TAAC stretch run promises excitement

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 9, 2000

TSU sports infomation director

The Trans America Athletic Conference men’s basketball standings have tightened up a bit in the last week or so, but TSU still holds the coveted top spot.

The Trojans lead the Jacksonville State Gamecocks by a game-and-a-half, Georgia State by two games and Samford and Central Florida by two-and-a-half.

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Last week was not the best for the Trojans as they lost both games during a Florida swing at Stetson and Jacksonville University. Detric Golden was spectacular however, scoring 45 points at JU with eight assists. He averaged 32 points and 6.5 assists per game for the trip, but it wasn’t quite enough it seems for his third TAAC Player of the Week honor.

There was further craziness within the league leaders. On Thursday, while TSU was in DeLand, Campbell defeated Samford and Georgia State raced past Jax State. Saturday, the Gamecocks routed Campbell, while Samford edged GSU in Atlanta. Oh, by the way, Mercer upset Stetson in DeLand.

Central Florida and Georgia State got off to slow starts in league play to start this year’s schedule, but they are perched near the top of the standings none-the-less. For that reason this Saturday’s meeting in Trojan Arena between Central Florida and the Trojans looms large. The Golden Knights have won six of their last eight contests going into a Thursday tilt with the Mercer Bears.

The top six teams in the league get the first night off at the postseason tournament in Jacksonville, Fla. Currently, the only team with zero chance of finishing in the top six is Florida Atlantic at 0-12. Mercer still has a mathematical chance, but the Bears are three games behind sixth not a likely candidate.

The sixth spot is a tie right now with Stetson and Campbell sharing 7-6 records. Jacksonville is lurking nearby at 5-8 so with five games left, there is plenty of time for further jockeying.

Who’s in the best position to make a run at the regular-season crown? TSU is atop the standings, but three of its final five come on the road where they are 5-6 overall on the year.

The next best guess is Samford. Four of its final six are at home with one of the road games coming at last place Florida Atlantic. The same is true for Jacksonville State. Still, don’t count out Georgia State, three of its last five come on the road where the Panthers seem to play a little better.

Golden has the inside track for conference player of the year. His main competition comes from Samford’s Marc Salyers, Stetson’s Sebastian Singletary and JSU’s Brant Harriman. Also, look out for Georgia State’s Shernard Long, a transfer from Georgetown.