Men's basketball dives into conference play on Thursday

Jan. 2, 2008

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A new season begins for the JU men's basketball team on Thursday as the Dolphins open Atlantic Sun Conference play at home against Stetson.

Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena. The game will be televised on ASun.TV and will be broadcast on a tape delay basis starting at 9 p.m. on 1010XL.

Jacksonville (3-8) returns home for its first game in the Arena since Nov. 28, having played all six of its December games away from home. Picked to finish fourth in the A-Sun, the Dolphins are looking to rebound after facing a grueling non-conference schedule.

"This starts a new season for us," said JU head coach Cliff Warren. "Everything that has happened before this doesn't matter. We've gained a lot of experience from the non-conference games, which is why we wanted to play such a difficult schedule."

The Dolphins are looking to snap an eight-game losing streak and an offensive slump.

JU has scored 60 points or less in five of its last seven games. The Dolphins biggest problem has been slow starts as they have trailed at the half in the last eight games and in nine of the last 10.

One of the bright spots of late has been the resurgence of Evan Jefferson since being added to the starting lineup. In his first two career starts, Jefferson has scored in double figures and led the team with 12 points at South Alabama.

Jefferson got off to a slow start this season, hitting just 1-of-11 from 3-point land in the first six games. In the last five games, Jefferson has found his stroke again, going 9-of-19 from behind the arc.

Thursday's contest is the first of a two-game homestand for the Dolphins, as they entertain Florida Gulf Coast on Saturday.