Men's Basketball Battles Western Carolina Thursday
STATESBORO, Ga. --- The Eagles’ homestand continues Thursday with a thin but dangerous Western Carolina team.
Thursday is the second of three straight home games for Georgia Southern (15-8, 8-5) who began the stretch Monday with an 80-78 victory over UNC Greensboro.
Western Carolina (7-15, 3-9) is down to a core of eight players and is last in the SoCon North, but is coming off a 70-64 win over Chattanooga Monday, knocking the Mocs from first place in their division.
“Not only did they beat Chattanooga but they played App really well,” said head coach Jeff Price. “I don’t think there’s any doubt we’re going to see a different team that’s a lot more confident. It doesn’t matter how deep they are, they stay out of foul trouble and those guys play efficient. They’re going to be a hard team to beat.”
The usual 2-3 week gap between conference games does not apply in this case as the two teams met just last Monday (Jan. 28).
“I don’t think (it matters),” said Price. “We both have the same amount of time to prepare between games. I’m sure they’ll look at the tape and we’ll look at the tape and figure out what we did well and didn’t, and we’ll try to make some adjustments. Clearly the most different thing right now is they’re coming in on a high after beating Chattanooga.”
Defensively the focus will be on WCU’s Brandon Giles who is fifth in the league in scoring at 15.2 ppg and led the team on Jan. 28 with 17 points.
“We just need to stay close to him and contest all his shots,” Price said. “He’s an explosive offensive player, he’s become very polished, he can shoot the 3’ (and) get to the basket. We’ve got to have the right matchup on him. We’ll look at that throughout the game and see who we think is defending him best.”
The Catamounts’ ranks are thin as the team is down to nine players, eight of whom play on a regular basis. The Eagles’ bench will play a key role, just as they did Monday when UNC Greensboro’s starters played all but 27 minutes.
“That was effective at their place - that’s why we won the game,” said Price. “We went a little deeper and played a little more aggressive. I don’t think there’s any doubt that we have to use our bench again in this game and continue to be aggressive on both ends of the floor.”
Georgia Southern senior Dwayne Foreman had nine assists Monday to become the school’s all-time leader. Foreman’s nine dishes tied his season high and he added eight points with just two turnovers.
“He’s been really good about distributing the ball,” said Price. “Probably the other most valuable thing about him right now is that he’s making shots. He’s shooting the ball with a lot of confidence and shooting the ball really well. That just makes him that much harder to guard because you can’t back off of him.”
During halftime, quarterback Jayson Foster, winner of the 2007 Walter Payton Award, will be honored. President Dr. Bruce Grube, director of athletics Sam Baker and head coach Chris Hatcher will be there to recognize the school's second Payton recipient.
- Category: Men's Basketball
- Published on Wednesday, 06 February 2008 00:13