No rest for the Trojans as
Published 12:00 am Sunday, January 23, 2000
they host Stetson Monday
By STEVEN G. WATSON
The Troy State Trojans are getting used to very little rest between Trans America Athletic Conference games, Monday will be no different.
Playing their third game in only five days, one a road game at Campbell, TSU will try to maintain their grasp on the TAAC lead as they face the inside challenge of the Stetson Hatters Monday.
The terrible twosome of Stetson’s 6-foot-5 forward Sebastian Singletary and 6-7 center Santos Hampton combine for a whopping 505 pounds of pure rebounding down low averaging 18 boards a game between the two of them.
While not incredibly tall, the two will still prove to be a big test for the Trojans’ smaller inside lineup.
Center Jacova Jenkins (6-8, 215), forward Eugene Christopher (6-3, 185) and forward Donnie Pemberton (6-6, 205) will have to fight tooth and nail to gain a foot hold.
Singletary also leads the team with 14.9 points a game while Hampton adds 7.6. They have been monsters on the boards for the Hatters again this year after being tops in the league last year.
Troy State head coach Don Maestri says the battle underneath will be big if the Trojans hope to keep from getting dominated at home Monday. It’s something the smaller TSU lineup has had problems with in the past.
"They’ve always given us problems because of their rebounding skills," Maestri said. "They have dominated us in the paint on offense and on defense the last few years. They simply control us on the boards.
"They’re also a very hard team to defend because of the offense they run," he continued. "They do a lot of moving and set a lot of screens. Hopefully we can come off the road, get some rest tomorrow and come out Monday and give Stetson a good basketball game. It won’t be easy."
The key will come in how well the high-flying Troy State offense can work around their big men down low. Averaging well over 70 points per ballgame, the Trojans sport one of the nation’s top-ranked 3-point attacks while the Hatters like to slow things down and pound it inside to the tune of only 66.4 points a game.
Stetson has already beaten Jacksonville and Mercer on the road this year for two of its TAAC victories and looks to add TSU to the list.
Maestri feels that a good turnout by Troy State fans will be key to help motivate his team.
"I would hope the town’s people know how much of an effect they have on our team," he said. "We had a four-game home stretch starting with Mercer and the crowds were excellent. I think they really made a difference in our play. They can be ready for another good basketball game Monday and with their help we feel good about our chances."
Tipoff for the contest is set for 7 p.m. at Trojans Arena.
All the action can be heard locally on 100.3 FM.