Dolphins set for rematch with American
Marcus Allen
Marcus Allen
The JU men’s basketball team has faced two tall tests so far this season.

On Saturday, they face another test as they host the defending Patriot League champions, American, at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.

The Dolphins (0-2) are coming off of a battle with No. 18 Georgetown on Monday, dropping a 71-62 decision.

“We’ve had a good week of practice and I feel our guys are ready to face a very good American team,” said JU head coach Cliff Warren. “Having played them last year, our guys know how good they are and how well they will have to play.”

One of the biggest concerns for the Dolphins is their slow starts. JU has trailed by double digits at halftime in the first two games, hitting less than 30 percent of its shots in the opening 20 minutes of each.

While the slow starts are a concern, it’s overshadowed by the Dolphins play on the boards and in the paint. JU beat both Florida State and Georgetown in rebounds, points in the paint and second chance points, despite being at a height disadvantage.

“Our guys are playing hard and giving a great effort,” Warren said. “We’re improving each day and that is all you can ask for as a coach.”

American (2-1) comes in after a two-point win over Howard, 65-63, on Wednesday night. The Eagles got 29 points from Garrison Carr, who led American back from a seven-point halftime deficit.

The game marks the second straight opponent that played in the NCAA Tournament a year ago and is in the middle of five-game stretch where JU will play four tournament teams from a year ago.