MIAMI SHORES, Fla. – Barry University men’s basketball team opens Sunshine State Conference play Saturday at 4 p.m. against Tampa.
“It’s a great opportunity for us,” freshman forward Adrian Gonzalez said. “We’re prepared, and we’re practicing really hard. From what I’ve heard, you can’t take a night off in this conference as teams can come out here on any given day and just beat you. So we’re mentally ready and physically prepared to take them on and hopefully get that W.”
Saturday's game will air on the Buccaneers Broadcast Network following the women's game at 2 p.m.
Last year’s conference opener required overtime in the Buccaneers’ win. But this year is a new season. The Bucs (4-0) have already experienced a close call – a 95-93 win over Belmont Abbey in the Barry Thanksgiving Classic.
“We learned a lot,” said Gonzalez, who is averaging 12.3 points per game and shooting 58.8 percent from the field. “We had a lot of mistakes, but we’ve watched film, and we’ve learned from our mistakes.”
Tampa (5-1) gave the Bucs fits the last time the Spartans visited Health & Sports Center when Da’Markco Foster put together a furious rally in the closing minutes before the Buccaneers prevailed. Foster leads the Spartans in scoring (18.8). Vincent Cornu is averaging 10 points and 7.8 rebounds, and Jordan Davis 12 points and 6.7 assists.
Barry has five players scoring in double figures, and point guard Deric Hill is averaging 7.8 assists while scoring eight points per game. The Bucs rank No. 22 in the country in scoring at 92.8 points per game. They are seventh in the nation in rebounding margin. Barry is outrebounding its opponents by 14.8 per game.
“This is probably the most unselfish team I’ve ever played for,” Gonzalez said. “We’re not worried about individual stats. We’re just worried about our team thing.”
The Buccaneers will have two more home games before playing in the Lynn Courtyard by Marriott Holiday Classic in Boca Raton. Barry hosts Ave Maria Dec. 13 and Claflin Dec. 17, both at 7:30 p.m.
LAST TIME OUT: Barry outlasted Belmont Abbey, 95-93, as Jr. G Juan Ferrales scored a career-high 34 points.
SERIES RECORD: Barry is 20-39 overall against Tampa ... The Bucs won both meetings between the two schools last season.
EYES ON OPPONENT: The Spartans went 2-0 at the Eckerd Tournament, and have won three straight ... Da’Markco Foster leads UT in scoring (18.8) ... Jordan Davis is averaging 12 ppg and 4.7 reb ... Vincent Cornu is averaging 10 ppg and 7.8 reb ... Eric Moraes is averaging 6.3 reb.
FERRALES ON FIRE: Barry Jr. G Juan Ferrales’ 34 points in Saturday’s win is the most by a Buccaneer since Melvin Triche had 34 against Newberry on Dec. 2, 2005 ... Ferrales leads the SSC in scoring (23.8).
PLAYER OF WEEK: Ferrales was named the Sunshine State Conference Player of the week ... He is the first to win it at Barry since Jan. 2011.
DOUBLED UP: Barry has five players averaging in double figures this year: Ferrales, Magne Fivelstad, Yunio Barrueta, Adrian Gonzalez and Savad Garner.
FIVELSTAD A FIELD GOAL MAKER: Sr. F Magne Fivelstad is shooting 66.7 percent from the field, which is second in the SSC.
BEST IN SSC: Barry leads the SSC in scoring (92.8), FG % (.502), rebounding margin (14.8) and offensive rebounds (15.3).
BACK-TO-BACK 10s: Bucs Jr. PG Deric Hill has dished out a career-best 10 assists in back-to-back games.
THIEVERY AT ITS BEST: Barry Jr. PG Deric Hill leads the SSC in steals per game (3.5).
SCORING FROM STRIPE: Barry has shot over 80 percent from the free throw stripe twice this year, including an 83.3 percent (20-24) last game.
TRIPLED UP: Barry and its four opponents have both made 31 three-point field goals this season ... Tampa’s opponents have also connected on 31 triples this season ... The Spartans have made 33 so far.
BUCS RECORD WHEN
Overtime Games: 0-0
Home Games: 3-0
Road Games: 1-0
Neutral Games: 0-0
Night Games: 4-0
Day Games: 0-0
Leading at Halftime: 3-0
Trailing at Halftime: 1-0
Tied at Halftime 0-0
After a Loss: 0-0
Scoring 80+ points: 4-0
Scoring 70-79 points: 0-0
Scoring 60-69 points: 0-0
Scoring 50-59 points: 0-0
Games Decided by 2 points or Less: 1-0
Games Decided by 5 points or Less: 0-0
Games Decided by 10 points or Less: 1-0
Games Decided by 11-20 Points: 0-0
Games Decided by over 20 Points: 2-0
Outrebounding Opponents: 4-0
Opponents Outrebound Bucs: 0-0
Matching Opponents in Rebounds 0-0
Committing 10 or Fewer Turnovers 0-0
Committing 11 or More Turnovers: 4-0
5 Starters Reach Double Figures: 1-0
4 Starters Reach Double Figures: 2-0
3 Starters Reach Double Figures: 4-0
2 Starters Reach Double Figures: 4-0
1 Starter Reaches Double Figures: 4-0
Shooting 50% or Better FG: 2-0
Shooting 40-49% FG: 2-0
Shooting Under 40% FG: 0-0
Opponents Shoot 50% or Better FG: 2-0
Opponents Shoot 40-49%: 1-0
Opponents Shoot Under 40%: 1-0
Shooting 80% or Better FT: 2-0
Shooting 70-79% FT: 1-0
Shooting 60-69% FT: 1-0
Shooting Under 60% FT: 0-0
Opponents Shoot 80% or Better FT: 1-0
Opponents Shoot 70-79% FT: 0-0
Opponents Shoot 60-69% FT: 1-0
Opponents Shoot Under 60% FT: 2-0