New Bowie State basketball coach Tyrone Hart has had a dramatic change of venues during the offseason.

After capturing consecutive JuCo Region 20 championships over the past two seasons as coach of Montgomery-Takoma Park Community College, Hart now oversees a Bowie State program that finished last season at 2-25.

"We didn't play together," said senior forward Brian Forbes. "We had individuals who wanted to look good for themselves instead of playing for the whole team. We had some talent out there but we just we couldn't put it together."

Hart began Phase One of his facelift by signing eight junior college transfers that he either coached or faced during his tenure at Takoma.

"I have some good players -- who are also some good students -- who are going to perform on the basketball court at a much higher level than the {Bowie State} players of the past," said Hart. "Not to say that they weren't good players, but this {new group} is what we're looking for."

Guards Marc King, Aquila Matthews and Andre Lambert all played for Hart at Takoma Park. Bennie Dollard (Cecil Community College), Rayford Young (Prince George's Community College) and Aquila Matthews (Allegany Community College) are the key tranfers Hart hopes will be the foundation for change at Bowie.

"I have five or six kids who understand the level of competition," said Hart. "That's very important in turning the program around. Playing the game and not knowing how to win was one of the things I saw from watching the films from last year. They didn't know how to win and they didn't put forth the effort. Now I have some young men in the program coming from successful programs."

Phase Two of Hart's plan was to increase the intensity and improve the attitude of the players. Practices have been longer and conditioning tougher as Hart has drilled his new team on fundamentals.

As a result, only five of a possible 15 returning players made this year's team.

Hart was left with a team of three seniors, four juniors, six sophomores and two freshmen, few of whom have previously played together.

"They are young, which is going to be our Achilles' heel," said Hart.

The play of point guards Lambert and Harper will be critical if Hart is to successfully deploy his high-pressure defense that made Takoma Park one of the best defensive junior college teams in the region.

A cohesive blend of these guards with sophomore shooting guard Chuck Gholston (6-foot 3) could give the Bulldogs a formidable backcourt. As a freshman out of McNamara, Gholston averaged 18.9 points and was named to the all-CIAA freshman team.

Another player who may be a key to Bowie State's season is Matthews, who is versatile at 6-6. Matthews can play every position and will be called upon to provide relief from a bench that is thin and will limit Hart from his usual preference of being able to go eight to 10 players deep on his bench.

A great portion of the rebounding burden will fall on the hefty shoulders of multi-talented 6-6, 250-pound power forward Brian Forbes.

An all-CIAA selection in 1989 as a tackle for the football team, Forbes joined the basketball team midway through the season. He finished first in the conference with an average of 12.2 rebounds and was fourth on the team with a scoring average of 12.3.

Hart is trying to take a realistic view of the amount of progress Bowie State can make this season.

At this point, the most important thing is "understanding that you have some type of winning tradition," said Hart. "I tell the players all the time that one of the best teams I had was a team that lost seven games by one point. Sometimes the winning or losing of games is not the mark of real champions, but it tells a lot about the character of the team."