Tonight the Seminoles take on the Georgetown College Tigers in the second of their pre-season exhibition games. Last week, the Seminoles defeated the Delta State Statesmen 81-38. In that contest, the Seminoles held the Statesmen to 16 points in the second half and to a 28.8% shooting percentage for the game. However, the Seminoles had a TO% of 19.5% during that game. But, from most reports, it seems that a lot of turnovers resulted form the Seminoles trying to force the ball on alley-oops and unnecessary passes into the post.
The Georgetown College Tigers are one of the top teams in NAIA Division I basketball. They currently rank 7th in the the NAIA coach's poll and have been one of the perennial NAIA powerhouses.
Photo from here.
Georgetown College is located in Georgetown, Kentucky, which is about an hour east of Louisville, KY and and hour south of Cincinnati, OH. It's undergraduate enrollment is approximately 1,334 and it is a member of the NAIA Mid-South Conference. The Tigers were the 1998 NAIA National Champions and have made 28 NAIA tournament appearances making it to the Sweet 16 in 20 of those. The have made it to the Final Four eleven times and have played in the national title game four times. Last year, they finished the season 27-5 and went 10-2 in conference play, winning the regular season title. They were knocked out of the NAIA tournament in the first round by Central Methodist 73-64. However, they finished the season ranked 5th overall in the NAIA. Led by Happy Osborne, the Tigers have been a power house in NAIA basketball. Coach Osborne has been the hea coach at Georgetown College for 13 years and has a record of 398-72. Not bad at all.
This Tiger's roster is composed of four seniors, six juniors, four sophomores and two freshman. Once again, the Seminoles will be facing a relatively experienced team, though nothing like Delta State. Many of Georgetown's players are transfers from community colleges or division one schools. On initial inspection of the Tiger's roster, it is apparent that they will have difficulty matching the Seminoles' size. The tallest player on the Tigers' squad is Maurice Pearson who is a 6'9 226 lbs Sophomore. The majority of the players on Georgetown's team are between 6'3 and 6'6.
One might immediately think that this would put the Tigers at a significant disadvantage. However, the Tigers have played Louisville and Mississippi State in exhibition play. They played both teams surprisingly close. After beating Temple Baptist 115-47 on October 22nd, the Tigers lost to Louisville on October 28th 80-68. Last year, Louisville was the second best team in the nation defensive efficiency and the 31st in offensive efficiency. They were also one of the top 20 teams in the nation in effective height. The Cardinals had limited losses during the off-season and are currently ranked 19th and 23rd in the AP and USA Today polls respectively. In that game, the Tigers shot only 33% from the floor but cause 21 turnovers.
On November 7th, the Tigers traveled to Mississippi State and played a relatively tight game with the Bulldogs, losing 90-70. Currently, MSU is ranked 18th and 19th in the AP and USA Today polls respectively. Last year, the Bulldogs were ranked 82nd and 53rd respectively in Offensive and Defensive efficiency. They had limited losses on their roster during the off season. Unfortunately, I do not have the box score and can't comment on how that game went.
Regardless of the outcome of the two games against Louisville and Mississippi State, Georgetown will be an excellent challenge for the Seminoles, particularly for our guards. As expected in an exhibition game, everyone plays. In their previous three games, only one player is averaging less than 10 minutes of game time. A constant flow of fresh legs in the back court will provide the likes of Kitchen, Loucks, Dulkys and Snaer a great challenge before the home opener on November 16th.
During their first exhbition game, it seems that the Seminoles were nervous and made a lot of mistakes. Expect to see improvement in this game. The game against Delta State was Terrance Shannon's and Michael Snaer's first collegiate experience. The Seminoles pushed at times when they didn't need to and were playing a little out of control. This should not be surprising as it was their first game and they were excited to play.
Look for a big game from the guys in the paint. Georgetown cannot match up with the size and athleticism of the Seminoles in the paint. However, given the fact that it is an exhibition game, everyone will play and the minutes will come in short packages. There is no reason the Seminoles should try to press and make cute plays. Who cares if you can make the crazy alley-oop against the likes of Delta State and Georgetown College. Run the offense and get ready for next week. A 19.5% TO% should be considered a disappointment, no matter how those turnovers were generated.
The Seminoles started the following line-up against Delta State:
With the exception of Joey Moreau, everyone played about 20 minutes, which came in 5 minute packages. Don't be surprised to see the same kind of line up and rotation.
Given the size disparity, this should not be a close game. However, just ask Syracuse about looking ahead. Once again, the Seminoles need to take this game seriously and work through their offense. This should not be a time to show off and make highlight tapes. This is a young team that has lost its leader and needs to find its identity and leader. While the win over Delta State seemed impressive, it could have been a lot better. Look for a better performance out of Coach Hamilton's squad tonight.