Davidson doesn’t have a chance

Colin Ritsick

If Georgia Southern University wants to take down the defending Southern Conference champions on Saturday, the recipe is simple: score in bulk and control the glass on offense.

Davidson College played a grueling non-conference schedule to start the season with games against Duke University, University of North Carolina, Clemson University and the University of Georgia. The Wildcats (8-11) have benefitted from playing such high-caliber opponents by winning four of its last five SoCon matchups.

The Wildcats are going to put points on the board. It’s what they do. They have put up 100 points twice this season and are the third-highest-scoring team in the SoCon. Four players on Davidson average in the double-digits.

But as potent as they are on offense, they are equally as porous on defense. The Wildcats rank in the bottom half of almost every defensive category – which includes being dead last in scoring defense.

This is where the Eagles’ (9-10) recipe for success comes in. Senior guard Tre Bussey, junior forward Angel Matias and junior guard Jelani Hewitt are going to be the main ingredients.

This game is going to be a shootout, and the highest-scoring guard duo in the league is going to have to be deadly from downtown for GSU to win this game. Bussey is almost a 40 percent three-point shooter and Hewitt isn’t far behind with a 37 percent average.

The Wildcats are also dead last in defensive rebounds. Enter, Matias.

Matias is a top-10 rebounder in the conference. He doesn’t dwarf anyone on the court, nor does he out-jump many. But Matias uses every bit of his 6-foot-4, 225 lbs. build to box out and position himself for 6.9 rebounds per game. Matias alone averages nearly one-third of all of the Wildcats’ defensive rebounds.

If they can win these battles, Head Coach Mark Byington will return to Statesboro with his first marquee win as an Eagle. Tip-off is set for 2 p.m. Saturday in Davidson, N.C.