Atlantic Sun Conference (17-13, 14-6)
Big Wins: 12/29 vs Buffalo (83-73), 12/30 at UCF (61-51), 1/16 Belmont (82-66)
Bad Losses: 11/30 at Georgia State (54-64), 1/2 Mercer (74-75), 2/7 at Lipscomb (61-79)
Coach: Cliff Warren
Why They Can Surprise:
While Jacksonville does turn the ball over quite a bit, they do other things to make it so they almost always get more possessions than their opponents. One thing the Dolphins do to keep the ball out of their opponent’s hands is rebound. Lehmon Colbert has emerged as the top rebounder on the team, averaging 6.8 per game. Fellow frontcourt starters Ayron Hardy and Will Alston give Colbert plenty of help on the glass. Colbert and Hardy are also quality scorers who can step outside and hit the mid-range jumper.
The other way to create possessions is to grab some steals. As a team, the Dolphins tally 8.5 steals per contest. Most of the credit goes to point guard Ben Smith who averages 2.0 of those steals. The 5-10 junior is more than just a great defender though. He is the team’s top scorer and the point guard. Smith has always been an aggressive scorer and that has not changed this season. He will attack the basket very effectively and either find his teammates or score himself. Smith is also Jacksonville’s biggest, and only, long range shooting threat and that versatility makes him difficult to stop.
Why They Can Disappoint:
Smith does not deserve most of the blame for the turnovers, but it is his job to keep this team under control, especially when the young players on the bench are in the game. The other concern on this team is the shooting defense. Jacksonville will go for the steals, so when the opposition gets a shot off it will be a pretty good look. Jacksonville allows the opposition to shoot 43.3 percent from the floor and 33.4 percent from beyond the arc. Those numbers are about the same as what Jacksonville shoots and they better make sure they can get rebounds and not turn the ball over if the opposition is going to shoot that well from the floor.
Who To Watch:
Smith is the only consistent scoring threat among the guards. Junior Travis Cohn will usually start at the shooting guard spot, but he has been extremely inconsistent this season. He might give the Dolphins a dozen points, but he could just as easily put up a goose egg. If Cohn is not scoring, Coach Cliff Warren will look to Chris Edwards and Tevin Galvin off the bench. Edwards is the more effective shooter of the two and his outside shooting can provide some quick points, but he is not the type of player who is going to come in and score ten points in a game. However, it does not matter if the points come from Cohn, Edwards or Galvin, or a combination of all three, as long as Jacksonville can provide another scoring threat from the perimeter.
Ben Smith, Senior, Guard, 19.6 ppg, 3.7 apg, 2.0 spg
Travis Cohn, Junior, Guard, 8.7 ppg, 1.1 apg
Ayron Hardy, Junior, Forward, 8.8 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 2.0 spg
Lehmon Colbert, Senior, Forward, 12.1 ppg, 6.8 rpg
Will Alston, Sophomore, Center, 3.8 ppg, 3.1 rpg
Chris Edwards, Sophomore, Guard, 3.2 ppg, 2.0 rpg
Tevin Galvin, Sophomore, Guard, 5.7 ppg, 4.8 rpg
Glenn Powell, Freshman, Forward, 3.8 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 1.0 bpg
Russell Powell, Freshman, Guard, 3.4 ppg, 1.1 apg
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 70.1 (145th in nation, 4th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 67.5 (164, 4)
Field-Goal Percentage: 42.0 (237, 6)
Field-Goal Defense: 43.3 (180, 4)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 5.4 (252, 7)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 33.9 (172, 5)
Free-Throw Percentage: 70.6 (114, 2)
Rebound Margin: 3.6 (63, 1)
Assists Per Game: 11.9 (242, 7)
Turnovers Per Game: 14.8 (249, 5)
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