#79 Furman Men's Basketball 2021-2022 Preview

Furman Paladins
2021-2022 Overall Rank: #79
Conference Rank: #1 SoCon
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Furman has been the model of consistency under Coach Bob Richey. During the last four years, the Paladins have gone 51-18 in Southern Conference play and finished second or third in each season. While losing Noah Gurley to Alabama and Clay Mounce to the professional ranks leaves a couple big holes, Furman still has an experienced roster that will again be right in the mix for a conference title.
2020-21 Record: 16-9, 10-5
2020-21 Postseason: None
Coach: Bob Richey
Coach Record: 89-35 at Furman, 89-35 overall
Key Departed Players:
Noah Gurley, Forward, 15.4 ppg
Clay Mounce, Forward, 13.8 ppg
Key Returning Players:
Mike Bothwell, Junior, Guard, 15.6 ppg
Alex Hunter, Senior, Guard, 11.1 ppg
Jalen Slawson, Senior, Forward, 8.7 ppg
Garrett Hien, Sophomore, Forward, 4.2 ppg
Jaylon Pugh, Senior, Guard, 3.9 ppg
Marcus Foster, Sophomore, Guard, 2.7 ppg
Jonny Lawrence, Sophomore, Forward, 2.7 ppg
Colin Kenney, Junior, Guard, 2.3 ppg
Ben Beeker, Junior, Forward, 2.0 ppg
Joe Anderson, Sophomore, Guard, 1.5 ppg
Key New Players:
Conley Garrison, Senior, Guard, DII Transfer
Tyrese Hughey, Freshman, Forward
JP Pegues, Freshman, Guard
James Repass, Freshman, Forward
Alex Williams, Freshman, Forward
Mike Bothwell, Alex Hunter and Jalen Slawson are a great trio to build around. Bothwell averaged a team high 15.6 points and 1.6 steals and added 4.9 rebounds and 2.9 assists. He is not a great shooter, but Bothwell can obviously score in bunches and do many other things too. Hunter will be the starting point guard for the fourth season in a row. He is a consistent outside shooter who knocked down 40.4 percent of his attempts from long range. If the opposition gets too tight guarding Hunter on the perimeter, he will use his explosiveness to attack the basket and finish himself or find a teammate. Slawson will feel a lot of pressure as the new leader in the frontcourt. He is a consistent scorer in the paint and a surprisingly effective outside shooter as well. Sophomore Garrett Hien will step into a much larger role this season after averaging 4.2 points and 2.4 rebounds in 2020-2021. Fellow sophomore Jonny Lawrence and incoming freshman James Repass should fill in plenty of minutes in the frontcourt as well. Coach Bob Richey will need to find some consistent pieces to build around Bothwell, Hunter and Slawson, but there are some experienced options and some younger options with a lot of potential. If those pieces can step up, Furman can finally turn those second and third place finishes into a first place finish.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 79.6 (27th in nation, 3rd in conference)
Scoring Defense: 68.9 (130, 4)
Field-Goal Percentage: 48.7 (16, 1)
Field-Goal Defense: 44.1 (207, 7)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 9.7 (18, 4)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 34.2 (149, 7)
Free-Throw Percentage: 72.4 (120, 4)
Rebound Margin: 2.2 (113, 5)
Assists Per Game: 16.6 (14, 1)
Turnovers Per Game: 12.5 (120, 4)