Men's Basketball Begins SoCon Play at Furman
Georgia Southern comes into league play with a three-game winning streak, taking all three games at the Glenn Wilkes Classic in Daytona Beach.
Defense was the name of the game as the Eagles held their opponents to 60.7 points per game and 36.0 percent shooting from the floor. GSU held Cleveland State without a point for the final 2:27 to complete a nine-point rally and forced UAB to shoot just 26.9 percent in the second half to come back from an eight-point halftime deficit.
“I think that the most impressive thing was on the defensive side of the court,” said head coach Jeff Price. “We defended really well and our intensity was good for three consecutive games and I thought that’s what certainly got us through the tournament intensity and defense.”
Halftime adjustments were the key as Georgia Southern’s opponents hit just 31.8 percent in the second half combined. The Eagles trailed at halftime in their wins over Cleveland State and UAB.
Louis Graham has kicked off his senior campaign in style, averaging 14.0 points and 7.5 rebounds per game and was named to the Classic’s all-tournament team. He blocked a school-record-tying six shots against Stetson after recording five the night before.
With the Southern Conference expanding its league schedule to a full 20 games, the start of the conference season starts a little earlier than usual.
Furman enters the contest with an 0-3 record and is coming off an 83-69 loss at Saint Louis on Nov. 17.
“They’re certainly going to be ready to play,” said Price. “It’s the first league game for both of us and they’re on their home floor. Like all Furman teams, they’re disciplined in their motion offense and they shoot the ball really well from the perimeter. We’re going to have to get out and guard their shooters and try to limit their 3-point shots.”
The Paladins offense is led by Justin Dehm. The true freshman is averaging a team-best 13.7 points per outing and is hitting on 60.0 percent of his shots from the floor, including 69.2 percent (9-of-13) from 3-point land.
“Justin Dehm really shoots the ball well,” said Price. “They’ve got some experience with George Brazos who’s a returning player that’s a post player that can shoot it. They’re a young team but they all shoot the ball really well and that’s the way Furman teams always are.”
Both GSU-Furman games last season were decided by two points, both Georgia Southern victories. Price expects the same this year as well.
“I expect all conference games to be close. I don’t see anybody in this league blowing anybody out on a nightly basis. We just need to be ready. We’ve been fortunate to win a couple of really close games and I think that’ll help with our confidence if we get in another close one.”
Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. Fans can listen online at www.georgiasoutherneagles.com or on 107.3 FM in Statesboro.
- Category: Men's Basketball
- Published on Thursday, 22 November 2007 00:08