rotation.
Shedrick said it hasn’t that big of an adjustment when Murray returned to the line-up, in fact he said having Murray back has been a big help to him.
“It has helped a lot because we have more mobility in the post,” Shedrick said. “We have a lot of confidence in Omari.”
Harrison has asked Shedrick to take more of a leadership role with the team. The Lakers graduated three experienced players from last season’s team, the last for longtime coach Gordon Gibbons, who resigned after the season.
“He has played very well for us,” Harrison said. “We have asked him to be a leader, and he has done so. We asked our leaders to be vocal. We want them to speak out, but not in an attacking way. Everybody has to accept constructive criticism.”
The 6-foot-5 Shedrick is in his second year with the program after transferring from Atlanta Metro Community College in Atlanta. As a junior last season, he averaged eight points, three rebounds and two assists per game while starting all 27 games.
Shedrick was the Lakers’ fourth-leading scorer, ranking third on the team in assists and steals.
“We have had to buy into what coach Harrison is trying to do,” Shedrick said. “It hasn’t been that big of a change. You just have to go out and do it.”
At Atlanta Metro, Shedrick played two seasons and averaged 14 points and six rebounds per game as a sophomore. He was named all-region honorable mention his final season. As a freshman, he averaged 13 points per game on team that finished with a 24-6 record.
A Douglasville native, he played his final season at Potomac Senior High in Virginia where he made the all-district team.
His main goal this season is to help the Lakers make the NCAA Div. II tournament.
“I’ve never made the postseason as a college player,” Shedrick said. “I’m willing to do what it takes to help this team reach that goal.”