Sunday, January 8, 2017

Augusta's winning streak, Ahmed Hill's consistency, and Don Coleman'sexplosion headline AugBball's college hoops update

Augusta wins third straight in new year's first week

Augusta Universtiy coach Dip Metress ran towards mid court to congratulate the five members of his "group B" squad that had just opened a 22-13 lead over Montevallo Saturday after three field goals by Tamyrik Fields and a three pointer by Ja'Shawn Brooks.

The unit outscored the Falcons 11-6 in the 7 minutes since entering the game on Metress's pre-planned substitution schedule in which "group A" exits the game after giving up 6 points, and group B gets their turn until another 6 points are scored. After Monday's win at UNC Pembroke, the first of three conference wins this week, Metress explained the effect that the new substitution pattern has had on the Jaguars' defensive effort:

"The main thing is for the first time in a while we guarded... guys know they're coming out of the game. Give up 6 points and you'r coming out," Metress explained before Wednesday's practice.

The results have been striking. After each group had their turn Saturday, Montevallo had made only 5 of their 17 field goal attempts. The Jaguars would hold the Falcons to 34% shooting for the afternoon in a 73-60 win that was their third straight Peach Belt win during the first week of January.

In each of the three games, the defense has been the catalyst. Augusta held Pembroke to a 27% shooting performance (9-33) in the first half of Monday's 80-78 win, and it forced Georgia Southwestern into a 6-22 cold spell in the first half of Thursday's 93-65 victory.

Sherrill continues to fly high

In addition to the defensive effort, the other consistent force for Augusta has been the play of senior All American Keshun Sherrill, who leads the Peach Belt in scoring at 25 points per game.

Sherrill knew the importance of playing his best game Saturday against the Falcons, who came to Augusta unbeaten in Peach Belt play:

"Make no mistake. We need to play better to win against Montevallo," Sherrill told Taylor Neal of the Augusta Athletic Network after Thursday's win over Georgia Southwestern.

Sherrill's 23 points in Saturday's win came after a 22 point performance in Tuesday's win in which he became Augusta's second all time leading scorer, logging over 1900 points to date and passing Jaguar legend Derek Stewart.

Augusta (10-3, 3-2) visits Clayton State (7-6, 2-2) of the Peach Belt's western division Monday before making another trip Saturday to meet Georgia College, also a western division team.

Hill remains consistent through ups and downs of Virginia Tech's ACC schedule

Following Aquinas graduate Ahmed Hill through the first week of Virginia Tech's ACC schedule makes obvious the difficulty of winning in college basketball's most competitive league. After the Hokies grabbed the national spotlight on New Year's Eve with an 89-75 home win over Duke, the team many think is college basketball's best team, Tech dropped a pair of games at North Carolina State (104-78) Thursday and Florida State (93-78) Saturday.

Hill scored 17, 17, and 16 points in the three games last week. The #21 ranked Hokies return home to face Syracuse Tuesday and Notre Dame Saturday.

Coleman's Cal Bears take on #25 USC following high profile outing at UCLA

Former Butler star Don Coleman (Sophomore, California) - Source

California plays #25 USC tonight at 10:00 (eastern time) on ESPNU in the second road game in a row against a nationally ranked Pac-12 opponent. The Bears fell behind #4 UCLA by 24 points Thursday before Butler High School's all time leading scorer Don Coleman scored 15 second half points and narrowed the Bruins' lead all the way to 5 late in the game before UCLA grabbed an 81-71 win.

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