Kone - Savannah blog

Oregon State freshman Ben Kone said he's ready to take on whatever role coach Wayne Tinkle has for him.

Godofredo Vasquez, Mid-Valley Media

Here’s a look at Savannah State, which comes to Gill Coliseum for a nonconference game Sunday afternoon.

The Tigers (2-8) are coming off a 128-59 loss at Oregon on Dec. 3 for their fifth straight defeat. They are making their third trip to the West Coast in two weeks, having played at San Diego State (100-67 loss) on Nov. 28.

Savannah State was 16-16 last year and 9-7 in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. The Tigers reached the MEAC semifinals and played in the Collegeinsiders.com Tournament.

The Tigers are picked to finish 11th in the 13-team conference this season.

The Gill Coliseum single-game team records for 3-pointers made (20, by USC in 2000) and 3-pointers attempted (51, by UC San Diego in 1997) could be in jeopardy.

The Tigers have made more than 20 3-pointers twice this season and attempted more than 51 once. They were 24 of 52 in a 101-93 home win against Middle Georgia State on Nov. 17.

With seven returners from last year’s team and the same head coach in Horace Broadnax, Savannah State is putting up twice as many 3-pointers. The Tigers averaged 20.2 attempts last year and are now at 41.5. The team's averages of 15.5 3-pointers made and attempts lead the country.

"It goes against a lot of what I've been doing the last 11 years as a basketball coach," Broadnax told herosports.com last week. "But if we get a clean, open look, and the kid (isn't) rushing himself  if everything is calm and clean and they're not forcing the shot, then they can take it."

Savannah State has played in a lot of high-scoring games this season, averaging 85.6 points and allowing 105.1, which ranks dead last of 347 NCAA Division I teams.

The Tigers have given up 100 or more in six games, including a season-high 128 Dec. 3 in a 128-59 loss at Oregon. The Tigers were 11 of 50 on 3-pointers in that contest.

Savannah State is led in scoring by senior guard Casey Wells and sophomore guard Dexter McClanahan at 13.3 points per game. McClanahan also averages 5.1 rebounds and two assists. Both have 25 3-pointers this season.

The Tigers also get contributions from junior guard Austin Dasent (12 points, 4.4 rebounds, 3.8 assists) and senior guard Troyce Manassa (12 points, 3.7 rebounds, 2.7 assists).

Broadnax, in his 12th season as the Tigers’ head coach, played on Georgetown’s 1984 NCAA championship team.

He helped revive the Bethune-Cookman program, spending five years as the Wildcats’ coach. He practiced law for three years before taking over at Savannah State.

Broadnax has also spent time as an assistant at Bethune-Cookman and Florida.

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