After an opening night win on Friday, the Miami Hurricanes continue their season tonight against the Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks.
The ‘Jacks are one year removed from a signature season, where they went 28-7 while winning the Southland Confrence and earning an NCAA Tournament birth, losing to instate rival Texas Tech in the first round.
SFA is 2-0 this season so far, with two wins over NAIA opponents.
The Lumberjacks were set to return three starters from last year’s team, but their roster took a hit with the injury of forward TJ Holyfield, who will miss the entire season this year.
Being told I can't play this season SUCKS!! I'm really disappointed SFA won't see number 22 on the court this year... However, I'm super excited to watch my team play this season and I'm gunna do what I can to help them get to where we wanna be!! #AxeEm #GangGang— TJ Holyfield (@teejayy_22) November 7, 2018
Holyfield led the Jacks in rebounds per game (6.4) while adding nearly 13 points per game as well.
Last year’s two leading scorers still both return. Shannon Bogues is coming off a campaign coming off 15 and a half points per game while Kevon Harris is an equally lethal scorer who averaged 5 and a half rebounds per game.
Through two games—albeit against inferior competition, both Bogues and Harris are replicating their output from last year.
A breakout player for the Lumberjacks this year may be junior Nathan Bain. The Freeport, Bahamas native has averaged exactly 10 points so far this season, coming off a season where the forward played in a mainly reserve role.
Graduate transfer Davonte Fitzgerald also looks to finish his career strong after stops at Texas A&M and Minnesota. The Georgia native has never been a regular starter during his college career but is averaging double-figures in scoring so far and leads SFA in three-point percentage through this young season.
Unlike Lehigh, the Lumberjacks will not play overly fast. SFA has just 38 three-point attempts through two games, whereas Miami attempted 32 on Friday night alone. The Jacks also only make 34 percent of their 3s, below both Lehigh and Miami.
Miami will still be without Dewan Hernandez for the foreseeable future as UM’s Compliance office and the NCAA await the eligibility status of the forward. Ebuka Izundu and Sam Waardenburg will fill Hernandez’s void.
SFA and Miami did have a common opponent last season in Florida A&M. Miami defeated FAMU 90-59, while the Jacks came out victorious as well, 79-63.
Tipoff at the Watsco Center is a 7 p.m. Those who cannot make it to the game can stream the game on the WatchESPN App or listen on WQAM-AM or WVUM-FM.