Augusta's women enter Sunday on a wave of momentum after last season's NCAA tournament sweet sixteen round finish, a 2015-16 season ending #25 spot in the national rankings, and a 73-47 win over Fort Valley State in Tuesday's season opener.
The men are also carrying high expectations after starting the season with three wins and rebounding quickly from last Saturday's loss to national #22 West Georgia with a 79-70 home win Tuesday over Benedict.
Fans who take advantage of a full afternoon of basketball are in for a treat.
Both teams are led by preseason first team All Peach Belt Conference players. Breonna O'Conner scored 27 points Tuesday after starting the game with a 7 minute, 25 second long blitz of offense that included 11 points and two assists while Augusta built a 17-15 lead and never looked back. O'Conner lit up the scoreboard with remarkable efficiency, making 12 of 18 field goals in only 23 minutes of play.
Breonna O'Conner scored 11, assisted on 4 in 1st 7:25; Lady @AugustaJags opened 17-9 lead over FVSU in opener-Watch: https://t.co/H3or1Qah3V pic.twitter.com/27UM1imFRW— Chad Cook's AugBball (@AugBball) November 22, 2016
Keshun Sherrill, of course, is almost always the best player in the gym. He is averaging 22 points per game while shooting 44% from deep and 94% from the free throw line. One would think I would have run out of good things to say about him without repeating myself by now. But I haven't yet gathered in one video all of the clips I've captured this month showing what I believe is Sherrill's most impressive quality: his ability and willingness to stay in perpetual motion away from the ball and to use off the ball screens to score his points while taking only shots of the highest quality. Or at least the highest quality when he is shooting them! After all, most players have trouble sprinting around baseline screens, and catching the ball at the three point line on a dead run directly away from the hoop, and stopping on a dime turning and drilling three after three. Keshun does that regularly:
O'Conner and Sherrill have plenty of capable help.
Sherrill was one of five Jaguars who scored in double figures Tuesday. The video summary of the win over Benedict shows Deane Williams, Tyvez Monroe, Tamyrik Fields, Ja'Shawn Brooks, Kyle Doyle and Aaron Byrd all making meaningful contributions in the most recent win.
Williams has been the most consistent Jaguar besides Sherrill. The 6'7" sophomore forward is averaging 14 points on 57% shooting and grabbing 9 boards per game. In the video above I asked him if by now he has shown us his full "bag of tricks." He said I'll have to wait and see. Here is what I've gathered so far to show Deane's complete skill set:
O'Conner's scoring burst Tuesday was partially made possible by the help of perimeter mates Kayla Lovett and Ashleigh Outler. The three connected for this beautiful fast break finish in the second half that made the crowd buzz.
Great basketball tonight in the first Augusta University Athletics Jags double-header of the season!— Chad Cook's AugBball (@AugBball) November 23, 2016
Tune in: https://t.co/H3or1Qah3V pic.twitter.com/GFsT37l1yw