#91 Furman Men's Basketball 2019-2020 Preview

Furman Paladins
2019-2020 Overall Rank: #91
Conference Rank: #2 SoCon
 Furman Logo
Furman had a great 2018-2019 campaign, but failed to take that final step and reach the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1980. But still the Paladins reached the NIT, where they fell at home to Wichita State in the first round, and that is a nice stepping stone towards their ultimate goal of reaching the NCAA Tournament.
2018-19 Record: 25-8, 13-5
2018-19 Postseason: NIT
Coach: Bob Richey
Coach Record: 48-19 at Furman, 48-19 overall
Key Departed Players:
Matt Rafferty, Forward, 17.5 ppg
Andrew Brown, Guard, 7.4 ppg
Key Returning Players:
Jordan Lyons, Senior, Guard, 16.2 ppg
Clay Mounce, Junior, Forward, 10.7 ppg
Alex Hunter, Junior, Guard, 9.0 ppg
Noah Gurley, Sophomore, Forward, 8.8 ppg
Tre Clark, Junior, Guard, 3.9 ppg
Mike Bothwell, Sophomore, Guard, 3.5 ppg
Jaylon Pugh, Sophomore, Guard, 2.6 ppg
Jalen Slawson, Sophomore, Forward, 0.7 ppg
Key New Players:
Ben Beeker, Freshman, Forward
Marcus Foster, Freshman, Guard
Colin Kenney, Freshman, Guard
Jonny Lawrence, Freshman, Forward
Rett Lister, Freshman, Guard
Four starters return, but the one lost is Matt Rafferty. He led the team with 17.5 points, 9.0 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 2.5 steals per game. He also tallied over one block per contest. It will take a team effort to replace that production, but Coach Bob Richey has the team that can do it. Jordan Lyons and Alex Hunter are back to form a solid backcourt duo. Lyons will do much of his scoring from beyond the arc and made 105 three-pointers last season, but the 5-11 senior will attack the basket a bit too. Hunter will run the point and dished out 3.3 assists per game last season and averaged 9.0 points. Clay Mounce and Noah Gurley will have to do more work in the frontcourt this season. Mounce can stretch the defense with his outside shooting ability and connected on an impressive 41.7 percent of his attempts from beyond the arc. Gurley is another capable shooter, but the Paladins will need the 6-8 sophomore to help replace Rafferty’s production on the glass. Sophomores Tre Clark and Mike Bothwell are the most likely candidates to earn more playing time this season. Furman may not need a deep bench, but at least a couple of the unproven underclassmen need to step up this season. If they do, Furman will be right in the mix for a SoCon title and a trip to the NCAA Tournament.
Projected Postseason Tournament: CBI/CIT
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 77.6 (57th in nation, 5th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 66.1 (45, 2)
Field-Goal Percentage: 47.4 (37, 3)
Field-Goal Defense: 41.9 (74, 2)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 10.2 (15, 3)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 36.1 (93, 5)
Free-Throw Percentage: 71.7 (142, 4)
Rebound Margin: 1.1 (146, 4)
Assists Per Game: 15.9 (25, 1)
Turnovers Per Game: 12.3 (119, 4)