Men's Basketball Gets Back into SoCon Play Thursday and Saturday
The Eagles come into this stretch with a 9-3 record (2-0 SoCon) after splitting two games in Corpus Christi, Texas. GSU defeated host Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 78-69 but lost in the championship game 85-80 to No. 25 Rhode Island.
Against URI, Georgia Southern rallied from a 23-point, first-half deficit to get to within two, but was unable to overcome the Rams.
“I thought our performance was pretty good,” said head coach Jeff Price. “It was disappointing with our slow start in the Rhode Island game that had we not had such a slow start we would have had a better chance. I thought we competed and did some good things.”
With just one non-conference game left (BracketBusters), the Eagles now turn their attention to league play. Davidson (4-6, 2-0) was picked to win the SoCon North and found its way into the AP Top 25 for the first time in 37 years.
“Davidson’s as good a team as we’ve played this year and it just happens to be a conference game and obviously it’s going to be really tough on the road,” said Price. “We’ve had some good games against them in the past. They’re an experienced team and we’re an experienced team. I think in this situation our experience is going to help us a little bit, but obviously we’re going to have to do well and do a good job on (Jason) Richards and Curry who have hurt us in the past.”
The Wildcats have played one of the toughest schedules in the nation, featuring No. 1 North Carolina, No. 7 Duke, No. 7 UCLA and North Carolina State.
This week’s road trip means the Eagles will be facing two of the top players in the league: Davidson’s Stephen Curry and UNCG’s Kyle Hines.
Curry ranks eighth in the nation in scoring average (24.6 ppg) and was the 2006-07 SoCon Freshman of the Year. Hines was last season’s league player of the year.
“You have to focus on them but their teams are so good that you can’t forget about everybody else,” said Price. “You do as good as you can with Curry. He’s going to get up his shots and you hope you can contest them and do a good job with him. With Hines, it’s hard to guard him with just one person so you have to pick-and-choose who you’re going to come off of and how you’re going to play him.”
UNC Greensboro (6-4, 1-1) opened the season with an 83-74 win at Georgia Tech and has won three straight entering Wednesday’s clash with Central Arkansas.
“It’s another tough game against a team picked to win the North. We’ve got two straight games against teams picked to win the South and the North - two really tough road games to start the new year. Obviously Kyle Hines is one of the best players in the country and he makes you change and key your whole defense.”
While the two upcoming games could play a key role in how the season plays out, Price believes that the entire conference season doesn’t ride on how the team performs against Davidson and UNCG.
“I think it’s too early to be pivotal,” he said. “I think it would be great for our confidence to go find a way to win these games. It can be somewhat pivotal mentally just from a confidence standpoint. With 20 league games (overall) and your third or fourth league game, I don’t think it’s pivotal but it would be nice to find a way to win.”
Saturday's tilt with UNC Greensboro will be televised on SportSouth at 3 p.m. Both games will be broadcast on the Georgia Southern Radio Network with the Voice of the Eagles Chris Blair.
- Category: Men's Basketball
- Published on Friday, 04 January 2008 00:05