February 05, 2013
This is a big week for Eagle athletics.
Men’s basketball is at home Thursday and Saturday, the Lady Eagles had a home game Monday and have another on Saturday, baseball is one week away from its opening weekend, and Wednesday is National Signing Day for football.
Let’s start with basketball. The Eagles split two games last week — a road loss at Furman, followed by a much-needed win at home over Chattanooga.
Southern still has plenty of ground to make up in the SoCon standings, as the Eagles are currently 4-6 in conference play. If the season ended today, Davidson (10-1) and Elon (8-2) would win their respective divisions, and the College of Charleston and Samford would pick up the other two first-round byes. But there’s still a lot of basketball to be played — and it starts Thursday night against Appalachian State.
The Mountaineers are currently 5-5 in conference play and 9-12 overall. These two teams played just two weeks ago in Boone, with App State winning in overtime.
Western Carolina visits Hanner Fieldhouse Saturday for a 7:30 p.m. tip. The Eagles and Catamounts will be playing two weeks to the day from their last meeting — a GSU victory in Cullowhee. The Cats are also 5-5 in conference play and have an 8-14 overall record.
Both of these home games are huge. If Georgia Southern can win both, the Eagles will jump both App and Western in the race for tournament seeding. And, believe it or not, a 2-0 week for the Eagles would make them 6-6, and depending on what Samford does, it could give them a top-four record, which would put them in line for a bye. But like I said, there’s a lot of basketball to be played, and the Eagles just need to win them one at a time.
Women’s basketball had a rough week last week. After winning two straight and gaining some momentum, they lost on the road to Elon and then again at home at the hands of first-place Davidson. The ladies hosted Appalachian State Monday and will welcome the College of Charleston to town on Saturday.
Georgia Southern is currently 3-8 in conference play, which puts them in ninth place in the league. There are three teams tied at 4-7, so ground can be made up pretty quickly with a few wins. With just nine games left for the ladies and eight left for the men, now is the time to start getting hot in time for the tournament.
Eagle baseball cranks up next week as Georgia Southern welcomes the University of Georgia to J.I. Clements Stadium for a three-game weekend set. It’s been a few years since the Eagles and Bulldogs squared off on the diamond, but this has always been a good rivalry, as Georgia owns a narrow 49-38 lead in the all-time series.
Southern has loaded up its schedule with some strong non-conference competition — not uncommon for Rodney Hennon’s Eagles. This year, Georgia, Indiana, Georgia Tech and Xavier all will make trips to Statesboro, and Southern will visit the likes of Florida, Clemson and Georgia Tech. These Eagles will be battle tested by the time SoCon play hits full swing in March.
College football season just ended a few weeks ago, but it will be back in the forefront across the county this Wednesday, which is National Signing Day. Following recruiting has become almost as big as the games themselves in some circles, and seeing which prospects sign where is always interesting. Names we hear Wednesday are the names we’ll be hearing for the next few years at Paulson Stadium.
We’ll discuss the recruits in more detail next week once the 2013 signing class has signed on the dotted line. It’s time to welcome a new flock of Eagles to Georgia Southern.