College Basketball

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Jacksonville State (0-0) at Bradley (0-0)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Friday, November 8, 8 p.m. (et)

FACTS & STATS: Site: Carver Arena (11,164) -- Peoria, Illinois. Television: None. Home Record: JSU 0-0, Bradley 0-0. Away Record: JSU 0-0, Bradley 0-0. Neutral Record: JSU 0-0, Bradley 0-0. Conference Record: JSU 0-0, Bradley 0-0. Series Record: First-ever meeting.

GAME NOTES: The Jacksonville State Gamecocks will begin the 2013-14 season with a tour of the Land of Lincoln as they take on the Bradley Braves at Carver Arena on Friday.

The Gamecocks had last season's 17-11 performance go to waste as they were ineligible for postseason play due to academic issues. Now with the postseason ban no longer an issue, Jacksonville State will try to achieve the same success despite losing some significant seniors. Coach James Green did a great job of preparing his squad defensively, which yielded a scoring defense average of 64.9 ppg to rank third in the Ohio Valley Conference. The strong effort on the defensive end helped the Gamecocks avoid any losses to teams from non-major conferences during their 11-game non-conference slate in 2012-13.

Coach Geno Ford has a handful of new additions, who will be very important as the Braves attempt to replicate their 18-17 finish to last season. Bradley's roster includes seven eligible players who were not on the squad a season ago. It will be looking to extend its streak of victories in season-openers after beginning each of the past 15 seasons at 1-0. Bradley's season ended last season with a third round exit from the CIT.

This will be the first meeting in history between Jacksonville State and Bradley.

The Gamecocks have a proficient backcourt with Brian Williams (13.1 ppg) and Darion Rackley (13.7 ppg) returning. JSU needs to become a better rebounding team, but that improvement may require some recruiting as the biggest issue is a lack of size. Junior college transfer D.J. Felder will help on the front line as his 6-7, 225-pound frame will make him one of the Gamecocks' biggest players right away. Freshman forward Jamal Hunter (6-8, 215) could provide assistance on the interior if he is able to increase his strength and awareness in a timely manner.

The Braves will lean on senior leaders Walt Lemon, Jr. and Tyson Pickett. Lemon, a preseason first-team All- MVC guard, is the conference's active scoring leader. He is one of only two players in league history to tally at least 500 points, 100 rebounds, 100 assists, and 70 steals in a single season. Pickett (11.0 ppg), a transfer from Dodge City (Kan.) Community College, earned a spot on the 2012-13 MVC All-Newcomer Team in 2012-13. Bradley has a solid big man in fifth-year center Jordan Prosser, who has pulled down 504 rebounds to rank first among the OVC's active players.

Williams and Rackley should match up well with Lemon, Jr. and Pickett, but JSU will struggle to compete with the Braves on the boards due to the presence of Prosser. The Gamecocks could end the Braves' streak of wins in season openers if one of their newcomers makes a splash in their debut.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Bradley 73, Jacksonville State 64

11/08 10:42:13 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
CHR 4
DUR 3
 
7:05pm Tonight
CHR
DUR
 
Final
CLE 5
KAN 1
Final
PIT 1
CIN 2
Final
DET 7
CWS 4
Final
TAM 7
MIN 9
Final
NYM 4
STL 1
Final
CHC 2
ARI 5
Final
WAS 3
SDP 4
Final
TOR 4
BAL 11
Final
BOS 5
NYY 14
Final
HOU 1
OAK 10
Final
LOS 3
PHI 7
7:05pm Tonight
BAL
KAN
 
7:05pm Tonight
NYY
ANA
 
7:05pm Tonight
WAS
SDP
 
7:07pm Tonight
TOR
BOS
 
7:10pm Tonight
NYM
MIA
 
7:35pm Tonight
ATL
CIN
 
8:10pm Tonight
MIL
CHC
 
8:10pm Tonight
MIN
DET
 
8:10pm Tonight
HOU
OAK
 
8:10pm Tonight
CWS
TAM
 
8:15pm Tonight
STL
PIT
 
9:40pm Tonight
ARI
PHI
 
10:10pm Tonight
LOS
COL
 
10:10pm Tonight
SEA
TEX
 
10:15pm Tonight
SFG
CLE
 
Final
ATL 98
IND 85
Final
MEM 98
OKC 95
Final
GSW 96
LAC 98
7:00pm Tonight
BRK
TOR
8:00pm Tonight
WAS
CHI
10:30pm Tonight
POR
HOU
Final
DET 2
BOS 3
Final
MIN 2
COL 1
Final
LOS 6
SJS 3
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
NYR
8:00pm Tonight
STL
CHI
10:30pm Tonight
ANA
DAL
Final
CHR 4
DUR 3
 
7:05pm Tonight
CHR
DUR