As basketball season approaches, we at FTRS will be breaking down the team player by player. Today, we take a look at Corey Heyward.
Heyward was a 2011 graduate out of Peachtree Ridge High School in Georgia. He was selected First Team All-State in class AAAAA by the AJC in his senior season when he averaged over 16 points and 5 assists per game. He committed to Morehead (Ky.) State out of high school, but he instead decided to attend Hargrave Military Academy for the 2011-12 academic year. At Hargrave, he led the team to a 38-1 record and an appearance in the National Prep School Championship while averaging 11 points, 6 rebounds, and 6 assists per game.
As a 6'1", 210 lb. combo guard, Heyward was a 3-star recruit according to Rivals. He reportedly received offers from Ole Miss, Appalachian State, and Georgia Southern, but he chose the Yellow Jackets for his freshman year in 2012-13.
Expecting to play in his freshman year at Tech in the 2012-13 season, Heyward tore his ACL in the summer and was redshirted as he healed.
In 2013-14, Heyward started 13 games while playing in 32 and averaged 16.5 minutes per game. He shot 43 percent from three for the year and also totaled 22 steals.
Heyward saw his minutes go down in his sophomore season as he was a healthy scratch from most non-conference games, but he did find some more playing time as the conference schedule played on. He played 19 games and started 3 during the season averaging 11.8 minutes per game. Heyward had the team's lowest turnover rate per 40 minutes at just 1.2.
Heyward had some impressive showings at the team's August trip to the Bahamas. He averaged 10 points per game on 63 percent shooting. We saw Heyward come on fairly strong in ACC play as Gregory trusted him more and more, and after seeing his production in August, it looks like Heyward will be one of the key reserve guards off the bench for the Tech basketball team in 2015-16. He won't shoot very often, but he's careful with the ball in his hands and doesn't turn it over much. He also plays strong perimeter defense against point guards or shooting guards. I'd expect Heyward to play more of a role that compares to 2013-14 as an early off-the-bench guy who plays around 15 minutes per game in his junior season.