Sunday, November 29, 2015

Mount Olive edges Augusta University; Jags fall to 2-2

Watch the archived broadcast (above) of Sunday's Augusta University-Mount Olive game. This season I am the "color commentator" during Jags games, joining play by-play man John Patrick. Check it out and tell me what you think about the Jags and our commentary, if you will.                    

Keshun Sherrill's 34 points and freshman Tyvez Monroe's hot hand were not enough to keep Mount Olive at bay as the same team that ended Augusta University's season in the first round of last year's NCAA tournament handed the Jags an 87-83 home loss Sunday.

To be in position to win in the final minute against Mount Olive's senior laden team that entered the season ranked as high as fourth nationally in the polls, Augusta had to be sharp offensively. Freshman Tyvez Monroe's production during the beginning of both halves was timely. The sharp shooting guard scored 13 points, making 5 of his 9 field goal attempts.

But it was Sherrill's shot making that kept the Jaguars close. The world beating point guard who was honored before the game for passing the 1000 career point barrier only three games into his junior season scored 32 points in the game's final 25 minutes. I don't know if you are tired yet of reading about my appreciation of his game. Nevertheless, I'll explain a very specific strength of Keshun's: his ability to make such a high percentage of catch-and-shoot jumpers when he is given space.

Sure he usually has a defender draped all over him. And sure knocking down an open three is not the most glamorous part of the game. But I found myself thinking every time Sherrill caught the ball in rhythm Sunday he would make the shot. And he essentially did, making 12 of 18 field goal attempts.

Alas, Sherrill's heroics weren't enough as Dominique Reid would score seven consecutive points with the game in the balance after Tommy Williams tied things with a two-handed dunk with 1:07 remaining.

Reid scored 23 points to lead Mount Olive. Williams joined Sherrill and Monroe in double figures, scoring 13 points.

The November game against a team that should be destined for post season play provided a chance for the Jags to learn how to win. Coach Dip Metress cited in the post game interview (end of the archived broadcast above) the many loose balls that went to the visitors as the main factor deciding Sunday's winner. If Dip mentioned this to me, he certainly stressed it to his team, which includes seven newcomers, six of whom are freshmen. Based on the way they played today in the team's fourth game, I think the 2015-16 Jaguars will be fast learners.

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