#116 Georgia Southern Men's Basketball 2018-2019 Preview

Georgia Southern Eagles
2018-2019 Overall Rank: #116
Conference Rank: #3 Sun Belt
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Since joining the Sun Belt for the 2014-2015 season, Georgia Southern has been a very solid program. The Eagles have only reached the postseason once in that span, a trip to the CBI in 2017, but they have won 20 games twice and never finished below .500 in conference play. There are some holes to fill this year, yet Coach Mark Byington appears to have done a very good job bringing in some experienced new faces that should be ready to fill the void. The return of senior guard Tookie Brown does not hurt either. He is one of the best players in the conference and averaged 18.9 points, 4.3 assists, 4.1 rebounds and 1.8 steals last season. Brown also shot an impressive 47.1 percent from beyond the arc and will certainly take advantage of the defense if they give him space to shoot the ball.
2017-18 Record: 21-12, 11-7
2017-18 Postseason: None
Coach: Mark Byington
Coach Record: 90-72 at Georgia Southern, 97-76 overall
Key Departed Players:
Mike Hughes, Guard, 11.3 ppg
Jake Allsmiller, Guard, 8.6 ppg
Shawn O’Connell, Forward, 3.3 ppg
B.J. Gladden, Forward, 2.8 ppg
Coye Simmons, Forward, 2.2 ppg
Key Returning Players:
Tookie Brown, Senior, Guard, 18.9 ppg
Ike Smith, Senior, Guard, 12.0 ppg
Montae Glenn, Senior, Forward, 9.0 ppg
Quan Jackson, Sophomore, Guard, 7.1 ppg
David-Lee Jones, Junior, Guard, 3.0 ppg
Key New Players:
Simeon Carter, Junior, Forward, Transfer from Iowa State
Tyshaun Crawford, RS Freshman, Center
Isaiah Crawley, Junior, Forward, JC Transfer
Trey Dawkins, Junior, Forward/Center, JC Transfer
Will Dillard, Freshman, Guard
Elijah McCadden, Freshman, Guard
David Viti, Freshman, Forward/Guard
Calvin Wishart, Freshman, Guard
In addition to Brown, the backcourt also returns Ike Smith and Quan Jackson. Smith was second on the team with 12.0 points per game last season and could emerge as a very dangerous secondary scorer if his outside shot is falling more consistently. Jackson too was a bit inconsistent from long range, but he is a promising sophomore who can attack the basket effectively. The frontcourt lost much of its depth and will rebuild around senior Montae Glenn. Glenn is a big presence on the defensive end and led the team with 8.1 rebounds and 1.4 blocks last season. He is also developing into a very efficient and effective interior scorer. Simeon Carter will add options to the frontcourt after transferring in from Iowa State. Georgia Southern also adds more experience with junior college transfers Isaiah Crawley and Trey Dawkins. As long as a few of the newcomers, which also includes four freshmen, can play a role on this team, Georgia Southern should be looking at another 20 win season with an opportunity to finish towards the top of the conference.
Projected Postseason Tournament: CBI/CIT
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 75.9 (109th in nation, 4th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 70.2 (109, 7)
Field-Goal Percentage: 43.0 (263, 10)
Field-Goal Defense: 42.6 (93, 5)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 8.1 (128, 7)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 34.1 (225, 5)
Free-Throw Percentage: 66.4 (319, 10)
Rebound Margin: -0.8 (231, 7)
Assists Per Game: 10.1 (345, 12)
Turnovers Per Game: 11.3 (36, 1)