JU returns to the court at Winthrop
With the most stressful week of the season behind them, the JU men’s basketball returns to the hardwood on Sunday as they travel to face Winthrop.

Tipoff is set for 3:30 p.m., with the game being broadcast on 1010XL as Barry Milligan calls the action.

The Dolphins took this past week to focus on academics as final exams wrapped up on Friday. With the stress of the tests behind them, Jacksonville (6-1) puts its six-game winning streak on the line against the defending Big South Conference champions.

“The guys are ready to start playing basketball again after final exams,” said JU head coach Cliff Warren. “With the semester over, we’re going to be able to focus on basketball and getting better for the start of conference play in January.”

Jacksonville is off to its best start since 2000-01 and has the best start by a team in the Atlantic Sun Conference since 2004.

The key to JU’s fast start has been defense. The Dolphins have held four of their last six opponents to less than 60 points and lead the A-Sun in scoring defense, allowing just 62.7 points per game.

Ayron Hardy leads the defensive effort for JU, ranking third nationally in steals per game (3.6) and is seventh on the school’s all-time steals list. He’s also become a shot blocking threat, swatting 11 shots thus far.

As a team, JU is forcing 20.3 turnovers per game and is in the top 10 nationally in steals per game (11.6).

Winthrop (4-5) comes into the contest having lost two in a row, dropping the Big South opener at Liberty and to Charlotte.