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Preseason Preview: Southern

Howard

(Photo by Ryan Messier/Paint Touches)

The first official practices of the 18-19 college basketball season are in the books and Paint Touches is celebrating by counting down every Marquette opponent from worst to first. Each preview will contain a look at how the opponent did last season, who they lose, who they gain, reasonable expectations for their season, and our own prediction of how their matchup(s) with Marquette will go. This series will start with the most under of underdogs and progress all the way up to most unbeatable of opponents. We will be releasing one a day ending the day before Marquette’s exhibition with Carroll. That’s right, when this series ends, Marquette basketball will finally be here.

Team: Southern University Jaguars
17-18 Record: 15-18 (10-8 SWAC)
Postseason?: Nope
17-18 KenPom: 326
Date: December 28, 2018
Location: Fiserv Forum
Coach: Sean Woods (1st Season)
Projected KenPom Range: Sub 300
Projected Conference Finish: 08/10 in the SWAC

Departures from 17-18
Jamar Sandifer: Starting SG: 22.4 mpg, 8.2 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 1.4 apg, 0.8 spg, 0.5 bpg, 1.4 tpg, 41.5 FG%, .38.0 3P% (Transferred to Southwestern Oklahoma State)
Chris Thomas: Starting SF: 22.2 mpg, 6.0 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 0.6 apg, 0.3 spg, 0.3 bpg, 0.9 tpg, 37.8 FG%, 24.1 3P% (Graduated)
Emanual Shepherd: Starting PF: 24.7 mpg, 6.6 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 1.2 apg, 0.7 spg, 0.7 bpg, 1.3 tpg, 46.6 FG%, 33.3 3P% (Graduated)
Jared Sam: Starting C: 33.5 mpg, 16.2 ppg, 8.8 rpg, 1.3 apg, 0.8 spg, 0.8 bpg, 2.3 tpg, 43.7 FG%, 100 3P% (Graduated)
Patrick Smith: Benchwarmer: Appeared in 5 games (Graduated)
Brendon Ganaway: Benchwarmer: Appeared in 6 games (Transferred to Kansas Wesleyan College)
Shaquille Benson: Benchwarmer: Appeared in 12 games (Left team for personal reasons)
Rashad Andrews: Benchwarmer: Appeared in 3 games (Graduated)
56% of scoring, 57% of rebounding, 42% of assists, 48% of steals, 66% of blocks, 28% of 3PM

Arrivals:
Hassan Hussein: Grad Transfer PF from Florida International
Bryan Assie: JUCO transfer PF from Monroe College
Cam Horton: JUCO transfer PG from East Mississippi Community College
Trevor Blackmon: JUCO transfer SG from CCCAA West Los Angeles College
Osa Wilson: 2017 JUCO transfer SF from Northwest Kansas Technical College (Returns from Redshirt)
Alex Ennis: Grad Transfer C from Morgan State
Jayden Saddler: 2-star PG, unranked by major recruiting services

Probable Starters:
PG: Eddie Reese: 6’1” 160 lb SR: 29.2 mpg, 11.1 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 3.4 apg, 1.1 spg, 0.5 bpg, 2.3 tpg, .402 FG%, .363 3P%
SG: Cam Horton: 6’1 170 lb SO: 29.3 mpg, 13.7 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 2.1 apg, 1.0 spg, 0.4 bpg, 2.7 tpg, .407 FG%, .373 3P% (stats for East Mississippi Community College)
SF: Sidney Umude: 6’7” 205 lb RSSR: 18.3 mpg, 8.3 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 0.4 apg, 0.3 spg, 0.5 bpg, 1.2 tpg, .473 FG%, .000 3P%
PF: Bryan Assie: 6’8” 235 lb JR: 25.2 mpg, 10.4 ppg, 7.6 rpg, 1.0 apg, 0.8 spg, 0.7 bpg, 2.2 tpg, .488 FG%, .000 3P% (stats for Monroe College)
C: Hassan Hussein: 6’9” 205 lb RSSR: 18.0 mpg, 5.5 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 0.4 apg, 0.3 spg, 0.4 bpg, 1.1 tpg, .438 FG%, .167 3P% (stats for Florida International)

Probable Bench:
Trevor Blackmon: 6’4” 185 lb JR SG
Osa Wilson: 6’6” 210 lb RSJR SF
Aaron Ray: 6’3 190” lb SR SG
Torrey Mayo: 5’8” 160 lb SR PG
LaQuentin Collins: 6’3” 200 lb RSSR SG
Alex Ennis: 6’10 225 lb RSSR C

Probable Benchwarmers:
Jayden Saddler: 6’0” 165 lb FR PG
Richard Lee: 6’4” 210 lb RSSR SG
DeRias Johnson: 6’3” 180 lb RSJR SG
Mubashar Ali: 7’0” 230 lb RSSO C

Notes:

• Death, taxes, and Wojo scheduling a sub-300 team as the last game before Big East play. These are the things we have come to accept as inevitabilities. For the fifth year in a row, Marquette will be facing one of the weakest teams in Division One as a last-minute tune up before beginning the conference schedule. If there is a benefit to this strategy, it hasn’t been evident as Marquette is 1-4 in conference openers under Wojo.
• Southern finished last season in the in the bottom 25 of all Division One teams in KenPom last season. This isn’t surprising given their conference affiliation with the SWAC. From that 15-win team the Jaguars lose four starters, leaving them in danger of dropping even further down the food chain. New head coach Sean Woods is trying to prevent this by bringing in a quartet of JUCO transfers and a pair of grad transfers. Unfortunately, none of the new additions were stars at their last stops and Southern is likely to plummet towards the very bottom of the rankings. Bart Torvik ranks Southern as the 351st best team in nation out of 353.
• The one returning starter the Jaguars have is PG Eddie Reese. The Detroit native led Southern in several key categories last season including assists, steals, and 3PMs. He singlehandedly accounted for over a third of Southern’s made three pointers. He will have the ball in his hands more than any other Jaguar and figures to be the leading scorer for this depleted roster.
• Joining Reese in the backcourt will be JUCO product Cam Horton. Horton led the Eastern Mississippi Community College Lions in scoring last season to the tune of 13.7 points a game. A good chunk of that scoring came from his ability to get to the free throw line. Horton likes to attack the defense directly and often ended up at the charity stripe. He accomplished the rare feat of making more FTs than FGs last season. He also features some limited three-point ability which should help Reese in stretching out the defense. He redshirted his freshman season due to an injured wrist, meaning he will have three years of eligibility as a Jaguar.
• The biggest JUCO addition for Southern, both in immediate impact and literal size, may be Bryan Assie. After playing high school ball in Connecticut, Assie ended up at Monroe College, a for profit junior college located in the Bronx, NY. There Assie made an immediate impact with his low post scoring and rebounding. He is a large and physical presence who is not afraid to mix it up with his opponents. His range is limited to around the basket, but he is surprisingly mobile and can even drive on defenders. On defense he is a decent shot blocker and uses his long arms to deflect entry passes into the paint. He should shore up a frontcourt that was completely depleted by graduations.
• The most interesting storyline at Southern may be its new head coach. In many ways, landing a coach like Sean Woods was a huge victory for lowly Southern. Woods started his coaching career at another SWAC school, just a state over at Mississippi Valley State. He built from a 7-25 season in his first year all the way to 21 wins and an NCAA tournament appearance in 4 short years. He then moved up to Morehead State and did something similar, taking a sub .500 team and leading them to 21 wins and a CBI championship appearance in only thee years. Woods builds low major programs into winners, but at a cost. Woods was fired from his last head coaching job after being charged with assault by two of his players. Woods allegedly backhanded two of his players during halftime of a non-conference game. He had previously been suspended by Morehead State for shoving players. The incident was enough to see Woods fired and he will now try to rebuild his career at Southern.

Prediction:
• A one-sided contest from beginning to end. Marquette jumps out to a double-digit lead before the first TV timeout and never looks back. The walk ons get extended playing time in the second half. Marquette rolls by 30+.

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Categories: Analysis, Home, Offseason, Previews

Author:Ryan Jackson

Texas A&M Professional, Marquette Fantatic

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