The Truman menâ??s basketball team will compete for the Quincy University Holiday Tournament championship on Wednesday night, as the Bulldogs will get an early look at fellow MIAA member Northeastern (Okla.) State at 7:30 pm inside Pepsi Arena.
The Bulldogs and RiverHawks are coming off a pair of dominating performances in Tuesday nightâ??s semifinals, with Northeastern State thumping Ohio Valley 96-53 before Truman posted a 52-point second half en route to a 76-50 dismantling of future GLVC-foe and tournament host Quincy.
With the MIAA pod scheduling, Truman and NSU were scheduled to meet just once this season â?? coming on Feb. 9 in Tahlequah, OK.
G â?? #2 â?? Seth Jackson â?? 6â??3â?? â?? 200 â?? SO â?? 9.3 ppg | 3.1 rpg | 1.8 apg
F â?? #5 â?? Mike Carlson â?? 6â??9â?? â?? 200 â?? JR â?? 16.1 ppg | 6.6 rpg | 1.9 apg
G â?? #11 â?? Cole Myers â?? 6â??3â?? â?? 190 â?? FR â?? 6.8 ppg | 2.8 rpg | 1.8 apg
G â?? #12 â?? Cory Myers â?? 6â??3â?? â?? 190 â?? FR â?? 6.8 ppg | 3.4 rpg | 4.0 apg
F â?? #33 â?? Tyler Anderson â?? 6â??5â?? â?? 210 â?? SO â?? 8.1 ppg | 4.4 rpg | 0.4 apg
Head Coach: Matt Woodley
Career Record: 12-24 || .333 || 2nd season
At Truman: Same
MIAA: 6-16 || .273
Assistant Coaches: Todd Lorensen (2nd season), Matt Fitzpatrick (2nd season)
Series Notes vs. Northeastern State:
Series Record: Northeastern State leads 1-0
Last Meeting: NSU 52, Truman 40 (Nov. 28, 2003 || St. Joseph, Mo.)
Series Streak: Northeastern State W-1
Record at Neutral Site: Northeastern State leads 1-0
Last TSU win on Neutral Site: Never
Woodley vs. NSU: 0-0
1) Guards v. Guards: NSU boasts one of the MIAAâ??s top point guards in Bryton Hobbs (17.0 ppg; 4.9 apg), so the Bulldogs will have to look to neutralize his impact on the game.
Look for a variety of Truman guards to share defensive responsibiliies on the JuCo transfer.
2) Keep the RiverHawks off the Line: For the second straight night, the Bulldogs will face one of the nationâ??s top free throw shooting teams, as NSU entered the week ranked No. 2 in the NCAA from the charity stripe at 83%.
3) Battle on the Glass: NSU has the leagueâ??s top individual rebounder in Jermaine Bransford (8.4/gm), but the RiverHawks are last in the league in offensive rebounds. Limiting second chance opportunities will be a key for the purple and white.
â?¢Truman is shooting 45.5% from the field as a team so far in 2012-13, including a 35.6% mark from three-point range.
â?¢The â??Dogs rank in the top-third of the MIAA in three-pointers made per game (3rd; 7.9), defensive rebound totals (27.7; 4th), turnover margin (+2.9; 4th), assists (14.7; 5th) and steals (8.1; 5th).
â?¢Truman is shooting 67./% overall from the free throw line this season but has been above that number in each of the last three games (70.8% at MWSU; 81.0% vs. MSSU; 70.0% at QU).
â?¢Isaac Gardner continues to be one of the MIAAâ??s top snipers, averaging 2.6 three pointers per game â?? good for third in the league.
Carlson at the Charity Stripe:
Mike Carlson is 25-for-27 from the free throw line this season, putting him first in the MIAA and sixth in NCAA Div. II at 92.6%.
He made 22 in a row earlier this season, having that streak snapped in the final two minutes of Tuesday nightâ??s win at Quincy.
Dialing Long Distance:
The Bulldogs have taken an average of 22.1 three-point attempts per game so far this season, including a 10-year high of 37 against Missouri Western on December 5.
Turning the Red Shirts Purple:
Senior Tom Norton and freshman Jaylon Jones were both tagged at the beginning of the season as planning on using a redshirt year; however, head coach Matt Woodley put both players in uniform starting with the Dec. 5 game at Missouri Western. Both players have seen the floor in all three games since.
Scouting the RiverHawks:
Picked to finish 14th in the MIAA preseason coachesâ?? poll, Northeastern State has defied the critics through the first nine games by jumping out to an 8-1 overall record and a tie atop the conference standings at 2-0.
The RiverHawks are winners of three straight, opening MIAA play last week with a 63-56 win at home against Emporia State before downing Lincoln 57-45 in Jefferson City on December 8.
The RiverHawks have been on fire from the floor all season, shooting 51.1% overall through Tuesday nightâ??s game, including a 44% mark from long-distance.
In addition, the squad has converted at the free throw line to a tune of 81% - the top mark in the MIAA. Junior transfer point guard Bryton Hobbs â?? a St. Louis native â?? leads the team at 17.0 points per game, while senior forward Jermaine Bransford is adding 14.8 points and an MIAA-best 7.8 rebounds per contest.
Each of NSUâ??s top four scorers all shoot better than 82% from the foul line.
On Tuesday night, NSU built a 20-point halftime lead, then put up a 50-spot of their own in the second half to take a 96-53 decision against Ohio Valley College.
Five RiverHawks scored in double-figures, led by Jon Millerâ??s 16 off the bench. NSU shot 64% from the field for the game and got a 12-point, 10-rebound, 6-assist game out of Hobbs at the point.
Larry Gipson is in his 16th season at NSU and has a career record of 253-180. He missed most of last season due to an illness.
Bulldogs Notables vs. NSU:
â?¢None. The Bulldogs have not met NSU since the 2003 season.
Five Peas in an MIAA Pod:
For the 2012-13 season, the MIAA will be invoking a â??podâ?? system for basketball scheduling, resulting in 18 league matches for all 15 of the conferenceâ??s schools.
While all 15 teams will fall under set of standings with no delineation between pods, Truman will play Central Missouri, Lincoln, Southwest Baptist and newcomer-Lindenwood twice each as part of one five-team grouping.
Emporia State, Missouri Southern and Pittsburg State will join with newcomers Central Oklahoma and Northeastern State as a second pod, while Northwest Missouri, Missouri Western, Washburn and Fort Hays will align with the final newcomer, Nebraska-Kearney, in a third pod.
At the end of the season, the top 12 teams will compete for the MIAA menâ??s basketball championship.
First-round games will be played on Monday, March 4 on campus sites with the top-4 teams and the first-round winners advancing to Kansas City for the remainder of the tournament as usual.
For a full game-by-game breakdown of MIAA standings and schedules, check the full set of game notes linked at the top of this page.
The Bulldogs will take the Christmas holiday and required NCAA â??dead periodâ?? off before returning to action on Sunday, Dec. 30 against Maryville (Mo.). Tipoff from Pershing Arena is set for 3:00 pm.
Courtesy Truman State University