CARROLLTON, Ga. - Thursday at Lee marks the third game in seven days for the West Georgia Wolves, as head coach Dave Moore and his squad look to rebound from a tough loss at The Coliseum on Monday evening. Both the Wolves and Flames come into Thursday’s game with 9-5 records, while UWG is 4-2 against league play and Lee is 6-0. First tip on Thursday is set for 8:00 p.m.
LAST TIME OUT
The Wolves struggled to find the basket on Monday evening against Delta State, as the Statesmen snaped UWG’s three-game winning streak with a 74-51 win over the Wolves. Marquill Smith had his first game of the season with less than 20 points scored, netting just six points in the loss. Lee won it’s eighth-straight last Saturday at Christian Brothers, winning 70-55.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
For the second time this season, two different Wolves were named as the recipient of a weekly honor. This week, however, two awards came for UWG, with Smith picking up his second Player of the Week honor of the year. Smith averaged 20.5 points and 13 rebounds during the week to earn the honor. Jared Simmons averaged 17.5 points per game and hit 6-of-14 from three-point range in the two games directly after the holiday break. Against Oakwood last Wednesday, he was solid at the free-throw line, hitting 5-of-6.
FRESHMEN SHOWING OUT
With injuries early in the season, head coach Dave Moore has needed his freshman class to grow into the college game quickly. That group took the challenge and has quickly taken a step forward in helping the Wolves to a 9-5 record heading into the 15th game of the season. Jared Simmons has been the top freshman scorer for West Georgia, producing seven double-figure scoring games on the year. He has also won GSC Freshman of the Week twice, including this past week for his 35 points scored combined against Oakwood and Mississippi Collge. He had a career-high against MC, netting 20 in the contest. Michael Zabetakis has also been a solid scorer, putting up at least 10 points in four games thus far, including 15 against Delta State on Monday.
- Head coach Dave Moore has had a switch-up in his lineup in the past three games, bringing Jared Simmons in off the bench as a sixth-man, and the freshman has not disappointed, scoring 37 points in those two games, and he is 6-for-19 from three-point range in the last three games.
Simmons has scored 43 points now off the bench this season, including a high for any player this season with 20 against Oakwood. Deng Nhial leads the team with 72 total points off the bench.
- West Georgia received 40 points from the bench against Oakwood, the most of any game thus far this season.
- Two of the top-10 shooters in the Gulf South Conference in three-point shooting reside on the Wolves’ roster this year.
Marquill Smith is 8th in the league in three-point shooting, hitting 37.3 percent from beyond the arc on the year. Jared Simmons hits threes at a .381 clip, good for seventh in the league.
- The most three-pointers in a game for the Wolves this season thus far came one week apart from each other. Greg James hit 7-for-11 on November 17. Marquill Smith has hit five three-pointers in a game three times this season.
GSC WEEKLY AWARDS
- Jared Simmons has been GSC Freshman of the Week twice along with Marquill Smith earning GSC Player of the Week twice. Both shooters earned those titles with their play in the past week against Delta State.
- Smith is narrowing in on becoming the 11th player in West Georgia basketball history to score 1,000 points in a career. He comes into Saturday’s game with 973 total points, needing 23 points to break that threshold.
- Marquill Smith is leading the GSC in both scoring (24.9) and rebounding (8.5), while Aren Ulmer leads the league in steals, averaging 2.6 steals per game.
Smith has scored 20 points in 13 of the Wolves’ 15 contests thus far this season and now has six double-doubles on the year after 20 points and 11 rebounds against Mississippi College last Saturday.
- Smith has done a solid job of getting to the free-throw line this season, in fact going to the line eight more times than the next three shooters, who each have one more game played on the year. Smith has made 75-of-105 from the charity stripe. His free-throws made is the most in the GSC, and his free-throw percentage (.714) is third.
TOP TEAM CATEGORIES
- West Georgia has been third in the league in scoring offense for the past four games, averaging 75.7 points per game on the year. The Wolves lead the GSC in blocked shots and steals through the first 13 games.
- The Wolves have allowed less than 20 percent from three-point range in tet three games, moving to second in opponent percentage from long-range at .307.