Dec. 14, 2006
There are 11 shopping days until Christmas, but Lipscomb coach Scott Sanderson is marking time in a different way as his team has only four more non-conference games left before returning to Atlantic Sun Conference play Jan. 2.
Before starting that final conference drive at Kennesaw State the Bisons, 2-0 in early A-Sun play, have a number of things to work on.
The Bisons close out the month with a visit from Nicholls State Thursday night and road trips to Evansville (Dec. 16), Liberty (Dec. 21) and Alabama (Dec. 29).
They have already made trips to Missouri, South Carolina and Vanderbilt with home games against Tusculum, Evansville, Fisk and Winston Salem. They head into the Nicholls State game with a 6-3 record.
"We have played a very good schedule," Lipscomb coach Scott Sanderson said. "The thing I like about it is we have been finding ways to win. If we have been close in the last five minutes of a game this season we have won. We have done a very good job of finishing games for the most part."
Defense is a point of pride for the Bisons. Sanderson is disappointed that his team is allowing opponents to shoot 42 percent from the field.
"Our goal is to hold teams to 40 percent or below," Sanderson said. "We should be better for longer periods of time than we have been so far defensively. We continue to work and harp on it."
On offense the Bisons are shooting a lower percentage than they did last season.
"Last year we shot 45 percent from the floor," Sanderson said. "This year we are shooting 39 percent. A lot of that might have to do with the teams we are playing, but we haven't shot very well from the floor.
"I know the last couple of games we have gotten better shots, but we aren't making them. Sometimes that has a tendency to work on your head a little bit. We are a better shooting team than we have shown this year."
One continuing concern is the post position where Jason Hopkins, a junior college transfer; and Thomas Pfaff, a sophomore, have been getting the bulk of the playing time. Also in the mix is Ryan Daniel, a transfer from Auburn.
"Jason is our best scorer in the low post. Thomas is our best defender. And Ryan is the best screener. We are trying to figure out what to do with them offensively. They understand they are going to get baskets by running down the floor in transition, getting offensive rebounds and sticking them back or getting angles to the post to shoot lay-ups."
Senior point guard Trey Williams has been the most consistent player for the Bisons. Eddie Ard and Brian Fisk were both preseason picks for the A-Sun All-Conference team, and Ard was selected as preseason Player of the Year, but both have struggled to find their rhythm offensively.
"Trey has been tremendous," Sanderson said. "Can he continue to do what he is doing? I sure hope so. If he can continue to do what he is doing and Eddie and Brian play to their abilities we have the chance to have a very good season."