TUESDAY, JANUARY 02, 2001
Men's Basketball Game Notes For Samford

Jan. 2, 2001

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -

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All-Time vs. Samford: JU leads the all-time series with Samford 6-2 dating back to the first meeting on Nov. 29, 1974, when the Dolphins defeated the Bulldogs 102-72. However, the Bulldogs have won two of the three meetings with JU since the Dolphins joined the TAAC, including a 79-58 victory in the last meeting on Feb. 12 of last season in Birmingham.

Last Game Highights: Here is a look at the highlights of the Dolphins' 73-70 win over Lehigh on Dec. 30.

* JU erased a 13-point deficit in the final 8:31 to post the come-from-behind win.
* Shawn Platts scored 11 of his game-high 19 points in the final
  8:31 as JU closed the game on a 25-9 run.
* JU eclipsed last year's win total in only its 11th game.
* Kris Hunter finished with 10 points, six rebounds and five blocks,
  including four points and four blocks down the stretch.
* James Daniels came off the bench to score four points, grab five
  rebounds and make three steals in 21 minutes of action.
* Tabari Brown saw his first action for JU, scoring four points and
  pulling down two rebounds in seven minutes.
* The Dolphins matched a season high with 20 offensive rebounds, which
  led to 22 second chance points.

Triple Play: The Dolphins turned to a new weapon in their 67-52 win at Savannah State on Dec. 28 - the three-point shot. While JU had connected on 6.4 treys per game entering the contest, the Dolphins went crazy hitting a season-high 12 three-pointers, including 11 in the first half and seven straight to open the game. JU shot 58 percent (11-19) from outside the arc in the first half and came within one trey of the school single-season record, which was 13 against Arkansas-Little Rock on Feb. 1, 1997. It is, however, the fifth time the Dolphins have made 12 triples in one game.

New Arrival: After sitting out the first nine games of the season due to NCAA eligibility complications, sophomore forward Tabari Brown has been cleared to play for the Dolphins. The 6-7, 230-pound junior college transfer scored four points, grabbed two rebounds and blocked a shot in only seven minutes of the Dolphins' 73-70 win over Lehigh. Brown will be counted on to make an immediate impact in the low post, where JU is getting only 22.1 points per game from Kris Hunter, Ali Kaba, Johnny Jones and Jeff Howard. Brown, the older brother of high school sensation Kwami Brown and cousin of former LSU standout Jabari Smith, redshirted last season at Coffeyville Community College after averaging 8.0 points and 6.0 rebounds per game as a freshman.

Getting Defensive: One of the keys to the Dolphins turnaround this season has been improvement on defense. JU leads the TAAC and ranks 12th nationally allowing just 59.6 points per game, including four games where the Dolphins have allowed 46 points or less. JU is holding opponents to a conference-best .387 field goal percentage, including .304 from three-point range, while outrebounding opponents by 4.6 boards a game. The Dolphins are also forcing 17.6 turnovers per game, and lead the TAAC in blocks (6.0 bpg), while ranking second in the league with 9.1 steals per contest. Last season, JU allowed opponents to shoot .482 from the field and ranked ninth in the TAAC, allowing 72.8 points per game.

Stepping Up: Senior guard Shawn Platts has shown why he is one of the Dolphins' co-captains and is the most experienced player on the team. Platts, who is the only Dolphin to score in double figures in all 11 games, was named TAAC Player of the Week on Monday after averaging 18 points, 3.7 rebounds, 3.3 assists and shooting 74 percent in the last three games. Platts shot an astonishing 74 percent from the field (20-27), 80 percent from the three-point line (4-5) and 100 percent from the free throw line (10-10), despite playing the last two games with a sprained ankle. The senior co-captain scored a team-high 18 points on 5-of-7 shooting and 8-of-8 free throws in the Dolphins' 70-66 loss to American, and then connected on 6-of-8 shots for 17 points while handing out a season-high six assists in a 67-52 win at Savannah State. In JU's come-from-behind win over Lehigh on Saturday, Platts scored a game-high 19 points (9-12 FG), including 11 points in the final 8:31 as the Dolphins erased a 13-point deficit in the 73-70 win. He also grabbed five boards in only 27 minutes of action. For the season, Platts ranks second on the team and eighth in the TAAC in scoring at 15.3 points per game, while leading the team and ranking second in the league in field goal percentage (.552) and three-point field goal percentage (.517). He also ranks fifth in the league in free throw percentage (.839) and has scored a team-high 18.0 points per game in the last five contests and a team-best 19.0 points per game in conference play.