February 12, 2013
Very few things are as frustrating as knowing you missed an opportunity.
Last week, Georgia Southern basketball had a golden opportunity to put itself in contention for a first-round bye in the SoCon tournament. The Eagles had two games last week — both at home — against Appalachian State and Western Carolina, and winning both would have put Southern at 6-6 in conference play, a half-game behind Samford for the last of the coveted top-four seeds that earn a bye.
It was not to be, however. The Eagles squandered a 10-point halftime lead against App State and another lead in overtime to lose 91-86 to the Mountaineers. Two nights later, a slow start to the second half doomed the Eagles in a 71-62 loss to Western Carolina. So, instead of 6-6 and fifth place in the conference, Georgia Southern sits at 4-8 and would be the No. 10 seed if the season ended today.
Georgia Southern has now lost five of its last seven games since back-to-back wins over Davidson and the College of Charleston. I thought the Eagles had turned a corner after those two wins — I thought wrong. This team seems to have a stretch of a few minutes in almost every game where it looks unbeatable. But it also has a stretch in every game where it looks downright ugly.
The good news? There’s a log jam of teams right around .500 in league play, so road wins at The Citadel and the College of Charleston this week could put the Eagles right back in the middle of things. Southern has six regular-season games left, with only two of those games coming at home. It’s an uphill climb, but this team has shown it is capable of beating anyone. I wouldn’t rule the Eagles out just yet.
Since winning two straight SoCon games, Georgia Southern women’s basketball has fallen on hard times with four straight losses. The ladies hit the road for Western Carolina Wednesday with a chance to make up some ground in the standings. The Catamounts are one game ahead of Georgia Southern, but the Eagles won when Western came to Hanner in January. The Eagles head back home Saturday to host Samford.
Georgia Southern baseball cranks up this weekend with a three-game set against the University of Georgia. Friday night’s opener is set for a 6 p.m. first pitch. Saturday’s game is at 2:30 p.m., followed by Sunday’s series finale at 1:30 p.m. Student tickets for this weekend’s series are limited and must be picked up Monday through Thursday at the Georgia Southern ticket office.
Last week, Georgia Southern announced its 2013 football signing class. The Eagles signed 23 student-athletes: 10 offensive players (seven running backs, two offensive linemen and a quarterback), 11 defensive players (six defensive backs and five linemen) and two special teams players (a long-snapper and a kicker).
Many of these recruits are highly touted, and on paper, this looks like a very strong signing class. But we really won’t know for sure how good these new Eagles are until a few years down the road when they have had a chance to show their stuff on the field.
Several of the running backs are also track stars, some of the linemen also wrestle, and most of these signees played multiple positions on the football field in high school. All of these attributes show this class is made up of well-rounded, versatile athletes. Coach Monken has said that some may see the field and contribute this fall.
Signing day is always fun because we get to see for the first time the guys we’ll be cheering on for the next few years. And judging by the statistics and highlight films I have seen, the future of Georgia Southern football looks pretty bright. I can’t wait to see these guys wearing the blue and white on the field at Paulson.