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Previewing Georgia Southern

2009 Scouting Report / 2009 Game Plan
2010 Stats
2010 Roster
2010 Schedule


Georgia Southern Offense '08-'09

Four Factors Percent Nat'l Rank
eFG% 48.9 173
Turnover Rate 20.6 193
Off Reb Rate 31.9 203
FTA/FGA 30.0 316


NC State begins its December tour through the SoCon with Georgia Southern, a team that does little if anything well at either end of the floor and rates, as it did last season, among I-A's bottom fifty. 

New head coach Charlton Young, formerly of Paul Hewitt's staff at Georgia Tech, comes to GSU with a reputation as one of the better recruiters in the country (he was responsible for Derrick Favors, among others), and considering that the man cried during his introductory presser, there's no doubting his passion for Southern, which is his alma mater.  But he's working with essentially the same group that struggled in 2009, and if anything is different this season, so far it's tough to tell.  It's a guard-oriented team that pushes the ball but can't score and can't defend.

Starters (Powers, Hanson, and Spencer are near-locks.  The other two, who knows.  Eight different players have started a game for the Eagles, and they may decide to go with a four-guard look.):

Willie Powers (6-2, 200) -- For a short guy, Powers has been an excellent two-point shooter throughout his career.  He'll shoot from outside as well, but he's struggled to hit those shots since his freshman year.  His workload isn't huge but he leads the team in scoring anyway.  Solid assist and turnover rates.

Antonio Hanson (6-2, 175) -- GSU's most frequent and most effective three-point shooter.  About two-thirds of his field goal attempts over the last two years have come from outside, where he has shot consistently in the 39%-40% range.  Never gets to the line and hits a low percentage of the few twos he decides to take.

Johntavius Rucker (6-2, 195) -- Played sparingly as a freshman in '08 and missed all of '09 with a knee injury.  He's clearly still getting re-acclimated, as his role in the offense has been minimal, he's not shooting well, and he's turning the ball over quite a bit.  Figures to do most of his scoring off the bounce.

Tyler Troupe (6-7, 215) -- Took the highest percentage of Southern's shots in '09, which was not a good thing since he was the least efficient primary contributor.  He fancied himself a decent outside shooter; he was not (25-86, .291).  He's one of the Eagles' better rebounders at both ends of the court, though, and one of their few shot blocking threats.

Rory Spencer (6-8, 220) -- A raw juco transfer who needs to take better care of the ball and improve his rebounding, and he needs to do those things in a hurry.  Has a 9.7 block percentage in the early going, which is very good.

Bench/Other Potential Starters:

Ben Drayton III (5-10, 165), Antoine Johnson (6-0, 190), Cameron Baskerville (6-7, 215). Drayton is the team's third-leading scorer and sees plenty of minutes as the sixth man.  Both he and Johnson have above-average usage rates this season, though neither one is shooting well.  Their assist and steal rates are good, though.

Georgia Southern will probably need Baskerville on Saturday, for his five fouls if nothing else.  They may need this guy as well, and let's hope so because wheeeew he is not good.


Georgia Southern Defense '08-'09

Four Factors Percent Nat'l Rank
eFG% 54.2 330
Turnover Rate 19.4 224
Off Reb Rate 37.3 314
FTA/FGA 42.8 291


So you're saying a five-guard rotation is problematic.  The media guide contains the usual clap trap about a renewed commitment to defense and blah blah blah:

"The biggest thing I want everyone to see in our team is our attention to detail in every aspect of the game, and a new and improved emphasis on defense and rebounding." Young said.

But how much can change when the roster remains largely the same?  Let's check on your progress, coach.


Georgia Southern Defense '09-'10

Four Factors Percent Nat'l Rank
eFG% 53.4 295
Turnover Rate 25.0 38
Off Reb Rate 44.4 346
FTA/FGA 49.4 310


I doubt they've taken it to this extreme (their tempo suggests they haven't), but they fit the profile of a Grinnell or a VMI to a T: heavy pressure that nets a lot of turnovers but allows for a bunch of easy buckets and second chances.  Based on those numbers I would expect the Eagles to press quite a bit.  But that's just a guess.