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MBB Game Day Central: Furman
The Liberty men's basketball team looks to end its four-game skid on Monday when it plays host to Furman at 7 p.m. The Paladins hold a 3-0 record in the all-time series after defeating the Flames last season, 86-83, with the help of a 40-point effort by Stephen Croone. The guard returns this season as the team's leading scorer, averaging 13.0 ppg. Furman is also looking to take a step in a more positive direction, after dropping three of its first four games, with its lone win coming against Appalachian State on Nov. 19 (84-65).
What to Watch for
- After averaging 10.0 ppg in contests against Delaware, Virginia Tech and Miami (Ohio), junior point guard Joe Retic averaged 2.5 ppg during Liberty's pair of games in Cancun. Retic will look to bounce back against Furman, a team he posted a career-high 16 points against, last season.
- Despite holding opponents to 39.2 percent from the field, the Flames are allowing 18.0 turnovers per game. Liberty's miscues through the first six games of the season are the most since the 2009-10 squad, who average 18.7 turnovers per game in its first six contests.
- After averaging 3.7 ppg in his first three contests, senior forward Andrew Smith has now finished with double-digit scoring figures in two of his last three games. In Liberty's final game in Cancun against Morgan State, Smith finished with 10 points and a career-high 13 rebounds en route to earning a spot on the Cancun Challenge All-Tournament team.
- James Johnson, who is currently second in on the team in scoring (7.8 ppg), has been consistent for the Flames in the five spot. The big man is leading the team in field goal percentage, shooting 58.8 percent.
- After finishing with zero points at Miami (Ohio), David Andoh is averaging 10.5 ppg in his last two contests. The forward also received his first start for the Flames this past Wednesday, finishing with 11 points and six rebounds. Look for Andoh to continue to have similar performances moving forward no matter when he appears in the game.
Notes and Anecdotes
- Prior to his days at South Carolina, current Liberty Director of Athletics Barber served five years at Furman, starting as Executive Director of the Paladin Club in 1991, before being promoted to Senior Associate Athletic Director for External Affairs in 1994. While at Furman, Barber was responsible for the collection of $14 million in revenue from annual giving, capital gifts and endowed gifts, while guiding the Paladin Club to gifts totaling $3.75 million and set records for five-consecutive years. He was also the chairman of the Furman Pro-Am Golf Endowment Tournament, which totaled receipts of $6.5 million.
- Liberty's game against Furman on Jan. 17, 1991 was actually just its third contest in the Vines Center. The Flames opened the facility against VMI on Nov. 30, 1990 and then played Roanoke College on Dec. 8 before hosting the Paladins.
- Before being named Furman's head coach, Niko Medved spent six seasons as an assistant at Colorado State. Medved joined the Rams' coaching staff in the 2007-08 campaign, serving five seasons under Tim Miles and one under Larry Eustachy. Prior to the tenures of Miles and Eustachy, Dale Layer served as the head coach at Colorado State, leading the Rams for seven seasons (2000-2007).
- Two of Furman's assistant coaches have Big South ties. Now in his fourth year at Furman, Bob Richey spent the previous five seasons at Charleston Southern. As an associate head coach at Charleston Southern, Richey was instrumental in recruiting current Buccaneers Arlon Harper and Saah Nimley.
- Furman assistant Jay McCauley was also in the Big South previously, spending three seasons as an assistant at Gardner-Webb. In his final season (2012-13), McCauley helped guide the Runnin' Bulldogs to a 21-13 overall record, 11-5 Big South Conference mark and a berth in the College Insider Tournament. The Runnin' Bulldogs were eliminated in the semifinals of the 2013 Big South Championship by the Flames, 65-62 (March 9, 2013).