Dec. 17, 2005
Home was where the wins were for the Lipscomb Bisons basketball team the past week, but they close out the pre-Christmas schedule on the road.
Saturday night they face Jackson State in Jackson, Miss. It is the second time the two teams have played in the last 10 days. The Bisons beat Jackson State 75-62 at Allen Arena. Monday night the Bisons are in Louisiana to face Nicholls State. The game will be played at the practice facility of the New Orleans Hornets since Nicholls State's arena is undergoing repairs after being used as a shelter for victims of Hurricane Katrina.
The Bisons hit the road with a three-game win streak to extend, but the big news is the debut of guard LaKory Daniels. He transferred to Lipscomb from the University of Alabama last year. He had to wait until after exams this semester to become eligible.
"LaKory can play the point guard or No. 2 -guard," said Sanderson. "He can shoot. He hasn't played in a year-and-a-half. It will be interesting to see how he plays in a game. Practice is one thing, but to get in a game is something different. He will be another guy in the rotation."
Making the court even more crowded is the expected return of senior guard James Poindexter.
"James has not practiced since the East Tennessee State game," said Sanderson. "These games are important to us, but the league games are more important. I don't want him to come back out too soon. I think he could play against Jackson State, but we are going to go day-to-day."
The challenge for Sanderson and his coaching staff is to determine the rotation of players for each game.
"All of sudden figuring out what combination to play, who to play against a zone defense and who to play against a man-to-man or a press is a challenge for out staff," said Sanderson. "It is a better situation than I had three years ago when I looked down the bench and just sat back down. At least I can look down there and see some options to pick from.
"We have addressed this with out team. It is very important that the players on this team accept their roles. Time will be distributed to the guys that play well. We have too many guys who can play. Some of our guys can't afford to make mistakes."
Rebounding has been one of the keys for the Bisons. They have consistently been at or near the top of the Atlantic Sun in most rebounding categories. Senior center Shaun Durant is first in the conference with 10 rebounds per game. Junior forward Cameron Robinson is also in the top five with 8.2 per game.
With the Bisons struggling to find the basket with the exception of the last couple of games, better rebounding has been one of the most positive results. In the last three games the Bisons have outrebounded the opposition 139-to-79.
"We want to shoot it better," said Sanderson. "In the first five or six games we were horrible shooting the ball. Cameron and Shaun were excited because they were getting all of the rebounds. You can overcome bad shooting when you defend and rebound the way we have been rebounding this year."
Defense has been crucial for the Bisons as well. They held both Jackson State and Liberty to only 62 points a game. In their last four games the Bisons have held their opponents to a combined 40 percent shooting from the field.
"Our goal as a team is to hold the other team below 40 percent shooting," said Sanderson. "We are right at it now the last four games. That is a very good stat."