JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Continuing to hold down sole possession of second place in the ASUN Conference, the Jacksonville University men's basketball team takes to the road for the final time in the 2017-18 regular season this weekend. The Dolphins (12-14, 6-3 ASUN) travel to Nashville, Tenn. to take on Lipscomb (15-9, 5-4 ASUN) Thursday evening, before facing Kennesaw State (1-17, 3-6 ASUN) Saturday afternoon.
This weekend's contests 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 games will also be broadcast on ESPN3.
LAST TIME OUT
Jacksonville suffered its first home loss in conference play Saturday, falling to Florida Gulf Coast, 80-55. Junior Jace Hogan led the Dolphins with 17 points, eclipsing double-figures for the eighth straight time. Sophomore Tanner Rubio put up 13, scoring in double-figures for the first time in 2018.
"We've got to get some guys healthy and we have to commit to trying to play the game to win. If and when we do that, we have a chance to be pretty good," said Head Coach Tony Jasick.
- JU is 6-3 in conference play entering Thursday's contest, its second start of 6-3 or better in the last three seasons. The Dolphins have three players averaging double-figures in conference play, including senior Devin Harris, whose 7.1 RPG give him nearly a double-double in league action. Jacksonville currently has sole possession of second place in the conference, with FCGU on top with a 9-0 ASUN mark.
- Following the team's win over Stetson on Jan. 29, JU finished the month of January with a 7-2 record. The mark is the team's highest winning percentage in a single month since going 4-1 in November 2010, and is the best the Dolphins have done in the first month of the year in eight seasons.
- A pair of Dolphin freshmen have taken the ASUN's newcomers by storm this season. JD Notae leads all rookies in scoring, and has grabbed three weekly conference honors thus far. Jalyn Hinton leads the conference and is second among all freshman in the nation in field goal percentage. The Boston, Mass. native won ASUN Newcomer of the Week on Jan. 8.
- The Dolphins have compiled 13 double-doubles on the year between five different players. This total is the most the team has had since at least the 2000-2001 season, and as many as the previous three seasons combined (13). Harris, Hinton, Hogan, Notae, and Damien Sears have each accomplished the feat this season, marking the most players in at least the last 17 seasons to have done so.
- Through 26 games, there are multiple Dolphins who stand atop or close in several statistical categories in the ASUN. Hogan ranks fifth in the conference in scoring (16.5), and is tied for third in offensive rebounds per-game (2.4). Hinton leads the ASUN in field goal percentage (63.6), and is tied for second in blocks-per-game (1.0). Notae is sixth in overall scoring (15.8), and third in steals-per-game (1.9). Harris is second in defensive rebounds (6.0), and is knotted for second in assists-per-contest (5.0).
SERIES INFORMATION- LIPSCOMB
Series Record: Lipscomb leads, 17-15
Last Meeting: Jacksonville won, 87-69, at home on 1/13/18
Record at Jacksonville: Jacksonville leads, 10-6
Record at Lipscomb: Lipscomb leads, 11-4
Record at Neutral Site: 0-0
Record in OT: 0-0
Coach Jasick vs. Lipscomb: 2-6
Coach Alexander vs. JU: 7-3
SCOUTING THE OPPONENT- LIPSCOMB
Lipscomb sits in a three-way tie for third place in the ASUN standings with a 5-4 conference mark. The Bisons suffered their second home loss of the season Saturday, allowing NJIT to rebound from a 15 point deficit to grab an 81-77 win. The Dolphins snapped a four game losing skid against Lipscomb on Jan. 13, shooting 63 percent from the floor in an 87-69 blowout win.
The Bisons are the top rebounding team in the conference, averaging 40.3 boards per-game. The team is also first in offensive rebounds (11.2), defensive rebounds (29.1), and defensive rebound percentage (76.6). Lipscomb has struggled with three-point percentage this season, shooting just 32 persent from beyond-the-arc. They have the highest scoring offense in the league (81.2 PPG), and the sixth-best scoring defense, allowing 78.4 PPG.
Players to watch:
#24- Junior guard Garrison Mathews - The leading scorer in the conference, Mathews averages 22.3 PPG, the only player in the league over the 20 point mark. A four-time ASUN Player of the Week winner this season, he has led the team in scoring 18 times this year.
#0 - Junior forward Rob Marberry - Marberry is top 10 in the ASUN in both scoring (15.4 PPG, 8th), and rebounding (5.9, 10th), and ranks second in field goal percentage (58.1%). The Western Kentucky transfer has put up 20 or more points in four of the last five contests, including a career-high 38 in a win over USC Upstate on Jan 29.
#22 – Junior forward Eli Pepper - Pepper averages 6.3 PPG, and is third-best in rebounding in the ASUN, grabbing 8.0 boards-per-game. First in the conference in defensive rebounding (6.1), he has had double-digit boards in nine games this season.
SERIES INFORMATION- KENNESAW STATE
Series Record: Jacksonville leads, 16-8
Last Meeting: Jacksonville won, 65-58, at home on 1/11/18
Record at Jacksonville: Jacksonville leads, 9-3
Record at Kennesaw State: Jacksonville leads, 7-5
Record at Neutral Site: 0-0
Record in OT: Jacksonville leads, 1-0 (won 99-92 in 3OT on 1/10/13)
Coach Jasick vs. Kennesaw State: 3-4
Coach Skinner vs. JU: 2-3
SCOUTING THE OPPONENT- KENNESAW STATE
The Owls enter weekend competition in sixth place in conference, holding a 3-6 ASUN mark and a 7-17 overall record. Before welcoming the Dolphins into the KSU Convocation Center, KSU hosts North Florida on Thursday evening. The Owls have triumphed in two of their last three contests, sweeping the last place USC Upstate Spartans on Jan. 27 and Feb. 3.
Kennesaw State is third in the ASUN in both field goal percentage (44.5) and three-point field goal percentage (35.1), despite making just 5.3 three-pointers a game (last in ASUN). The Owls struggle with defensive rebounding, sitting seventh in both defensive boards-per-game (22.7) and defensive rebounding percentage (66.7). KSU has the lowest scoring offense in the league, putting up nearly 71 points-per-contest. Its scoring defense ranks fourth, allowing opponents to score 76.8 points a game.
Players to watch:
#3 – Sophomore guard James Scott - The 2016-17 ASUN All-Freshman Team member is tops on the team and fourth in the conference in scoring, putting up 16.7 PPG. Scott has eclipsed double-digit scoring 19 times this season, and most recently dropped 30 points in KSU's win over USC Upstate on Feb. 3.
#21 – Senior guard Nick Masterson – Masterson is second on the team in scoring with 14.2 PPG, and was the only Owl to be named to be named Preseason All-ASUN. The Woodstock, Ga. native leads the conference in both 3-point FG (49.5) and free throw percentage (91.2).
#4 – Redshirt-sophomore guard Tyler Hooker - Hooker is the third Owl to average double-digit scoring on the team, totaling 10.8 PPG this season. He has reached double-figures 14 times thus far.