Truman State men's basketball to host Fort Hays State Saturday
The Bulldogs are scoring 71.1 ppg on the season (69.5 MIAA), shooting 44.9% from the field (43.8% MIAA), and 35.9% from three-point range (37.0% MIAA).
The Bulldogs are connecting at a 70.7% clip from the foul line through all 16 games, with that mark raised to 75.8% in eight MIAA games.
Truman has already surpassed its 2012 road win total (2-12) through five road contests (3-2 in 2013) and is three wins away from matching the 2012 home win total (6-7) with four to play within the friendly confines of Pershing Arena.
The Bulldogs are ranked in the top-third of MIAA team statistics in three-pointers made per game (4th; 7.6), assist-to-turnover ratio (4th; 1.2), three-point field goal percentage (5th; 35.9%) and turnover margin (5th; +1.8).
Mike Carlson is one of the MIAAâ??s top players statistically this year, ranking third in the MIAA in free throw percentage (87.5%), fourth in blocks (1.3), sixth in scoring (16.3), eighth in steals (1.7), 10th in field goal percentage (53.0%) and 15th in rebounding (5.9).
With his team-opening three-pointer in Saturdayâ??s game against Central Missouri, senior guard Tom Norton became the 25th-member of Trumanâ??s 1,000-point club. 714 of Nortonâ??s 1,005 career points have come from beyond the three-point line (238 made), tying him for second-most in Truman history with Brian Basich. He needs 62 to tie Steve Schieppeâ??s top mark of 300 career triples.
Scouting the Tigers:
Fort Hays (10-5, 4-3 MIAA) has see-sawed decisions since the turn of the calendar, having gone 2-3 after the re-start of MIAA play on January 3. The Tigers are 7-2 at home but are just 3-3 on the road this year and will visit Lindenwood on Thursday prior to heading to Kirksville.
The Tigers rank amongst the MIAAâ??s elite in a variety of categories, including leading the league in field goal defense, blocks and assists, while ranking second in scoring margin, three-point shooting and turnover margin. The squad has four players averaging at least 13.0 ppg, lead by junior forward Dwayne Brunsonâ??s 15.2/game. Freshman guard Craig Nicholson is the MIAA leader in assists (7.0/gm), while senior guard Ben Conguista leads the conference in three-pointers per game (2.7) and minutes played (33.7).
Mark Johnson is in his 12th season as the head coach of the Tiger program, having compiled a mark of 236-103 at the school.
Notably vs. FHSU:
· Isaac Gardner is 5-for-12 (42%) from 3-pt range in four career games (4.8 ppg).
· Seth Jackson averaged 14.0 ppg/6.0 rpg in two games last season.
· Tom Norton is 12-for-32 (38%) from 3-pt range in six career games (10.0 ppg).
The Bulldogs have just one game on the docket next week, as the purple and white travels to Southwest Baptist for a Saturday, Feb. 2 game in Bolivar, Mo. Tipoff against the Bearcats is set for 3:30 pm.