Minnesota-Furman Men's Basketball preview

The Minnesota Gophers will resume their non-conference schedule as they face the Furman Paladins at Williams Arena Sunday at 1:00. Furman is located in Greenville, South Carolina and has some familiar faces to Gopher fans. They are coached by former Gopher assistant Larry Davis, who is in his seventh year at head coach. He has a 76-101 record at Furman, which has not made postseason play since 1991 N.I.T. appearance

Assistant coach Niko Medved attended Minnesota and served as a basketball manager and student assistant coach for two seasons prior to graduating with a B.S. degree in kinesiology in 1997. He earned his master's degree in sports management in 1999.

 

Their top recruit, 6-2 guard Eric Webb of Grand Rapids (MN) High, was a finalist for Minnesota Mr. Basketball last season.

 

The Paladins are off to a 2-1 start. They lost their season opener 78-72 to James Madison as 6-8 senior forward Maleye Ndoye scored a career-high 32 points. Ndoye made 14 of 18 free throws and he was eight of 16 from the field, including a pair of three-pointers.

 

Webb scored a game-high 17 points in their 77-53 win over Southern Wesleyan in the Paladins' home season opener. He made five of nine from the field, including four of eight from three-point range. He was joined in double figures by teammates 6-3 redshirt freshman Robby Bostain with 12 points and 6-11 senior center Marijan Pojatina and 6-7 freshman Quan Prowell, who added eleven points each.

 

Prowell scored 16 points in their 74-49 win over Greensboro College. He made six of eleven shots, including a pair of three-point attempts. Maleye Nodye added 15 points, and Eric Webb chipped in twelve.

 

The Paladins have used a nine-man rotation in their three games. No player has played more than 28.3 minutes per game and Webb (11.7 points per game) and Prowell (10.3) are second and third in scoring, despite coming off the bench. Ndoye is leading the team in scoring with 18.3 points per game. 6-7 sophomore Nick Sanders is leading the team with 6.3 rebounds per game and Pojatina is leading the team with 2.7 blocked shots per contest.

 

The Paladins finished 14-17 last season and were 8-8 in conference play, which tied them for third in the South Division of the Southern Conference. They return six lettermen after losing six lettermen and three starters to graduation.

 

Lettermen Returning (stats from last season)

Ryan Carson (6-3, G, Jr., 1.1 ppg, 0.2 rpg)

Tony Carter (6-0, G, So., 5.0 ppg, 3.1 rpg)

Maleye Ndoye (6-8, F, Sr., 5.2 ppg, 2.7rpg)

Marijan Pojatina (6-11, C, Sr., 3.4 ppg, 2.8rpg)

Cedrick Price (6-9, C, Jr., 0.3 ppg, 0.5 rpg)

Nick Sanders (6-7, F, So., 2.9 ppg, 4.0 rpg)

 

Non-Lettermen Returning (2):

Robby Bostain (6-3, G/F, R-Fr., redshirted in '02-03)

Ben Earle (6-5, G/F, R-So., redshirted in '02-03)

 

Newcomers (5):

Moussa Diagne (6-8, F, Fr., Thies, Senegal, Evangel, La., Christian Acad.)

Eric Webb (6-2, G, Fr., Grand Rapids, Minn., Grand Rapids H.S)

Gerad Punch (6-4, G/F, Fr., Phoenix, Ariz., Brophy H.S.)

Quan Prowell (6-8, F, Fr., Columbus, Ga., Jordan H.S.)

Julius van de Laar (6-7, F, Fr., Heidelberg, Germany, Urspring H.S.)


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