Augustine Rubit Adds To His Season Honors

March 28, 2013 · Filed Under Basketball, Men's · Comment 
Rubit adds more honors to his shelf on Wednesday. Photo by John Adams | usajaguars.com

Rubit adds more honors to his shelf on Wednesday. Photo by John Adams | usajaguars.com

The Jaguars basketball season may be over but Augustine Rubit continues to collect more honors. Rubit has already been named the 2012-2013 Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year by the coach and media of the Sun Belt and Sun Belt Player of the year from four different organizations including CollegeInsider.com.

Rubit has also been named to the Lou Henson All-America Team by CollegeInsider.com and All-District 24 First Team by the National Association of Basketball Coaches. He was also named to the fourth team All-Mid Major by College Sports Madness.

Rubit is the only representative from the Sun Belt to be named to the Henson All-America team which consists of 25 players from mid-major Division I conferences.

Aug was the leading rebounder in the conference with 10.5 per game and finished second in the conference in scoring with 19.4 points per game, both ranking in the top 10 in the nation. He also earned 16 double-doubles during the season.

Jags Season Ends With 84-73 Loss To Tulane In CollegeInsider.com Tournament

March 21, 2013 · Filed Under Basketball, Men's · Comment 

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The South Alabama Jaguars men’s basketball team had their season end Wednesday night as they fell 84-73 in New Orleans to the Tulane Green Wave.

Over the final five minutes of the game Tulane used a 9-0 run to clinch the win over the Jags in the first round of the CollegeInsider.com Tournament. The Jags end the season with a 17-13 overall record while the Green Wave improve to 20-14 and advance in the tournament.

The difference in the game was from the free throw line as Tulane went 27-of-37 from the charity stripe.

Junior Augustine Rubit was the games top scorer with 31 points with 25 of them coming after halftime including 15 consecutive late in the game. He was 12-of-18 shooting from the floor and 7-of-8 from the free throw line.

Sophomore Mychal Ammons scored 11 points while Javier Carter just missed a double-double with nine points and a team-high 10 rebounds. Freddie Goldstein would add four points in his final game of his career at USA and his first returning from a broken collarbone.

Josh Davis of Tulane earned his 19th double-double of the season with 26 points and 12 rebounds. Kendall Timmons and Ricky Tarrant both added 13 points each.

The Jags trailed all of the final 38:55 of the game but would not allow themselves to be put away. Barrington Stevens III would pull the Jags within two points with 12:37 left but that would be as close as they could get, the closest they would get the rest of the way out would be four points.

“I thought our guys fought extremely hard in some tough situations,” interim head coach Jeff Price said after the game. “It was hard to get a flow of the game. Because of the free throws, you couldn’t get a rhythm or a flow going. We got in to foul trouble, particularly with Aug in the first half. I thought our guys were resilient like they always have been, it just caught up with us in the end.”

“It was another unbelievable effort by him [Augustine Rubit],” Price said. “Again, those numbers came with him being double and triple teamed. He did a nice job kicking it out and just played extremely well.”

“I’m proud of our guys,” said Price. “They’ve been tremendous all year. They like each other, they play hard and they play together. As a coach, that’s all you can ask for.”

Now the focus will turn towards the coaching search, which Jeff Price is a candidate for, to see who will be the next men’s head basketball coach at South Alabama.

Rubit Earns SBC POTY Honor From CollegeInsider.com

March 6, 2013 · Filed Under Basketball, Men's · Comment 
Rubit was named SBC POTY by CollegeInsider.com as he averaged 18.9 points, 10.8 rebounds and 33.3 minutes per game during the regular season. Photo by John Adams | usajaguars.com

Rubit was named SBC POTY by CollegeInsider.com as he averaged 18.9 points, 10.8 rebounds and 33.3 minutes per game during the regular season. Photo by John Adams | usajaguars.com

Augustine Rubit picked up another honor on Tuesday when CollegeInsider.com named him the Sun Belt Player of the Year.

Rubit, a 6’6″, 235-pound junior from Houston, Texas was one of three players honored by the website. Along with Rubit, Brandon Peterson was named Most Valuable Player and Kermit Davis was named Coach of the Year, both from Middle Tennessee State.

Rubit was a preseason All-Sun Belt Conference pick and was named first-team All-Sun Belt last season.

It’s expected that Rubit will also be named to the 2012-2013 All-Conference team by league coaches and media on Wednesday. They will also honor Coach of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year.

Rubit finished the regular season with an average of 18.9 points, 10.8 rebounds and 33.3 minutes per game. He also added 36 blocks, 31 assists and 19 steals this season.

The Sun Belt Tournament tips-off Friday in Hot Springs, Arkansas with the Jags earning a #3 seed in the tournament and a bye in the first round of the tournament. The Jags will face the winner between #6 Western Kentucky and #11 UL-Monroe on Saturday night.

Rubit Earns Third SBC Player Of The Week Honor

February 12, 2013 · Filed Under Basketball, Men's, Sun Belt Conference · Comment 
Augustine Rubit scored 18 points to move into the Top 10 career scorers in South Alabama history. Photo by John Adams | usajaguars.com

Augustine Rubit scored 18 points to move into the Top 10 career scorers in South Alabama history. Photo by John Adams | usajaguars.com

Augustine Rubit was honored as the Sun Belt Men’s Basketball Player of the Week for the third time this season as announced by the Conference on Monday.

Rubit averaged 17.5 points and 8.5 rebounds per game while leading the Jaguars to their two wins this past week. In the two games he shot over 46 percent from the floor, 75 percent from the foul line, blocked two shots and had the game-winning put-back against Florida Atlantic on Saturday.

On Thursday against Troy, Rubit earned his 13th double-double of the season with 21 points and 12 rebounds while making his last 10 shots from the foul line to help the Jags down the Trojans 65-62.

He then followed up that performance with 18 points against Florida Atlantic, including the game-winning put-back with 35.2 seconds left in the game for a 72-71 victory. He did that on a sore ankle as well.

His five rebounds against the Owls put Rubit into 14th place in Sun Belt History for career rebounding with 820. Also his 18 points moved him into the Top 10 of career scorers for South Alabama with 1,245.

South Alabama will host Louisiana-Lafayette for the third and final game of a three-game home-stand on Thursday evening. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:05pm at the Mitchell Center.

Jags Down UALR 70-66 In Little Rock On Saturday

February 4, 2013 · Filed Under Basketball, Men's · Comment 
Mychal scored 16 points against UALR, including two key shots and a block near the end. Photo by John Adams | usajaguars.com

Mychal scored 16 points against UALR, including two key shots and a block near the end. Photo by John Adams | usajaguars.com

The Jaguar men’s basketball team held on to defeat Arkansas-Little Rock 70-66 on Saturday. The Jags held a 15-point lead in the first half but needed a key shot by Mychal Ammons and some defensive stops to hold onto the win.

The win by the Jags improves their overall record to 12-9 on the season and 9-4 in Sun Belt play. Arkansas-Little Rock falls to 14-10 overall and 8-5 in Sun Belt play. The Jags continue to hold onto second place in the Eastern Division but are now solely in possession of second place overall in the conference. USA trails Middle Tennessee (20-4, 12-1 SBC) by three games. UALR falls into a tie with Arkansas State atop the Western Division but both have a four game lead over third place in the Western Division ULL (8-16, 4-9 SBC).

Augustine Rubit and Antoine Allen would both score a game-high 17 points each. Rubit would earn his 12th double-double of the season by adding 11 rebounds. Rubit also hit nine of his 12 attempts from the foul line.

Allen would go 3-of-7 from outside the arc while hitting on 11 of his attempts from the floor and dishing out three assists.

“I’m just really proud of our team,” interim head coach Jeff Price said after the game. “We did a great job of following the game plan. Our guys are buying to what we have to do to win. I thought we were extremely patient on the offensive end, which is what we talked about, we held them to 34 percent, we won the battle at the free throw line and they just did what we asked them to do.”

“Our team is always going to be better when we’re making perimeter shots,” Price said. “Antoine shot the ball well and it certainly helps, and I thought he was solid on the defensive end too. Everybody chipped in — the starters, the bench — it was just a great team effort.”

With 6:38 left in the game, the Jags held a 13 point advantage but they would see the Trojans cut it down to only two points in a span less than five minutes.

Following a Jaguar time out, Ammons would drive the right baseline for a key layup to give South Alabama a 66-62 advantage with 48.3 seconds left in the game.

“We were up two, called a play, got good execution and got a great basket from Mychal,” Price explained in the post game conference.

Ammons was not done though. On the defensive end on the UALR possession, be would block a shot that led to an Allen layup with 33 seconds left in the game.

Jaguar players would then go on to miss three of their last four foul shots to allow UALR to make it a one possession game. Ammons would come through again by hitting his final attempt of the game with 10.9 seconds left in the game to make the final score 70-66.

The Jags held the Trojans to 34.4% from the floor, the lowest allowed by a Jaguar opponent this season. In the first half, USA would force five consecutive missed shots and two turnovers over a four-and-a-half minute span in the first half for a 7-0 run to gain a 12 point lead on the Trojans.

“Home teams are going to make runs,” Price explained. “These guys hadn’t lost a league game at home yet, so you know they’re going to make a run. We talk about that all the time and I thought our guys did a good job of sticking their chest out, being resilient and fighting off the run at the end of the game.”

“We were just focused on the defensive end,” Price said. “We watched tape, we talked about it and I didn’t think we did a very good job at Arkansas State (Thursday). We did a really nice job of guarding the ball. They’re a very set-oriented team. I thought they were well scouted, we knew their offense and they had hard time in their sets.”

In the second half, UALR only managed to shoot 32.4% from the floor and were held to 4-of-17 shooting from outside the 3-point line.

Ammons would end the game with 16 points, one short of sharing the game high with Rubit and Allen. Ammons also made his only three-point attempt of the game.

Ben Dillard led the Trojans with 15 points while Josh Hagins added 13 points. Will Neighbour had a team-high 10 rebounds.

Jags will return home to face Troy to begin a three-game homestand.

Jags Down Conference Rival WKU 65-57

January 25, 2013 · Filed Under Basketball, Men's · Comment 
Augustine Rubit earned his 10th double-double of the season with 19 points and 11 rebounds against the Hilltoppers. Photo by John Adams | usajaguars.com

Augustine Rubit earned his 10th double-double of the season with 19 points and 11 rebounds against the Hilltoppers. Photo by John Adams | usajaguars.com

The South Alabama men’s basketball team used a strong second half performance to defeat longtime conference rival Western Kentucky 65-57 Thursday night at the Mitchell Center. The Jags broke open the game with a 14-2 run midway through the second half to take control for good.

The Jags inprove to 10-8 overall on the season and 7-3 in Conference play and was the schools first back-to-back win since December 22. The Hilltoppers fall to 11-10 on the season and 5-5 in conference play. The Jags stay one game ahead of FIU for second place in the Eastern Division and continue to trail Middle Tennessee by two games for first place. WKU is tied with FAU for fourth place in the Eastern Division.

At halftime the Jag led 28-23 but early in the second half the Hilltoppers would catch up and take a 33-30 lead with 16:46 left in the game. But neither team would lead by more than three points until Augustine Rubit put in two free throws and Antoine Allen hit a three-pointer with 11:10 left in the game.

Hilltopper’s Aleksejs Rostov would answer with a layup but Allen would answer it with another three-pointer to begin a 9-0 run where the Jags would push out to their largest lead of the game, 51-39, with 8:36 left in the game.

“…right around that 12-, 13-minute mark we had a timeout and said, ‘Let’s just get this done guys and finish strong.’ As soon as I said that, it’s like they looked at each other and finished strong,” Price said after the game. “We just finished the game very strong.”

However the Jags struggles from the foul line allowed the Hilltoppers to work their way back into the game late. Brandon Harris would hit a three-pointer to cut the Jaguar lead to 60-54 with 53.7 seconds left. Jaguar players would only manage to hit two of their next four attempts from the foul line for an eight point lead.

Harris would be fouled while shooting a three-pointer by Javier Carter and he would pour in all three shots to cut the lead to 62-57 with 38.0 seconds left in the game, their closest margin since the 10:09 mark. Allen would sink both of his free throws and the Jaguar defense would tighten up and force two misses.

“Obviously just a really hard fought game,” interim head coach Jeff Price said after the game. “I thought our guys were tremendous. At a stretch at the 12-minute mark in the second half where we just turned it on and got that thing up to 10 points, mostly based out of the intensity of our defense. We keep stressing creating an offense out of our defense and getting stops and we’re going to have nights where we aren’t shooting the ball well and continue to defend and be intense and help each other. We were great helping each other.”

“Aug’s huge,” Price continued. “I’m so pleased with his effort. (He had) 19 (points), 11 (rebounds) with another double-double. Not that as much as just his will to win has been so good. And want the ball and finish plays and make things happen. He’s just been so good at that. His effort has just been tremendous and he’s willing this team to win right now. He’s been great. His motor has been great. He’s been playing heavy minutes. We try to give him rest as much as we can in practice. He comes to games ready to play. He’s running the floor great and he’s demanding the ball. He gets pushed off his spot a lot but comes back and gets it. He takes a beating and he keeps on ticking. He just has been tremendous.”

Augustine Rubit would earn his 10th double-double of the season with 19 points and a game-high 11 rebounds. He complimented that with four blocks, two steals and two assists.

Antoine Allen went 3-of-6 from outside the arc to chip in 19 points and seven rebounds. Mychal Ammons would add 10 points and seven rebounds.

Javier Carter added seven points and two blocks to extend his streak to 12 consecutive games with a blocked shot and is one block behind Reginald Poole for 16th place on the Sun Belt’s career list with 168 blocks.

Freddie Goldstein would score three points before leaving the game in the first half with a shoulder injury. He did not return for the remainder of the game.

The Jags will host their third and final game of this three-game homestand when they host FIU on Sunday for a 4:05pm tipoff.

Jags Down ULM 71-56

January 18, 2013 · Filed Under Basketball, Men's · Comment 
Dre Conner finished with 10 assists against ULM. Photo by John Adams | usajaguars.com

Dre Conner finished with 10 assists against ULM. Photo by John Adams | usajaguars.com

The South Alabama Jaguar men’s basketball team used a strong second half showing to notch a 71-56 win over Louisiana-Monroe. This win propelled the Jags into sole possession of second place in the Sun Belt Conference Eastern Division with a 6-3 record, an overall record of 9-8 for the season and evening their home conference record at 2-2 this season. ULM falls to 3-11 overall and 2-6 in Sun Belt play.

Freddie Goldstein nailed a three pointer just before halftime to tie the game a 27 apiece as teams headed into their locker rooms. But the Jags would open the second half with a 13-2 run to take control of the game. THey would make it’s first four shots from the floor after halftime and shoot 62.5 percent from the floor in the second half.

“Obviously (it was a) much better effort in the second half,” interim head coach Jeff Price said. “I’ve just talked so much at halftime, like I do before the games, that we have shooting droughts and we have to find a way to manufacture points. It was a glaring difference in the second half with our defensive intensity. We’re capable of doing that every night if we just get our mind to it.”

Goldstein and Antoine Allen combined for 11 points and two three-pointers to start the second half with the 13-2 run. Goldstein would end the game with five three-pointers.

ULM would work to get within five points on four different occasions in the second half. The final run came at the 7:27 mark. South Alabama would respond with a 9-1 run to put the game away.

Augustine Rubit would score 15 of his game-high 23 points in the second half and fall one rebound shy of another double-double on the season. This moved Rubit into 11th on the all-time scoring list and 17th in the all-time rebounding list.

“Regardless of the double teams, we keep going at him and that’s what we need to do because he continues to get better at kicking it out and we rotate one over and get shots,” Price explained. “It happened several times in the first half with plus-ones. We just have to get those shots. He’s just a warrior. Aug battles and battles. He gets slapped and hammered and grabbed and just keeps going after it. He had a huge three-point play in the second half where he just builds his way to the basket. He’s just doing a great job and we just need to continue to play off of him.”

Goldstein would finish the game with 16 points, going 5-of-10 from outside the arc. Javier Carter would tie a career high with 10 rebounds.

Dre Conner would lead all player with a personal-best nine assists, which is the most by a Jaguar player since Daon Merritt against FIU on March 1, 2008.

“Dre’s a tough kid and he is playing well for us right now,” Price said. “I continue to preach that the more he plays the better he will get. He had nine assists tonight and I thought he controlled the game well. He’s just going to keep getting better. There’s a lot of concern about a point guard play early, but with point guards it just takes time. I think he is starting to come into his own.”

Mychal Ammons would finish with 10 points, including the final four points of the game that would cap the game off with an exclamation. A slam dunk which was followed shorty by a windmill dunk. ULM would inbounds the ball and let the clock run out after that.

South Alabama will get a week off before returning to the court to host Western Kentucky on Thursday, January 24th in a Sun Belt Conference Eastern Division clash. The game will be televised on ESPN3.com and as part of the ESPN Full Court Package.

Jags Win Double Overtime Thriller In Lafayette

January 11, 2013 · Filed Under Basketball, Men's · Comment 

AmmonsMychal(1213)

The University of South Alabama men’s basketball team survived a double overtime thriller in Lafayette Louisiana to defeat the Ragin’ Cajuns Thursday night. The Jags record improves to 8-7 overall and 5-2 in Sun Belt play while Louisiana-Lafayette’s record drops to 6-12 overall for the season and 2-5 in Sun Belt play.

The Jaguars led by as many as 13 points in the second half but were forced to rally from a late deficit in order to force overtime against the Cajuns.

“It was a hard-fought win on the road,” coach Jeff Price said. “I thought our guys did a great job of being very resilient in what became a tough atmosphere as the game went on. We had our lapses but we drew things up well late in the game and got a great look from Mike in regulation that didn’t go down. With about three minutes to go in regulation things didn’t look real good for us and I thought our guys did a really nice job of fighting back.”

“Mychal had some huge plays—some steals and plays at the basket and that dunk at the end of the game,” Price said. “He just took it strong to the basket and buried it with two hands.”

Mychal Ammons drove the left baseline to throw down a two-handed dunk with 19.3 seconds left to put the Jags ahead 91-89. This gave Ammons his third double-double of the season with 10 points and 11 rebounds.

But ULL had a shot to win the game at the end. Shawn Long threw up a 3-pointer that went halfway down the basket before bouncing out as time expired to leave the Jags with the win.

Augustine Rubit had 26 points for the game, 21 of them after halftime, and nine rebounds lead the Jags in scoring and falling one short of extending his double-double streak.  However Rubit did take over second place on the South Alabama all-time rebounding list. Dre Conner added 19 points in the game, 15 of them in the first half, before fouling out of the game for the first time this season. Antoine Allen added 19 points as well.

“I thought Aug did a really nice job late of understanding he had two or three guys on him and kicking the ball out. We just have to knock those shots down, regardless of who’s shooting them,” Price noted. “Aug just affects the game so much when you go in to him and he continues to get better at understanding he can make other guys better.”

ULL’s Elfrid Payton matched Rubit in scoring with 26 points with 22 of them coming after halftime. He also recorded seven assists and three steals. Bryant Mbamalu added 19 points, Long had 14 points and 14 rebounds in the game.

The Jags never trailed in the final period. Rubit and Allen combined for seven points to put the Jags up 89-84 early in the period. But ULL would resond with four unanswered points with Payton’s back-to-back layups. A period of almost two minutes would pass without either team scoring any points before Long hit the back end of two free throws to tie the game at 89 with 37.5 seconds left in the period. Ammons would get a two-handed slam with 19.3 seconds left for the final score.

In the second half of regulation, the Jags trailed by six points with 2:51 left in regulation after a three-pointer by Mbamalu. But Freddie Goldstein would answer with a three of his own on the subsequent possession to cut the lead in half. After a ULL free throw, Goldstein would nail another three with 1:42 left in regulation to pull the Jags within one point.

Both teams would trade free throws. Ammons would give the Jags a 74-73 lead with 34.3 seconds after a steal and a layup. ULL’s Payton would hit a free throw at the other end to tie the game. Ammons would miss a shot from the right baseline in the final seconds to send the game into overtime.

“If there’s a guy you want shooting them, it’s him,” Price said about Goldstein shooting three’s. “He’s an experienced senior and he jumped up and made a couple.”

In the first overtime neither team would lead by more than two points. Allen would tie the game at 82 with 44.4 seconds remaining in the period which would send the game into the second overtime period.

The Jags will continue their two-game road swing at North Texas on Saturday. The Jags and the Mean Green are scheduled to tipoff at 7pm.

Jags Fall To New Mexico State 58-52

December 5, 2012 · Filed Under Basketball, Men's · Comment 

The Jags fell behind by 17 points early against New Mexico State but would rally back but could not overcome the Aggies, losing 58-52 Tuesday night at the Mitchell Center. With the loss the Jags fall to 4-4 on the season (2-0 SBC) and New Mexico State improves to 5-4 on the season.

South Alabama would close within two points with about two minutes left in the game, however missed free throws and two turnovers would be the Jags undoing.

“We had so many chances to win that ball game, but we just couldn’t get over the hump,” head coach Ronnie Arrow said. “It seemed like every time we got it to one point or three points we made a horrible decision on shot selection or turned the ball over.”

After the Jags took their only lead of the game at 4-2, the Aggies would go on a 21-2 run over an almost 10 minute span. The Jags would make their first field goal attempt of the game, but would go stone cold by missing 16 of their next 18 shots including a run of nine consecutive misses.

“We shot 31 percent,” Arrow said. “I thought our shot selection was pretty bad.”

Mychal Ammons agreed in his post-game interview, calling some of the Jaguars shot selections “crazy”.

However the Jags would respond with eight unanswered points that was capped off with a Freddie Goldstein three-pointer. Overall, they finished the half on a 19-8 run to go into the locker room down 31-25.

In the opening moments of the second half Ammons would cut the Aggie lead to two points after nailing a three-pointer, but New Mexico State would answer with a 9-2 run to extend their lead to nine points at 42-33 with 11:10 left in the game.

With 4:32 left in the game and trailing 53-46 the Jags would get a tip-in from Javier Carter and a three-pointer from Xavier Roberson around a pair of Aggies free throws to cut their lead to 54-51. But missed free throws by the Jaguars would prevent the Jags from cutting the Aggie lead down to one point.

The Aggies did just enough from the free throw line to put the pressure on the Jaguars, making 1-of-2 but Ammons would miss the front end of a 1 and 1 with 1:17 left in the game. Yet the Jags were within three points 55-52 with 33.7 seconds left, but a backdoor pass was deflected and stolen forcing the Jags to foul.

“We just right there at the end drew up a play,” Arrow said. “Mychal ran it and was wide open and we threw the ball away. That would have cut it to one point. We turn the ball over, they go down and instead of being down one they make the free throws and we’re down five. I’m happy that our guys came back but I’m disappointed in crucial situations we didn’t do what we could to win the game.”

“Tonight if we made our free throws we probably would have won the game,” Arrow continued. “(We were) nine for 17. We were leading the conference in free throw shooting. So we just kept shooting ourselves in the foot. You only get so many times in a game. And it’s just sad because we still had an opportunity to win the game.”

Ammons would lead the Jags with 16 points and eight rebounds. Augustine Rubit and Carter both would score eight points each with 10 rebounds and 6 rebounds respectively. Roberson would chip in seven points and freshman Barrington Stevens added six points.

The Jags will go on the road for another non-conference match-up with UAB in Birmingham. Tip-off is scheduled for 7pm at Bartow Arena.

Jags Set To Face Off Against New Mexico State Tonight At The Mitchell Center

December 4, 2012 · Filed Under Basketball, Men's · Comment 

South Alabama men’s basketball team returns home after a 2-0 start in the Sun Belt Conference. They will host former conference rival New Mexico State on Tuesday night with tip-off scheduled for 7:05pm.

“That’s what it’s all about – winning conference games,” Jaguar head coach Ronnie Arrow said. “Non-conference games are a lead-up to the conference. Not only are we 2-0, but we’re 2-0 on the road, so that’s even better. I was proud of our guys with the way we won. There’s room for improvement, especially in late-game situations, but I thought our guards came ready to play. That’s the best overall they’ve played since Florida State.”

“Now it comes time to see how we handle this,” Arrow continued. “We went and opened up with Florida State and didn’t show up for some games. Our defense was really good (last week) and hopefully now our guys will keep buying in because our defense leads to slam-dunk offense.”

This game at home will only be the second of the season so far in their seven games this season.

The Jags used their sharp 3-point shooting over the last two games to propell them to wins. The Jags have made 20 in a two game span including eight from junior Xavier Roberson with a career high five at FAU.

“The game has become 3-point shooting,” coach Arrow said. “If you’re hitting 3-point shots, you don’t have to draw up plays. It’s penetrate-and-pitch and get up and down the court. Along the way you have to execute in key situations and I think we’re getting better at that. But it’s always nice to be able to pitch to the shooters and have them hit 3-pointers.”

The New Mexico State Aggies enter the game leading the WAC in 3-point defense (.272) and are second in scoring defense with 60.5 points per game.

“They pressure the ball a lot,” Arrow said of the Aggie defense. “Whenever you have that kind of size inside, you don’t have to worry about the hole. You don’t have to come off shooters. When they drive, you have the gigantic guys back there guarding the hole so you don’t have to hedge and can stay on the shooters. That’s why they’re so good at not giving up 3s.”

The Aggies enter the game with a 4-4 record but has won three of their last four games and is coming off of a 68-60 win over then undefeated Southern Miss on Saturday. Their one loss in the last four games came by one point to UTEP 55-54.

Coach Arrow stressed that they out-rebound teams by about 11 rebounds per game. “We’re going to have to box them out and we can’t give up second shots,” he said. “When they’re playing at their best, their bigs are getting buckets right around the hole and we can’t let that happen.”

South Alabama will have tall challenge to defeat the Aggies. They have five players listed at 6’8″ or taller including a 6’10 center and a 7’5” 360-pound freshman center who averages 6.1 points per game and 11 blocks in 14.6 minutes per game.

“Their guys are just big and you can’t let them just catch the ball on the blocks,” Arrow said. “You have to make them get off the block somehow. You have to make them uncomfortable. Bhullar, if he catches it under the rim, I don’t think he has to jump to dunk it. We cannot give them second shots from offensive rebounds. We have to make them work for their shots.”

“We don’t need to pound it in there and expect to shoot it over these guys,” said continued. “We have to take them off the dribble and just make outside shots. We have to do what we do to get and get everybody shots, not just our inside guys.”

Augustine Rubit and Javier Carter will be key for the Jags to counter the Aggie height on the court. Combined they average 23.5 points and 16.5 rebounds per game last week.

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