By: Christopher Denson | Reporter
Photo by: Michael Hanich
The Jaguars men’s basketball team (13-11; 6-7 in Sun Belt Conference play) will look to face off against the Troy University Trojans (9-15; 5-8 in Sun Belt Conference play) this Friday night, February 7th. The Jaguars will look to increase their win-streak to two after previously taking down the Georgia Southern Eagles last Saturday.
Currently, the Jaguars sit at eighth overall in the Sun Belt Conference and hover slightly above a .500 winning record. With only seven games remaining throughout the regular season, each game will hold monumental weight for a team that was originally predicted to finish first atop the Sun Belt Conference.
If history is a major factor, the Jaguars should look to come out victorious in this matchup on Friday night. The Jags currently have a two-win streak versus the Trojans. Overall, the Jaguars have posted a winning record (21-11) when contesting the Trojans dating back to 2006. They will, however, need to limit the Trojans’ guard Darian Adams, the team’s leader in points (12.5), assists (3.5), and rebounds (4.7), respectively. The same will be said for fellow backcourt partner Ty Gordon, who’s averaging 12.3 points per contest, nearly mirroring that of Adams.
The Trojans will come into Friday’s contest shooting 32.5% from the three-point range along with 68% from the free-throw line. This makes them less than a formidable threat on the offensive end than the Jags. Their advantage may come down to critical second-chance points as they average roughly five more rebounds than the Jaguars per game. Along with that, the ability to share the ball and create space will come into play, additionally, as they average three more assists.
The Jaguars will have to capitalize on what they excel in. They enter this matchup shooting the same percentage from the three-point range as the Trojans. The Jags do boast a decent uptick in free throw percentage at 73.5%, which given a close game could be the decision-maker.
Forward Josh Ajayi, the Jaguars’ leader in scoring and rebounding, will look to have a huge game against a team giving up 14.6 turnovers per game. The Jaguars will have to seize advantage of those turnovers with their 7.6 steals per game. The key piece for the Jaguars might potentially be fellow forward Trhae Mitchell, who accounted for a dominating performance during the Jaguars and Trojans last matchup on February 23rd of 2019. In that game, Mitchell accounted for 16 points along with 14 rebounds to complement Ajayi’s 18 points.
The Jaguars will face off against the Trojans at 8 p.m. central at Trojan Arena.