WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 28, 2001
Men's Basketball Notes For TAAC Tournament

Feb. 28, 2001

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

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JU Makes 10-Game Turnaround: The Dolphins are enjoying the second-best turnaround in school history this season. JU's 18 wins mark a 10-win difference from a year ago when the Dolphins went 8-19. The biggest one-year turnaround was in 1993-94, when the Dolphins went 17-11 after posting a 5-22 mark the season before. JU also enjoyed a 10-win improvement during the magical 1969-70 season, when the Dolphins went 27-2 following a 17-10 campaign the season before.

18 Wins and Counting: With the Dolphins' 82-64 win over Stetson in the regular-season finale, JU reached the 18-win mark for the first time since the 1994-95 season and only the second time since 1985-86. The last time JU won more than 18 games was in 1979-80, when the Dolphins went 20-9. JU's 18-9 record also marks the first winning season for the Dolphins since 1995-96 (15-12). JU also won its 11th conference game for the first time since 1994-95, when the Dolphins posted a 12-8 mark in the Sun Belt Conference.

The Magic Number - 70: The Dolphins have been pretty easy to figure out this season if you go by one major trend. JU is a perfect 16-0 and when holding its opponent to under 70 points, while the Dolphins are 15-2 when scoring at least 70 points. In contrast, JU is 6-7 when scoring less than 70 points and 2-9 when its opponent scored 70 or more points.

All-Time vs. Samford: JU leads the all-time series with Samford 7-3 dating back to the first meeting on Nov. 29, 1974, when the Dolphins defeated the Bulldogs 102-72. However, the Bulldogs have won three of the five meetings with JU since the Dolphins joined the TAAC, including a 70-51 victory over the Dolphins in the first meeting this season on Jan. 3, which is JU's worst loss of the season. However, the Dolphins returned the favor by handing Samford its worst loss of the year, 74-51, on Feb. 8.

Hitting the Boards: The Dolphins hit the boards in their 82-64 win over Stetson in the final game of the regular season, outrebounding the Hatters 38-31, which was 10 below the Hatters' season average. Stetson entered the game ranked first in the TAAC and eighth in the nation in rebounding with 41 boards per contest.

Kaba Out With Hand Injury: Junior forward Ali Kaba, who appeared in the first 24 games for the Dolphins this season, including 16 straight starts, is out for the season after breaking a bone in his right hand in JU's 64-59 win over Jacksonville State. Kaba, who was averaging 4.2 points and 6.2 rebounds in 22 minutes a game, was re-evaluated after two weeks, but has shown no signs of improvement.

Second-Half Scoring: After struggling in the first half against Georgia State on Feb. 15, scoring only 25 points, JU came out in the second half and scored a season-high 57 points and shot 69 percent from the floor. The Dolphins hit 14 of their first 17 shots and hit 7-of-12 three-pointers. For the game, JU shot a season-high 59 percent from the field.

JU Shooting Heats Up: The Dolphins are shooting 52 percent in the last six games, including a season-best 59 percent in JU's 90-82 loss at Georgia State and in the Dolphins' 82-64 win over Stetson in the regular-season finale. JU has shot better than 40 percent from outside the arc in six of the last eight contests, and for the season, leads the TAAC in three-point field goal percentage (.368), while ranking second in field goal percentage (.459). The Dolphins have four players shooting better than 50 percent from the floor on the season and boast two of the top three free throw shooters in the league in Brandon Williams and Shawn Platts.