Gardner-Webb Men's Basketball 2019 NCAA Tournament Capsule


Gardner-Webb Runnin’ Bulldogs

Big South (23-11, 10-6)

Gardner-Webb finished third in the Big South during the regular season, but they saved their best for last. The Runnin’ Bulldogs only faced Radford and Campbell, the conference’s top two teams, once during the regular season and both of those were on the road. They lost both contests, but the story was different in March. Garnder-Webb still had to go on the road to face Campbell and Radford, but this time they managed to win both games and earn their first ever trip to the NCAA Tournament.
Big Wins: 12/17 at Georgia Tech (79-69), 12/29 at Wake Forest (73-69), 3/10 at Radford (76-65)
Bad Losses: 11/23 vs Eastern Illinois (78-79), 2/9 at Presbyterian (101-103), 2/23 at High Point (79-87)
Coach: Tim Craft
Why They Can Surprise:
Gardner-Webb is a very good shooting team. They rank 15th in the nation in field-goal percentage and 12th in three-point field-goal percentage. David Efianayi is the team’s top scorer, averaging 18.4 points per game. He is also the most prolific outside shooter on the squad, making 41.4 percent of his 162 attempts from beyond the arc. Fellow guards Jose Perez and Nate Johnson are both nearly as effective outside shooters as Efianayi. DJ Laster, a 6-6 forward, does most of his damage inside the arc, but he can step outside and knock down some shots too.
Why They Can Disappoint:
Gardner-Webb lacks the size and pure talent to seriously compete in the NCAA Tournament. The Running’ Rebels did beat Georgia Tech and Wake Forest in December and that is promising, but they will face better teams than that in the NCAA Tournament. Laster is only 6-6 and so is reserve forward Eric Jamison. That is not a lot of size in the frontcourt and bigger teams should be able to back them down and beat them in the paint and on the glass.
Probable Starters:
Jaheam Cornwall, Sophomore, Guard, 6.3 ppg, 2.8 apg
David Efianayi, Senior, Guard, 18.4 ppg, 2.9 apg
Nate Johnson, Sophomore, Guard, 9.8 ppg, 1.7 apg, 1.5 spg
Jose Perez, Freshman, Guard, 15.0 ppg, 3.0 apg, 5.8 rpg
DJ Laster, Senior, Forward, 13.7 ppg, 5.5 rpg
Key Role Players:
Eric Jamison, Junior, Forward, 7.1 ppg, 4.3 rpg
Christian Turner, Junior, Guard, 3.0 ppg, 2.3 apg
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 78.3 (49th in nation, 4th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 70.5 (160, 6)
Field-Goal Percentage: 48.8 (15, 1)
Field-Goal Defense: 41.2 (50, 2)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 8.0 (140, 9)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 39.1 (12, 1)
Free-Throw Percentage: 71.1 (167, 9)
Rebound Margin: -0.7 (226, 8)
Assists Per Game: 14.5 (96, 4)
Turnovers Per Game: 11.5 (50, 5)
Recent Postseason Appearances:
2015CBIFirst Round loss to Colorado
2013CITFirst Round loss to Eastern Kentucky
*all team stats through 3/10