Arkansas Pine Bluff Golden Lions
Southwestern Athletic Conference (17-15, 14-4)
Big Wins: 1/23 at Prairie View A&M (62-54), 2/22 Texas Southern (57-53), 3/13 vs Texas Southern (50-38)
Bad Losses: 1/11 at Alabama State (73-75), 1/25 at Texas Southern (67-70), 2/1 Jackson State (67-72)
Last NCAA Appearance: First NCAA Appearance
Coach: George Ivory (First NCAA appearance)
Why They Can Surprise:
Arkansas Pine Bluff pulled together at the right time. They entered the Southwestern Athletic Conference Tournament on a hot streak and rode it straight to their first ever appearance in the NCAA Tournament. The Golden Lions are not a dynamic team in the scoring department, but they will get plenty of offense from their amazing ability to hit the glass. Center Lebaron Weathers is the team’s best rebounder and the team’s best interior scorer and defender.
But Weathers is not alone in the frontcourt. Tyree Glass will start next to Weathers. Glass is not nearly as prolific of a rebounder, but he has turned into a pretty good scorer around the basket who can also step outside and hit the mid-range jumper. George Davis, a 6-6 senior, is the only other forward who sees significant playing time. He may seem a little undersized, but Davis is always tough on the glass and his hustle and versatility give the Golden Lions an unsung hero off the bench who can change a game by making a play that will not show up on the stat sheet.
Why They Can Disappoint:
Unfortunately for Arkansas Pine Bluff, much of their offense does come off of easy put backs. This is an offense that has trouble creating shots and there are very few shooters available. Savalance Townsend is the most prolific outside shooter on the team, but he has been quite inconsistent and has turned into the shooter off the bench. Weathers is one of the other long range threats on the team, but Coach George Ivory needs more production from the backcourt. Tavaris Washington starts on the wing, but he only scores attacking the basket. Allen Smith is an option off the bench, but he barely averages four points per game. The other concern is turnovers. The team as a whole deserves credit for the rebounding and the team as a whole deserves blame for the turnover issues.
Who To Watch:
However, it is Terrance Calvin’s job to keep his squad under control. He is easily the best passer on the team, but he is also a fine scorer. When the offense is not going anywhere, Calvin will be the guy who needs to create something and many times that will lead to a turnover or a hurried pass that leads to a turnover by somebody else. Calvin will do plenty of scoring and his ability to hit the glass and play solid defense have gotten Arkansas Pine Bluff this far, but they need him to keep the turnovers down if the Golden Lions first trip to the NCAA Tournament will be a memorable one.
Terrance Calvin, Senior, Guard, 10.4 ppg, 4.0 apg, 5.2 rpg
Allen Smith, Senior, Guard, 4.5 ppg, 1.9 apg
Tavaris Washington, Senior, Guard, 9.6 ppg, 1.9 apg, 4.6 rpg
Tyree Glass, Senior, Forward, 8.1 ppg, 3.7 rpg
Lebaron Weathers, Senior, Center, 9.9 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 12 bpg
George Davis, Senior, Forward, 5.1 ppg, 4.3 rpg
Terrell Kennedy, Sophomore, Forward, 3.8 ppg, 2.2 rpg
Savalance Townsend, Sophomore, Guard, 10.2 ppg, 1.8 apg
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 65.4 (253rd in nation, 4th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 66.3 (125, 3)
Field-Goal Percentage: 41.5 (264, 2)
Field-Goal Defense: 41.4 (90, 3)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 4.0 (328, 10)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: na
Free-Throw Percentage: 66.8 (233, 2)
Rebound Margin: 7.0 (9, 1)
Assists Per Game: 12.8 (186, 3)
Turnovers Per Game: 17.0 (325, 7)
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