JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – After picking up a conference-opening victory against its cross-town rival, Jacksonville University men's basketball team looks to carry momentum into the weekend. The Dolphins (7-11, 1-0 ASUN) begin a two-game weekend home stand against Kennesaw State (4-12, 0-1 ASUN) on Thursday, Jan. 11 at 7:00 p.m. at Swisher Gym.
Thursday'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, with Scott Bacon and Artis Gilmore calling the action.
LAST TIME OUT
JU began ASUN play by traveling to UNF Arena to do battle with the Ospreys of North Florida in the first installment of the River City Rumble. Trailing by eight with five minutes remaining and by as many as 12 in the game, the Dolphins used JD Notae's 20 second-half points to play catch-up. Following a game-tying three-pointer by the freshman with 1:58 remaining, JU would take the lead and never look back. Notae finished the 90-86 victory with 25 points overall, while fellow freshman Jalyn Hinton posted a career-high 22.
"I'm happy for our guys," said Head Coach Tony Jasick. "It's a good way to start league play and hopefully we can build from it. We felt like Jalyn could really impact the game around the rim, and I thought JD's spurt and burst in the second half was really important."
Saturday's win marked JU's first 1-0 start in conference play since 2012-13. With a win, the Dolphins will move to 2-0 in ASUN competition for the first time since that season, when they finished 9-9 in conference play.
For the third consecutive week, a JU player won an ASUN Weekly Award. The conference announced Monday that freshman Jalyn Hinton is the ASUN Newcomer of the Week. The Boston, Mass. native averaged 19 points and 6.5 rebounds in a pair of games this week. Hinton posted his first-career double-double against Trinity Baptist (16P, 10R), and dropped a career-high 22 points in Saturday's win over the Ospreys.
Following Jace Hogan's sixth double-double of the season Saturday evening, the Dolphins have now compiled 12 double-doubles on the year between five different players. This total is the most for the team since the stat started being tracked in the 2000-2001 season and nearly as many as the previous three seasons combined (13). Hogan, Notae, Hinton, Devin Harris, and Damien Sears have each accomplished the feat this season, marking the most players since at least the 2000-2001 season to have done so in a campaign.
Through 18 games, there are multiple Dolphins who stand atop or close in several statistical categories in the ASUN. Hinton leads the conference in field goal percentage (58.2), and stands third in blocks-per-game (1.0). Notae is fifth in overall scoring (16.4), and second in steals-per-game (2.0). Harris is tied for second in defensive rebounds (5.5), and ranks third in assists-per-contest (4.7).
Series Record: JU leads, 16-8
Last Meeting: 2/16/17, JU won, 79-78 at KSU
Record at Jacksonville: JU leads 9-3
Record at KSU: JU leads 7-5
Record at Neutral Site: 0-0
Record in OT: JU leads 1-0 (W 99-92 in 3OT on 1/10/13)
SCOUTING THE OPPONENT- KENNESAW STATE
Entering Thursday's game, the Owls hold a 4-12 record, and with wins over two NCAA D1 opponents on the season. Having lost three of their last four games, KSU began conference play hosting Lipscomb on Saturday. Despite having three players in double-digit scoring and shooting nearly 48 percent from the floor, the Owls could not outlast the Bisons, and lost 86-71.
Averaging 69.8 points per-contest, KSU ranks at the bottom of the ASUN in total scoring, and is the only club under the 70-point per game mark. They are tied with UNF for the worst scoring margin (-8.8), and rank last in three-pointers made per-game (5.4). The Owls rank third in the ASUN in field goal percentage (44.9), and fourth in three-point efficiency (34.8).
Players to watch:
#3 – Sophomore guard James Scott - The 2016-17 ASUN All-Freshman Team member stepped into a leading role for KSU this year, topping the squad with 16.6 PPG. James ranks fourth in the ASUN in scoring, and going for 20 or more points four times this season.
#21 – Senior guard Nick Masterson – Masterson is second on the team in scoring with 12.5 PPG, and was the only Owl to be named to be named Preseason All-ASUN. The Woodstock, Ga. native leads the conference in 3-point FG percentage, shooting nearly 51 percent from beyond-the-arc.
#4 – Redshirt-Sophomore guard Tyler Hooker - Hooker is the third Owl to average double-digit scoring on the team, totaling 11.6 PPG this season. He is tied for the team lead in steals, and second in assists in his first active year for KSU.