Georgia Southern (3-5*) at Bradley (6-2)
Dec. 17, 2012 - 7 p.m. (CST)
Peoria, Ill. – Carver Arena (11,168)
Radio: 1470 WMBD - Dave Snell (pbp), Chad Kleine (analyst) and Dan DiOrio (pregame)
BradleyBraves.com: Live Video | Live Audio | Live Stats
Twitter: @BPtheBrave - #BRADvGaSo
Promotion: Halftime performance by the Special Olympic of Pekin
* Georgia Southern visits Virginia Tech Saturday, before visiting Bradley
Bradley (6-2) will try to match its win total from the entire 2011-12 season (7-25) when it hosts Georgia Southern (4-5) in the first round of the 2012 Continental Tire Las Vegas Classic … The Continental Tire Las Vegas Classic will continue with a second home game Wednesday night versus 2012 NCAA Tournament participant Mississippi Valley State, before moving to the Orleans Arena for games Saturday against Virginia Tech and Sunday against either Colorado State or Portland … Monday’s game will be the fourth all-time meeting between Bradley and Georgia Southern and the first since the Eagles romped to a 93-70 victory Nov. 24, 1990 in Statesboro, Ga. … Bradley has struggled against the Southern Conference in recent years as the Braves are 1-6 in their last seven games against SoCon competition and have dropped four straight to the league since surviving a 56-54 win against the Terriers in the first round of the 2009 HoopTV Las Vegas Invitational at Carver Arena.
Bradley Leads 2-1 | Last: GSU 90-73 (Nov. 24, 1990 in Statesboro, Ga.)
Monday’s game will be the fourth in the all-time series between Bradley and Georgia Southern, which the Braves lead 2-1 … Bradley is 2-0 all-time at home against the Eagles, earning a 65-57 win Dec. 5, 1970 at Roberson Fieldhouse and an 85-77 overtime win Dec. 23, 1989 at Carver Arena.
Bradley is 9-8 all-time in games against teams that were members of the Southern Conference at the time of the game and the Braves have struggled greatly against the SoCon of late … Since pulling out a 66-65 overtime win against Chattanooga Nov. 30, 1991 at Carver Arena, Bradley is 1-6 in its last seven games against SoCon teams … Bradley has dropped four straight to the SoCon - three to Western Carolina and one to Wofford - since surviving a 56-54 decision against Wofford in the first round of the 2009 HoopTV Las Vegas Invitational at Carver Arena.
Bradley vs. the Southern Conference
Opponent Overall* Home*
Chattanooga 1-2 1-1
Duke 1-1 1-0
Furman 2-0 1-0
Georgia Southern 0-1 0-0
North Carolina 1-0 1-0
South Carolina 1-0 1-0
Washington & Lee 1-0 1-0
Western Carolina 0-3 0-2
William & Mary 1-0 1-0
Wofford 1-1 1-1
Totals 9-8 8-4
* As Southern Conference members only
The Latest Injury Bug
Sixth-year senior center Will Egolf suffered a broken nose during practice Tuesday morning in a head-to-head collision with freshman Nate Wells … Egolf had surgery to repair the break Wednesday, but is expected to play Monday while wearing a protective mask.
Last Time Out
at Bradley 72, George Washington 68 | Dec. 4, 2012 | Carver Arena
Bradley took a game-high 19-point lead, 40-21, after Dyricus Simms-Edwards scored the opening bucket of the second half, then withstood a late Colonials rally for the 72-68 win Dec. 4 at Carver Arena … Junior forward Jordan Prosser matched his career-high with 17 points, while the backcourt combo of Simms-Edwards and Walt Lemon, Jr. each made off with five steals … Bradley forced 23 GW turnovers, including 17 on steals, helping the Braves to a 24-8 advantage in points off turnovers.
After equalling the program record for November victories by going 5-1 during the season’s first month, Bradley has split its first two games of December to improve to 6-2 overall … Still with four games remaining before Christmas, the Braves have a shot to equal the program record for pre-Christmas victories … Bradley has not won seven games before Christmas since 2007-08 (7-5).
Bradley Basketball Pre-Christmas Records
Season 1965-66 10-0 20-6
1985-86 9-0 32-3
1947-48 9-0 28-3
2006-07 9-3 22-13
1950-51 9-0 32-6
1967-68 8-1 19-9
1960-61 8-0 21-5
1948-49 8-0 27-8
That 70’s Show
Bradley has scored at least 72 points in each of its first six wins and is averaging 74.5 ppg through the first eight games of the season … Bradley, which is 9-1 the last two years when scoring at least 70 points, reached that plateau just four times during the entire 2011-12 season … Georgia Southern is allowing just 62.4 ppg heading into Saturday’s game at Virginia Tech.
Spreading the Wealth
Averaging 74.5 ppg as a team, Bradley boasts four players who individually average at least 10.0 ppg and six who average at least 9.6 ppg … Bradley has had as many as six players average at least 9.0 ppg for a season only one time in program history, the 1959-60 NIT championship campaign: Chet Walker (21.7 ppg), Dan Smith (14.0), Al Saunders (13.1), Bobby Joe Mason (12.6 in 18 games), Mack Herndon (10.4 in 10 games) and Mike Owens (9.6) … The Braves have not had five players average 9.0 ppg since 1964-65: Eddie Jackson (17.6 ppg), Ernie Thompson (16.5), Tom Campbell (13.1), Ron Martin (11.9) and Alex McNutt (11.8) … Through games of Dec. 6, Bradley was one of five teams nationally boasting six players averaging at least 9.0 ppg, joining Gonzaga, Memphis, North Carolina State and Oregon … Drake (4) is the only team in The Valley with as many as four players averaging at least 9.0 ppg this season … Three teams’ leading scorer average less than Bradley’s sixth-leading scorer, Will Egolf (9.6 ppg): Northern Illinois, Sam Houston State and UMKC.
It’s Warm Inside
Bradley is shooting 54.3 percent (196-361) from inside the arc and the Braves are averaging 41.9 points per game in the paint … Bradley’s 2-point field goal percentage (.543) was tied for 29th nationally through games of Dec. 12 … The Braves have outscored their opponents in the paint in each of their six wins and boast an overall 335-196 scoring advantage in the paint … Bradley is averaging a +17.4 points-per-game scoring advantage in the paint.
Defending the Paint
Bradley is allowing the opposition only 24.5 points per game in the paint and opponents are shooting just 42.5 percent (122-287) from inside the arc.
Bradley’s defense is forcing 16.6 turnovers per game and the Braves have created 85 steals … Through games of Dec. 12, the Braves were ranked 10th nationally with 10.6 steals per game … Bradley boasts a 171-120 advantage in defensive deflections through eight games … The defensive activity has allowed the Braves an 160-86 advantage in points off turnovers … Georgia Southern enters Saturday’s game at Virginia Tech averaging 15.0 turnovers per game.
While Bradley’s defense has been turning over the opposition with success, the Braves are averaging only 12.1 turnovers per game … Bradley ranked 289th last season with a 0.79 assists-to-turnover ratio, but the Braves have improved that ratio to 1.30 this year were tied for 29th nationally in assists-to-turnover ratio through games of Dec. 12 … Bradley has twice committed just nine turnovers in a game this season - Nov. 28 at Central Michigan and Nov. 12 versus Texas-Pan American.
Senior guard Dyricus Simms-Edwards ranks eighth nationally by averaging 3.13 steals per game through games of Dec. 12 … Many of Simms-Edwards’ 25 steals to date have happened by simply ripping the ball away from the player he has been guarding, a play described as an “hombre play” by head coach Geno Ford … Simms-Edwards currently is on pace for 100 steals this season, which would eclipse the school (83) and Valley (96) single-season records … Simms-Edwards has committed only 11 turnovers during his team-best 31.4 mpg … Among the nation’s 100 national steals leaders, Simms-Edwards ranks third with a 2.27 steals-to-turnover ratio.
Senior guard Dyricus Simms-Edwards is Bradley’s active career scoring leader with 904 career points … Averaging 10.0 points per game this year, Simms-Edwards currently is on pace to eclipse the 1,000-point plateau at home Jan. 15 versus Southern Illinois … Junior guard Walt Lemon, Jr. enters Monday’s game with 709 career points … Currently averaging a team-best 13.5 ppg, Lemon would need to average 16.3 ppg in the final 24 guaranteed games to reach 1,000 this year
The Dec. 17 game versus Georgia Southern is the opening game in the 2012 Continental Tire Las Vegas Classic, which will continue at home Wednesday versus Mississippi Valley State, before moving to a neutral site at Orleans Arena in Las Vegas for games Dec. 22 against Virginia Tech and Dec. 23 against either Colorado State or Portland.