Coach Scott Sanderson is breaking down every aspect of the game, especially those areas where the Bisons need to show improvement.
The Bisons, who have won their last four games in a row and five of their last six, will get tested on the road this week in Jacksonville. Thursday night they face North Florida at 6:30 at UNF Arena. Saturday they will play Jacksonville at 2:15.
“It is a tough road trip,” Sanderson said. “Both are quality teams. North Florida plays tough and physical.
“The way we have refocused and the way we have played the last three weeks has been really, really good. We obviously want to win, but we will find out even more about ourselves after these two games.”
North Florida, 8-14, 5-6 in the conference, has lost its last two games. The Bisons are 14-8, 9-4 in the A-Sun.
“Our big soap box right now in the month of February is attention to detail,” Sanderson said. “We have to be able to execute a scouting report. The question is can the players do the things we ask them to do?
“I think the players are buying in. I keep saying it is a process and that we have to keep getting better.”
In January the emphasis was on how many days until the Atlantic Sun Tournament. But Sanderson was quick to point out that what worked in January might not be as effective in February.
“You have to be able to change and that is what we are doing,” Sanderson said. “I want to take as much pressure off of the players as I can. I just want them to go out and do what we ask them to do.
“We have changed courses on coaching them at times this season. They have been pretty resilient about it.”
North Florida is led by Parker Smith with 12.6 points per game followed by Jerron Granberry with 11.2 and Andy Diaz with 10.2. Diaz also leads the team in rebounds with 5.5.
Smith is first in A-Sun games only in 3-point field goals made with 3.18 per game.
Center Adnan Hodzic continues to lead the A-Sun in scoring overall (19 ppg) and in conference games only (19.1). He also leads the conference overall in rebounds with 7.9 and field goal percentage (56.8). He is 25th in the NCAA in field goal percentage.
Guard Josh Slater is fourth overall in scoring in the conference with a 16.1 average. Slater is tied for sixth in scoring in A-Sun games only with 15.5.
Slater is first in A-Sun games only in steals with 2.6 per game. He is ranked 13th in the nation in steals per game overall with 2.5.
When UNF visited Allen Arena Jan. 10 the Bisons overcame a nine-point half time deficit for an 80-76 win. Slater scored 30 points for the Bisons. The Bisons have an 8-2 advantage in the series.
“The last three weeks we have had more attention to detail, our mistakes are less and we are playing better,” Sanderson said. “And that results in winning.
“If you do all of the process stuff the winning and losing takes care of itself. We still have two or three more levels we can go to on both sides of the ball. As soon as we improve I am not going to coach easier. I am going to keep nudging them on individually and as a team.”
Written by Mark McGee, Senior Publisher/Director of Media Relations.