Dec. 14, 2006
Nicholls State arrives on campus Thursday night with a 1-10 record, but Lipscomb Bisons basketball fans shouldn't feel all that comfortable.
Nine of those 11 games have been on the road with stops at Washington, Pepperdine, Louisiana State, Texas, Mississippi, Mississippi State, Auburn and Centenary along with a neutral site game with North Iowa. Nicholls State lost to Auburn in overtime 92-87. They are coming off a 76-63 win over Xavier at home Monday night in Thibodaux, La.
"As a coach this game scares you to death," said Lipscomb assistant coach Hubie Smith. "Their schedule is rated as one of the top 30 in the country. They have played an unbelievable schedule. They are the best 1-10 team I have ever seen. They are better than a lot of the teams we have played so far this year."
Nicholls State presents an unusual defensive challenge for the Bisons. They are primarily a perimeter shooting team with several good shooters in the mix.
"They are an under-sized team," Smith said. "They do not have a center. They play all guards and forwards. They are all very good players. When they come down the floor all five of their guys will be behind the 3-point line. The best thing they do is execute in their half-court offense. They do a lot of back-screening and down-screening as they eventually work guys inside.
"They are averaging 70 points a game. They are scoring 40 percent of their points from behind the 3-pount line. Four of their top seven players shoot about 40 percent from the 3-point line. They are similar to Belmont in that regard."
Nicholls State is giving up 87 points a game, but they are forcing an average of 17 turnovers a game. "We cannot let them run their offense," Smith said. "We have to score early and often in transition. We have to make them defend.
"But sometimes we defend ourselves because we come down and quick-shoot. We have tendency to come down and pass one time and shoot it. We have to be patient and we are doing better at that."