Tonight, the Arizona Wildcats will host the 5-1 Georgia Southern Eagles. Since I’ve only been able to see a few clips of the Eagles so far this season, let’s take a look at the numbers and see what kind of story they tell.
#4 Tookie Brown 5’11” G (Sr.)
#13 Quan Jackson 6’4″ G (So.)
#3 Ike Smith 6’4″ G (Sr.)
#53 Isaiah Crawley 6′ 7″ F (Jr.)
#0 Montae Glenn 6’8″ F (Sr.)
Off the bench: #24 David Lee Jones Jr. 6’0″ G (Jr.), #2 Elijah McCadden 6’4″ G (Fr.), #10 Calvin Wishart 6’1″ G (Fr.), #23 Simeon Carter 6’8″ F (Jr.).
The Eagles have altered their starting lineup a bit so far this season, but Brown, Smith, and Glenn have started every game. In their last game against E. Tennessee St. (their only loss of the year) they substituted McCadden in place of Crawley and went with a 4 guard lineup. They, like Arizona this year, are a guard heavy and guard oriented team. But they do have decent size and the overall matchup between these two teams seems–from a physical stand point–pretty even.
There are 2 stats for Georgia Southern that jump right off the page. They are currently 1st in the NCAA shooting 67% from 2-point range. As impressive as that is their 3-point percentage is equally unimpressive. They are 29 for 108 beyond the arc so far this year, shooting only 27% compared to Arizona’s 44 for 137 and 32% average. The Eagles are 332nd in the NCAA in 3-point FG percentage while the Wildcats are 241st. Georgia Southern is also a very poor free throw shooting team making only 64% of them which puts them at 297th in the NCAA. The Cats are ranked 61st from the line making 74% of their free throws.
Georgia Southern is ranked 8th overall in points per game at 91.5 which seems really strange for a team that doesn’t shoot the 3 very well–or their free throws for that matter. They won their 1st game–more of a scrimmage from the looks of it–by 88 points and scored 139 total. If we adjust for that game their scoring average drops to 82 and in their last game–their first loss–they scored only 64 points.
This will most likely end up being a very competitive game. I’m really looking forward to seeing Tookie Brown play because…well, because he’s Tookie Brown. Tookie is my favorite player this year based on name only. He replaces last year’s favorite, SMU’s Shake Milton.
This is an important game for the Wildcats, coming off 2 losses in Maui where they were unable to put together a full game. Back home in Tucson let’s hope the Cats don’t overlook this Georgia Southern team. It would figure that this would be the game that the Eagles decide to start nailing some 3’s. Everybody gets up for Arizona and each year one of Coach Miller’s (and all Coaches at the top basketball schools) toughest jobs is to make sure there are no let downs and that the players don’t get complacent and overlook any opponent.