Dolphins return to the hardwood against Coastal Carolina

Dec. 8, 2005

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Now that the stress of finals is over for the JU men's basketball team, the Dolphins can refocus on basketball.

JU resumes its five-game road trip on Sunday at Coastal Carolina. Tipoff is set for 5 p.m.

Jacksonville (1-3) is looking to rebound from a bittersweet 107-104 loss in double overtime to Florida Atlantic this past Sunday. Aubrey Conerly led the Dolphins with a career-high 32 points.

"Now that the players have finals behind them, they can come back with refreshed minds and focus on basketball for the next few weeks," said JU head coach Cliff Warren. "We've got a tough schedule this month and we still have a lot of work to do to get better for the rest of our conference schedule."

The biggest challenge for Jacksonville is avoiding the slow starts that have plagued the Dolphins in the first four games. JU has trailed in every game in the first five minutes, with the closest early margin being seven in the win over North Florida.

On Sunday against Florida Atlantic, the Dolphins fell behind 20-9, but rallied to take a 38-37 lead into the locker room at halftime.

"We just got out-toughed those first few minutes against FAU," Warren said. "We were able to come back and take the lead, but we shouldn't be getting in that position."

An even bigger challenge is winning on the road. JU's next four games are all on the road against some top-notch competition - Coastal Carolina, Georgia Southern, Florida and Georgia Tech.

"For us to be a successful team, we have to learn how to win on the road and the only way to do that is by experience," Warren said. "These four games are going to be good for us to learn how to play on the road and gain some valuable experience that will only help us in conference play."