Green Likes Black-Gold Scrimmage
Hattiesburg, Miss. - The basketball Golden Eagles' second scrimmage of the season saw the Black Team beat the Gold Squad, 70-62, in a Saturday morning, game-condition scrimmage.
The Black squad led 43-36 at the half and held on for the win, despite the Gold team putting five players in double figures. Senior Elvin Mims led the winners with a game-high 20 points, and Ben Lambert contributed 16 and was impressive inside. Pete Meneses added 14 on six-of-eight shooting, and Brandon Gay rounded out the winners' double-figure scorers with 11.
Three Players, Clement Carter, David Haywood and Brad Richardson, had 13 each for the Gold Squad, while Mario Myles and Charles Gaines had 11 each.
The winners hit an impressive 27-of-42 (.643) to go with 11-of-15 (.733) from the line. The Gold Team managed only 19-of-50 (.380) from the floor, including just 2-of-14 from three-point range, but stayed in the game by hitting 22-of-31 (.710) free throws.
The winning team also claimed the edge in the battle of the boards, where Lambert's game-high eight led the way. Gay added seven, the same number as Miles had for the losers.
The scrimmage left Head Coach James Green in a pleasant mood as he headed for Chicago, Ill., and Sunday's Conference USA media day activities. "We had some players who played better than they practiced," Green said. "But we also had some players who had practiced well but did not show it in the scrimmage. That always seems to happen at this time of the year.
"I think our effort was good on both sides of the ball. Elvin (Mims) played really well, Brad (Richardson) struggled at times shooting the ball, but he ran the team well. David (Haywood)
really stepped up his game for the scrimmage and Ben (Lambert) probably was the biggest surprise of the scrimmage with his play around the basketball. He was able to go back and rebound the ball and complete plays. The Gold team's concentration was not as good as we would have liked, especially early, but that got better as the game went along, and we had a competitive game."
Golden Eagle players also received their 2000-01 C-USA championship rings during the Southern Miss-Houston football game and Green says it was a big day for his team. "Probably, to be honest, this is the biggest recognition we've had," he said. "We've had a lot of guys come through the program who helped make today possible. I think those guys deserve some of today's recognition, and normally when you go through something like this it just makes you want to work that much harder to do it again."
Green also announced that freshman signee Jasper Johnson of Hollandale, Miss., likely will miss the season. "He'll probably be redshirted this season," said Green. "He will have shoulder surgery sometime in the near future. We don't want to bring him back too quickly, but we hope to get him back in time for him to have some practice time with us before the season is over. We have to do what is best for him and what is best for him will be best for the program."
Green also is happy with where his team is after two weeks of workouts. "It's hard to say, but I think we knew where we were before we started practice, and I think the improvement we've made would be, to some extent, diminished if I didn't have a positive feeling about what we've accomplished. I think we've now got to speed up that process. We've told the guys that we have to get mentally tougher, we've got to pay attention to detail better than we have, but we've also pleased with what we've done so far."
The Eagles will open the season Nov. 7 at home, playing the first of two exhibition games, and will open the regular season Nov. 17 against Jackson State.
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