Friday, November 23, 2012

Early conference play - Furman

For the first conference action of the season, the Catamounts travel to Travelers Rest, SC to meet the Furman Paladins.

Date: Wednesday, Nov 28

Time: 7:00 PM

Location: Timmons Arena (3,500)

In his seventh season at Furman, Jeff Jackson's Paladins were selected fifth in preseason SoCon polls in the South Division.

The Paladins posted a 15-16 record and were 8-10 in conference play in 2011-12. Jackson returns eight lettermen of which five players started 10 or more games last season, led by senior forward Colin Reddick (6-9 / 240), who's averaging 14 points and 6.8 rebounds and senior forward Bryant Irwin (6-7 / 220) averaging 12 points per game.

The Paladins are currently 2-2 on the season, with losses to Columbia and Clemson and wins over non DI opponents Southern Wesleyan and Brevard.   In the Columbia loss, the Paladins shot just 31% from the floor for the night and made only one of their 17 three-point attempts. Colin Reddick paced the Paladins with 11 points and twin brother junior guard Charlie Reddick (6-5 / 185) put up seven points and seven rebounds.

In the Clemson game, the Paladins were out-rebounded by the Tigers 31-24, and outscored 40-24 in the paint. Furman freshman guard Stephen Croone (6-0 / 170) hit 6-of-7 shots to lead the Paladins with a career-high 15 points. Senior forward Bryant Irwin added 14 points and Colin Reddick 13 points, seven rebounds and two blocks.

No road conference game will be easy this season, but certainly this game is winnable for the Catamounts.  I don't like getting into conference play this early in the year, but kicking off with Furman could provide the confidence booster the Cats need.