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ASUN Tournament Preview

#1 Liberty (27-4, 13-3) vs #8 NJIT (9-20, 6-10)


Regular Season (LU 2-0)

Liberty 65 NJIT 38, Liberty 62 NJIT 49

Overview:

The classic 1 vs 8 matchup and Liberty finished the season winning a share of the ASUN Regular Season Championship with UNF. Liberty won 27 games this year and continues to dominate the ASUN in their 2nd season in the conference. Liberty looks to win their 2nd ASUN Championship in a row and to get that auto NCAA bid and NJIT won’t get in the way.

Players To Watch For:

5’9 JR G Zach Cooks (NJIT): 19.8 ppg

6’6 SR G Caleb Homesley (LU): 15.0 ppg

6’8 SR F Scottie James (LU): 11.1 ppg, 7.3 rpg

Prediction:

#1 Liberty 70 #8 NJIT 56

#4 Stetson (15-16, 9-7) vs #5 UNA (13-16, 8-8)

Regular Season (SU 2-0)

SU 54 UNA 49, SU 75 UNA 64

Overview:

Stetson comes into this game playing their first ASUN tournament game at home in 21 years but are limping into it after losing the past four games. Coach Donnie Jones has absolutely exceeded expectations in Deland with this young team full of underclassmen that even beat Liberty at home early in ASUN conference play. Freshman Rob Perry is on his way to winning ASUN Freshmen of the Year with the year he has had and his teammate

Coach Tony Pujol brought back his entire core of players with Agnew and Blackmon once again beginning where they left off last season having stellar sophomore seasons.

Stetson swept UNA during the regular season and the Lions who won in overtime vs FGCU, Satuday, on the road aren’t Liberty or UNF, so I think Stetson rights the ship and faces #1 Liberty in the ASUN semifinals.

Players To Watch For:

6’3 FR G Rob Perry (SU): 15.4 ppg, 5.1 rpg

6’10 FR F/C Mahamadou Diawara (SU): 12.5 ppg, 6.5 rpg 

6’2 SO G Christian Agnew (UNA): 12.9 ppg

6’1 SO G Jamari Blackmon (UNA): 12.1 ppg

Predicton:

#4 SU 67 #5 UNA 59

#3 Lipscomb (14-15, 9-7) vs #6 FGCU (10-21, 7-9)

Regular Season (1-1)

FGCU 68 LU 61, LU 64 FGCU 54

Overview:

The Eagles let one get away Saturday at home vs UNA in a complete letdown of a season with Coach Fly leading the team through a downward spiral. FGCU split the regular season games and in the home game a 15-2 run to begin the game kept the Eagles in front but the Bisons made it a game even though the Eagles were able to get the win. The road game was a different story where it looks a lot closer than it truly was.

FGCU has been led by Caleb Catto all season and he shined as a Sophomore. Newcomer Jalen Warren won some key games at home vs FAU and on the road vs JU on the final shot and contributed well offensively. Zach Scott had some solid games for the Eagles, when used in the correct role starting and not off the bench playing as a 6th man.

Ahsan Asadullah continues to play like the ASUN Player of the Year, KJ Johnson has played well in his freshman year and carried the Bisons at times during the non conference portion of the schedule. Senior Guard Michael Buckland has had a solid year playing under first year Head Coach Lennie Acuff.

Players To Watch For:

6’8 SO C Ahsan Asadullah (LU): 17.4 ppg, 9.6 rpg 

6’1 FR G KJ Johnson (LU): 12.0 ppg

6’5 SR G Michael Buckland (LU): 10.5 ppg

6’5 SO G Caleb Catto (FGCU): 12.5 ppg

6’4 SO G Zach Scott (FGCU): 10.9 ppg

6’3 JR G Jalen Warren (FGCU): 10.7 ppg

Prediction:

#3 LU 74 #6 FGCU 65

#2 UNF (20-11, 13-3) vs #7 JU (14-17, 7-9)

Regular Season (UNF 2-0)

UNF 75 JU 68, UNF 81 JU 65

Overview:

The River City rumble rivalry renews Tuesday night as the Dolphins and Ospreys face off from UNF Arena. Coach Driscoll led UNF to winning a share of the ASUN tegular season title and dominated during conference play with a team full of Seniors. JU struggled under Coach Jasick but had some bright spots in guards Destin Barnes, and Deanthony McCallum, while having a force at center in David Bell.

Players To Watch For:

6’10 R-SR C David Bell (JU): 11.9 ppg, 10.0 rpg

6’7 JR G/F Destin Barnes (JU): 11.7 ppg

6’7 SR G/F Garrett Sams (UNF): 15.0 ppg

6’7 SO F Carter Hendrickson (UNF): 14.5 ppg

Prediction:

#2 UNF 84 #7 JU 67

Analysis:

The favorites at home in the ASUN quarterfinals are easy picks this year. With the exception of the #3 LU/#6 FGCU game being a possible upset, it’s “chalk” throughout this tournament. An ASUN championship with #1 Liberty/ #2 UNF playing for the auto bid seems like the sexy pick this year and Liberty looks like the team to beat. It’s the best time of the year now that we are in March so enjoy the games.

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