Men's Basketball to Participate in Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Tournament
STATESBORO, Ga. --- After a short break for Christmas, the Eagles return to action Friday to compete in the Flint Hills Resources/Islander Invitational in Corpus Christi, Texas hosted by Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.
Georgia Southern first takes on the host Islanders and will face the winner of No. 25 Rhode Island/Eastern Michigan on Saturday.
“I think it’s going to be a really good tournament,” said head coach Jeff Price. “We’re certainly going to have to play well because we play the host team in the first game and it won’t be easy. You always have concerns when you take time off for the holiday but I would assume that everybody else did too, so we’re kind of in the same boat.”
GSU, ranked No. 14 in CollegeInsider.com’s Mid-Major poll, is coming off an 82-51 victory over Asbury on Dec. 20. The team is off to its best start since 1992-93.
The Eagles started the season with five games away from home and then played four of their next five in Hanner Fieldhouse. Thursday begins a stretch of four straight on the road. After the New Year, GSU gets back into Southern Conference play with games at Davidson and UNC Greensboro.
Nine of TAMUCC’s 15 players are either freshmen or sophomores and will have three rookies in the starting lineup. One of their veterans is Chris Daniels, a seven-footer who was an honorable mention all-American last season.
“Chris Daniels, their center, is probably an NBA player,” said Price. “(He’s) 7-0, steps out and shoots the ball (and is ) really skilled. (He’s the ) player of the year in their conference. Outside of him, they’re a pretty young team. Hopefully with our experience we can take advantage of their youth.”
This season he averages 13.1 ppg and ranks second on the team with 12 3-pointers. He also paces the squad in blocks with 18.
“We need to see how the game is going and make a decision,” said Price on the gameplan to stop Daniels. “Obviously if he’s really hurting us then we’ll have to do some things inside to try and change things. You have to approach it two ways: do you worry about everybody else and let him get his or do you spend all of your time focusing on him? We’ll have a better idea once we start the game and make a decision then.”
Thursday’s game will mark seven days off since the Eagles last took the floor. Earlier in the month, the team went eight days between games and it showed with a slow start against Fort Valley State, a game GSU trailed by six mid-way through the first half before eventually overtaking the Wildcats 93-73.
“I would assume we’ll be rusty again,” said Price. “But like I said, you have to hope it affects everybody a little bit. I thought our first day back we had a lot of energy. I expect us to be a little rusty but hopefully within a half we can overcome it and get back to being ourselves.”
A potential opponent for Saturday is No. 25 Rhode Island, who comes into the weekend with an 11-1 record and a six-game winning streak.
“They’re in the top 25 now,” said Price of the Rams. “They’re a deep, balanced and talented team. They’ve got really good experience and have played a great schedule. We just hope we get an opportunity to play them, but we’ve got to take care of business the first night.”
Tip-off on Friday is set for 8:30 p.m. EST. Fans can listen to the action online at www.GeorgiaSouthernEagles.com.
- Category: Men's Basketball
- Published on Wednesday, 26 December 2007 00:12