The NBA and the Columbia County middle school schedules (I know, those are certainly two extreme ends of the competitive spectrum!) began earlier this week. But the debut I've been the most excited about involves our local college programs, Augusta University and Paine College. Both will play in exhibition games this weekend against the All-Army team. Paine hosts its game Saturday at 7:00, and Augusta tips off at home Sunday at 4:00.
Augusta has been picked as the nation's 23rd best team in a recent preseason poll. The Jaguars hope to make their third consecutive trip to the NCAA tournament after last season's 23-7 campaign. The Jaguars are led by returning All American and Peach Belt preseason player of the year Keshun Sherrill. The junior dynamo is joined by an impressive contingent of newcomers and a host of players who grew up in Augusta.
Paine will aim to repeat as the SIAC's top team after posting a 23-6 record and winning the regular season title a year ago. Like Sherrill, Paine senior Denzel Dillingham has been chosen as his conference's preseason player of the year.
Sherrill and Dillingham are the two best players in town, and this weekend is an early chance to see them in action. Check back for full coverage of the season's first college hoops action.