Men's Basketball Team Set to Begin Regular Season
After two exhibition games on the road, the Florida Southern men's basketball team is ready to open the 2009-10 season at home on Wednesday against the University of Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras. Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m., as the Moccasins officially began their quest for a third straight Sunshine State Conference title, and a third straight trip to the NCAA Tournament.
CATERING FOR SIXTH MAN CLUB PROVIDED BY
Fred's Southern Kitchen
Florida Southern Probable Starters (last year's stats):
F #15, John Thompson (11.9 ppg., 8.8 rebs., .496 fg%)
F, #32, A.J. Hawkins (1.2 ppg. 1.4 rebs., .500 fg% at Canisius)
G, #1, Brandon Jenkins (10.4 pts., 4.8 rebs., 3.3 asts.)
G, #2, Terry Jenkins (7.4 pts., 1.5 rebs., .397 3-pt.%)
G, #20, Rion Rayfield (12.1 pts., 2.6 rebs., 2.9 asts., .406 3-pt.%)
UPR-Rio Piedras Probable Starters:
F, #13, Angel Acevedo (5.0 pts., 1.0 reb., 1.0 ast.)
F, #15, Jeffry Santiago (5.0 ppg. 3.0 rebs., 3.0 stls.)
C, #32, Roberto Vazquez (4.0 pts., 2.0 rebs.)
G, #21, Johan Rivera (11.0 pts., 1.0 rebs., 3.0 asts.)
G, #24, Fernando Vargas (11.0 pts., 3 rebs., 2.0 stls.)
SERIES HISTORY... Florida Southern won the only previous meeting last year, 109-86, when the Gallitos also served as the Moccasins' home opener.
ABOUT FLORIDA SOUTHERN... The Moccasins begin their fourth season under Linc Darner, who has guided Florida Southern to a 61-36 record in the previous three. The Mocs were picked to win their third straight conference title, are ranked #8 in the NABC preseason national poll, and #9 in the Division II Bulletin poll. They finished last year with a 29-7 record and were the South Region runner-up, their best finish since 2000. The Mocs return seven players from that team, including All-SSC selections John Thompson and Rion Rayfield. In addition to those two, they also bring back Terry Jenkins (a member of the 2009 SSC All-Tournament Team), Brandon Jenkins (SSC All-Freshman Team in 2008), Preston Fredrick (SSC All-Freshman Team in 2009), and Cameron Wooten (SSC All-Freshman Team in 2007).
ABOUT UPR-RIO PIEDRAS... The Gallitos are in the midst of a five-game trip to Florida, with the game against Florida Southern being their third. They opened with a 106-61 loss to Florida Tech on Sunday, and will play Francis Marion (SC) on Monday night in Melbourne as well. After leaving Lakeland, they'll finish their swing through the Sunshine State with games against Rollins and Saint Leo. Of the players who appeared in last year's game against the Moccasins, only three return. Johan Rivera is the only returning starter, scoring nine points against the Mocs in 2008. He was one of three Gallitos to tie for the team lead with 11 points in this year's opener against Florida Tech. Fernando Vargas and Jafet Dones were the other two. The Gallitos were out-rebounded by the Panthers, 63-26, and out-scored 59-26 in the second half.