#79 Furman Men's Basketball 2020-2021 Preview

Furman Paladins
2020-2021 Overall Rank: #79
Conference Rank: #1 Southern
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Furman has continued to evolve as a rising mid-major power in men’s college basketball over the past couple of seasons. The Paladins have won at least 25 games in each of the last two seasons under the leadership of head coach Bob Richey and his staff.  Richey is one of the rising stars in the coaching profession as he has a.737 winning percentage in three full seasons as head coach for Furman. Despite losing Jordan Lyons to graduation, the Paladins will return four starters and be a preseason favorite in the Southern Conference heading into the 2020-21 season.
2019-20 Record: 25-7, 15-3
Coach: Bob Richey
Coach Record: 73-26 at Furman, 73-26 overall
Key Departed Players:
Jordan Lyons, Guard, 16.4 ppg
Tre Clark, guard, 3.3 ppg
Key Returning Players:
Noah Gurley, Junior, Forward, 14.3 ppg
Clay Mounce, Senior, Forward, 13.2 ppg
Alex Hunter, Senior, Guard, 8.9 ppg
Jalen Slawson, Junior, Forward, 6.9 ppg
Mike Bothwell, Junior, Guard, 10.9 ppg
Jaylon Pugh, Junior, Guard, 2.2 ppg
Colin Kenney, Sophomore, Guard, 1.1 ppg
Ben Beeker, Sophomore, Forward, 1.0 ppg
Robert Swanson, Junior, Guard, 0.8 ppg
Rett Lister, Sophomore, Guard, 0.4 ppg
Key New Players:
Garrett Hein, Freshman, Forward
Joe Anderson, Freshman, Guard
Noah Gurley, Clay Mounce, and Jalen Slawson will form a strong frontcourt for Furman as these three combined for 34.4 points per game last season. In addition, Gurley and Mounce can stretch opposing defenses by knocking down three-point shots as both guys hovered around the 40 percent mark from behind the arc in the 2019-20 season. Mike Bothwell and Alex Hunter provided solid production at the guard position as also combined to average just under 20 points per game between the two of them last season. Field goal defense and rebound margin will have to improve in order for the Paladins to get past Wofford and advance to the NCAA Tournament.  Furman allowed teams to shoot 43.7 percent from the field which ranked 221st in the nation and was -3.0 in rebound margin which ranked 300th in the nation. If those numbers can improve and get into top 125 or better, it will be a big-time boost for the Paladins. There is enough depth and experience to set Furman up for a run to the NCAA Tournament where they could be one of those number 12 or 13 seeds that advances to the round of 32 and busts some brackets.  
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 76.8 (36th in nation, 2nd in conference)
Scoring Defense: 66.3 (89, 3)
Field-Goal Percentage: 47.4 (18, 2)
Field-Goal Defense: 43.7 (221, 6)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game 9.4 (24, 4):
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 35.2 (80, 6)
Free-Throw Percentage: 70.1 (207, 7)
Rebound Margin: -3.0 (300, 9)
Assists Per Game: 14.8 (43, 2)
Turnovers Per Game: 11.5 (43, 1)