JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Coming off their largest win of the season, and third-largest margin of victory in school history, the Jacksonville University men's basketball team hopes to carry momentum into conference play. The Dolphins (6-11, 0-0 ASUN) will travel across town to face off against rival North Florida (6-11, 0-0 ASUN) Saturday, Jan. 6 at 7:00 p.m., in the season's first installment of the River City Rumble.
Saturday's game can be heard on mixlr.com/judolphins and 1010 XL, the flagship sports radio station of Northeast Florida with "Voice of the Dolphins" Scott Manze on the call. The game will also be broadcast on ESPN3.
LAST TIME OUT
Looking to begin 2018 on a high note, JU surged onto the court of Swisher Gym Tuesday evening, defeating River City foe Trinity Baptist, 105-48. The contest featured multiple feats for the Dolphins, including reaching the century mark in a game for the second time this season, and having six players reach double-digits for the first time since 2015. Cody Helgeland led the squad with a season-high 20 points in the affair, while Jalyn Hinton compiled his first career double-double, and Lee Richmond posted a career-high in points. Tuesday's game also marked the return of senior Antwon Clayton, who had not seen action all season due to injury, as well as redshirt-junior Jace Hogan, who was sidelined the previous four contests.
"It was good to see Antwon and Jace out there, just changed the whole dynamic of our team," said Head Coach Tony Jasick. "Hopefully they can continue to get to 100 percent, they are not quite there yet, because I think they change our team."
- JD Notae picked up an ASUN weekly honor for the second straight week, when he was named the conference's Player and Newcomer of the week, Tuesday. The accolades come after the freshman scored a career-best 30 points in JU's win over Middle Georgia State on Dec. 28, and led all scorers in Dec. 30's bout against Michigan, posting 22 points.
- Notae ranks first among freshman and fifth overall in scoring in the conference, averaging 15.9 PPG. He also ranks third in steals-per-game (2.0) and fourth in minutes played-per-contest (32.6).
- Jalyn Hinton continues to impress statistically, adding his name to the ever-growing list of Dolphin newcomers with strong performances thus far. The freshman posted his first career double-double in Tuesday's win over the eagles, putting up 16 points and 10 rebounds. Hinton leads the conference in field goal percentage (57.8), ranks third in blocks-per-game (0.9), and is fifth in offensive rebounds-per-contest (2.1).
- The Dolphins shot 60.6 percent from the floor against Trinity Baptist, marking the first time a JU squad has shot over the 60 percent threshold in a game since Feb. 28, 2008.
- Senior Devin Harris currently stands at 39th on Jacksonville's all-time scoring list with 418 points. With four points, he will pass Rod McIntyre (1968-69, 421 points) to move up the ranks. Sophomore Tanner Rubio is not far behind, currently sitting in a tie for 41st with 406 points.
Series Record: JU leads, 15-13
Last Meeting: 2/27/17, UNF won, 77-74 (ASUN Tournament First Round)
Record at Jacksonville: JU leads 8-5
Record at UNF: Tied, 6-6
Record at Neutral Site: UNF leads, 2-1
Record in OT: Ju leads, 2-0
SCOUTING THE OPPONENT- NORTH FLORIDA
The 6-11 Ospreys have found most of their success at home this season, boasting a perfect 5-0 record inside the UNF Arena. Away from home, the team compiled a 1-11 mark in non-conference action, playing a rigorous slate of power five opponents. This included Michigan State, Michigan, Florida, Miami, Missouri, LSU, and Mississippi State. Three of their wins came against non-NCAA schools, while their lone road victory took place on Dec. 11 against MEAC foe Florida A&M.
Averaging 77.9 PPG this season, UNF ranks second in scoring offense in the ASUN through the conclusion of non-conference play. They also hold high marks in free throw percentage (72.6) and 3-point FG percentage (38.1), both of which rank first in the conference. Their weaknesses have been largely on the defensive side of the ball, to which they have allowed opponents to net 87.1 PPG, ranking last in the ASUN in scoring defense. Their scoring margin (-9.1) and rebounding defense (41.6) marks also rank at the bottom of the ranks in the conference.
Players to watch:
- Sophomore guard Ivan Gandia-Rosa – The transfer from the College of Central Florida leads the team and ranks eighth in the ASUN in scoring (14.1 PPG), and shares the distinction with JD Notae of being the only players to have been named ASUN Player and Newcomer of the week at the same time. The Puerto Rico native is tied for tops in the conference in assists-per-game (4.0), and also leads the team in points scored (534), field goals, (83 made) and minutes-per-game (31.2)
- Redshirt-sophomore guard J.T. Escobar – Transferring to the Ospreys from Ole Miss, Escobar has provided scoring insurance for the team in his first active season. After sitting out last season due to NCAA transfer rules, he has started every game thus far, and ranks third on the team in scoring (11.4 PPG). With 53 made triples to his name, Escobar's average of 3.1 three-pointers made per-game rank first in ASUN conference.
- Sophomore forward Noah Horchler – The 6'8" big man has made his mark on the team and the conference in his first year of eligibility. The transfer from Eastern Florida State leads the ASUN on blocked shots-per-game (1.2), stands third in rebounds-per-contest (7.0) and second in offensive rebounds (2.5). Horchler has picked up a pair of ASUN Newcomer of the Week honors for his efforts, which include four double-doubles.