Trojans take on FIU tonight

Published 10:38 pm Wednesday, February 1, 2012

For the Troy men’s basketball team, a chance at a Sun Belt Conference regular season championship has long since slipped away but the Trojans can look to gain momentum heading into the conference tournament in March as they take on Florida International tonight at Sartain Hall. The team will also look to put on a good showing for the 218 student-athletes that will be honored at halftime of the game for their achievements in the classroom.

The group entering the 3.0 Club will be the largest in the history of the program.

The Trojans on the court will look to remain in a different kind of 3.0 club.

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All season, Troy has ranked in the top five in the nation for three-point shot made per game and have solidified that standing of late. The Trojans have hit 10 or more three-pointers in three of their last four games including a stretch of 11 in a row against Louisiana-Monroe on Jan. 21, which ties the NCAA record.

In order for the Trojans to heat up they need the contributions of point guard Will “Mo” Weathers. The junior preseason All-Sun Belt selection leads Troy in scoring with 11.6 points per game and has scored 10 points or more in three straight contests.

“When Mo is on his game, everyone else feels more secure,” head coach Don Maestri said. “He’s the quarterback, he runs the show. When he plays better, we all play better.”

Weathers does more than score for the Trojans, he is also the team’s facilitator. With 6.3 assists per game, Weathers leads the Sun Belt and is 13th in the NCAA in the category.

Troy’s threat of the three also allows them to collect rebounds on the offensive side. The Trojans are ninth in the nation in offensive rebounds with 15 per contest.

Of almost equal importance is Tim Owens. The 6-9 senior has become a force in the post and in fourth in the league in blocked shots per game (2.1). Troy will look to Owens to slow down the sizable attack Florida International will bring.

“He has become problematic for opposing teams,” Maestri said. “He causes players to adjust their shots.”

Owens blocked a career high six shots against Middle Tennessee State on Jan. 5.

The Golden Panthers have four players on their roster 6-9 or taller. Owens is Troy’s only player of that height.

Troy and Florida International are scheduled to tip at 7:30 p.m. as they follow the women’s game set to start at 5:15 p.m.