AU men’s basketball team moves into the top-20 of NABC Division II poll

Sophomore Lee Flenor (3) has been a big spark for the Jaguars in their first two games with a 9.5-point average, helping AU to a No. 16 ranking. (photo by Viraj Bulla)

By Carlos Rodriguez |
Sports editor

The Augusta University men’s basketball team received the No. 16 ranking in the latest National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Division II poll this week, moving up seven spots from their previous ranking of 23rd.

“To be nationally ranked is always a good honor for your program,” said AU Coach Dip Metress. “Whenever they put a number in front of your name, other teams get even more excited to play you, and we have to be ready for that.”

The Jaguars (2-0) have picked up wins this season against Lander and Emmanuel, 87-72 and 97-83, respectively.

“We have done a great job of sharing the ball,” said Metress. “We need to get better on guarding the ball out in the open floor.”

Through two games, leading the Jags in scoring is junior Miguel Arnold with 20.5 points per game while shooting 50-percent from the three-point line. Juniors Darren Lucas-White and. Junior Tyshaun Crawford follows closely averaging 20 and 19.5 points per game, respectively. Crawford also leads  the team with 8.5 rebounds per game and has converted on 78.9-percent of his shots from the field.

AU was supposed to have games this week at USC Aiken this past Tuesday, Dec. 15,  and at Lander on Sunday, Dec. 20, but due to a USC Aiken player testing positive for COVID-19, the game was cancelled, and Lander recently played the Pacers so due to contract tracing that game was also cancelled.

This marks the third and fourth games cancelled this season for the Jaguars, and Metress is trying to find games to play before the conference schedule starts in early January.

“There is not a day that I’m not looking for a game,” said Metress. “The challenge is to keep focus when things change on an hourly or daily basis.”

The next scheduled game will be Saturday, Jan. 2, at Emmanuel College before their first conference matchup on Jan. 6 at Columbus State.

The AU women (1-2) were on their way to play Anderson University on Thursday, Dec. 17, but the game was cancelled mid-journey due to COVID-19. Augusta is still scheduled to play at Lander on Saturday, Dec. 19.

 

Contact Carlos Rodriguez at carlosjr521@gmail.com.