Men's Basketball Opens SoCon Play against Samford
Georgia Southern steps outside its non-conference schedule and opens Southern Conference play Saturday against new league member Samford.
The tilt with the Bulldogs is the Eagles only conference game before the new year.
“They certainly bring a different element that no one has seen in the league with their Princeton-style offense and match-up zone,” said GSU head coach Jeff Price. “We’re going to be the guinea pig that figures out how to play against Samford.”
Samford has held its last four opponents to 59 points or less, including Ohio State. The Bulldogs currently lead the SoCon in scoring defense (58.6 ppg) and field goal percentage defense (38.5%).
“The best analogy I can give is like in football, trying to prepare for the option,” said Price. “It’s entirely different, you can’t simulate it in practice, you can’t simulate their defense in practice it’s very hard to prepare for them and what they do. They’re going to come out and take time off the shot clock and be patient. If you pressure them really hard, they’re going to back-door (pass) and do a lot of different things. We certainly have some preparing to do and hopefully we’ll come together with a good game plan.”
The Eagles are attempting to come back from a 77-66 loss to Austin Peay last Saturday, ending the school’s 25-game non-conference home winning streak. GSU fell behind by as many as 17 points in the first half to rally to within three, but was unable to overcome the Governors.
“Right now I just want to see us give better effort, both physically and mentally and intensity-wise,” said Price. “I didn’t think we did that against Austin Peay. I thought we did it in stretches after watching the tape. It wasn’t as much physicalness as it was we didn’t go as hard as we needed to go to play. We’ve been focusing a lot the last five days on giving 100% effort, running the floor and getting out and doing the things we need to do.”
Georgia Southern is in the midst of a stretch of playing two games in a span of 23 days. The team will play just four times in the month of December.
“That concerns me,” said Price. “We’ve had a lot (of long layoffs). We had the one before Austin Peay, then we have another week then after this one we have another week and then we have Florida. The schedule hasn’t been in our favor but we have to look at it as a positive and figure it gives us more time to practice and get better.”
Willie Powers led the offense vs. Austin Peay with 20 points, the most by a GSU player this season. He has scored in double-figures four times in five games and averages 13.4 ppg.
Powers was joined in double-digits by Julian Allen, the second-leading scorer on the team (11.6). Allen had 13 and a team-best six rebounds.
“They’ve been really good,” said Price. “I think they’re our two best players right now and they’re playing like returning players who can give us leadership. We just have to get some other guys to follow their lead.”
Tip-off Saturday will be at 7:30 p.m. Live video and audio will be available on www.GeorgiaSouthernEagles.com.
- Category: Men's Basketball
- Published on Friday, 05 December 2008 00:21