Georgia Southern Meets Familiar Foe Coastal Carolina Tuesday Night
STATESBORO, Ga. - After a week off from competition during the holiday week, the Georgia Southern men's basketball team got right back to practice the day after Christmas. Recommitting to defense, the squad worked on the basics that created havoc for the teams Georgia Southern faced early in the season.
"We have had a defensive 'boot camp' the last few practices," said Eagles Head Coach Charlton "C.Y." Young. "We need to get our focus back on all the things we did well defensively at the beginning of the season. In our last five games, we gave up very high field goal percentages to our opponents and we can't win when we don't stop teams."
The Eagles will face a familiar foe on Tuesday night (December 29) meeting Coastal Carolina for the second time in a two-week period, this time at the Chanticleers' Kimbel Arena. Tipoff is set for 7:30 p.m. and the game will be available locally on WPMX 102.9 FM and globally on www.GeorgiaSouthernEagles.com. The Voice of the Eagles Chris Blair will provide play-by-play and John Koon the analysis for the contest. The pre-game show begins at 7 p.m.
Georgia Southern's point production currently originates from the backcourt with junior guard Willie Powers III (Gainesville, Fla.) leading the way at 14.5 points per game. Senior shooting guard Antonio Hanson (Fort Worth, Texas) recorded his seventh career 20-point game by scoring 20 points to lead the Eagles in their last game versus Georgia State. Hanson is averaging 11.8 points per game with sophomore guard Ben Drayton III (St. Marys, Ga.) at an even 10.0 per game. On the boards, junior guard Johntavious Rucker (Decatur, Ga.) took over the top spot with 5.8 rebounds per game after posting a game-high nine against the Panthers.
Meeting for the fourth time in the series history on Tuesday night, Coastal Carolina owns a 3-0 series advantage over the Eagles, with a 1-0 record in games at its home arena. Prior to the game earlier this month, the two teams had not met since the 1996-97 season. Chanticleers Head Coach Cliff Ellis, in his 34th year of coaching and 30th year at the Division I level, was tied for 12th among the list of winningest active coaches in NCAA Division I (going into the game vs. Cornell). Ellis, who hired Coach Young for Young's first coaching position at Auburn, has Coastal Carolina on a seven-game win streak and with a perfect 6-0 mark at Kimbel Arena. The Chanticleers defeated Cornell 79-48 Sunday (December 27) in game two of their five-game homestand.
The Chanticleers have three players with scoring averages in double figures with redshirt-senior forward Joseph Harris leading the team at 17.6 points per game. Harris is also the team's top rebounder at 10.6 per contest. At 15.5 points per game is redshirt-junior forward Chad Gray and senior guard Mario Edwards rounds out the top three with an 11.4 scoring average. Freshman guard Kierre Greenwood, the only Coastal Carolina player to have started all 13 games so far this year, is the top assist man with 50 on the year and an 8.6 points-per-game average.
"We know and understand Coastal Carolina and what they do," said Young. "Coach Ellis is doing a really good job with his team."
In the last meeting on December 15th, Powers scored 19 points and Colby Wohlleb (Boca Raton, Fla.) had 11 in the 58-69 loss to Coastal Carolina at Hanner Fieldhouse. Trading scoring runs in the second half, the Chanticleers took control with a 13-2 run late in the game. Gray scored 15 of his game-high 24 points in the second period and Harris finished with a double-double with a game-high 10 rebounds and 13 points.
The contest at Coastal Carolina is the final game in December for Georgia Southern, and the sixth of seven games away from Hanner this month. Following a game at Auburn on Saturday, Jan. 2, The Eagles return home for a Wednesday, Jan. 6 meeting with Chattanooga.
- Category: Men's Basketball
- Published on Monday, 28 December 2009 01:09