At times in the first half, Augusta State coach Dip Metress knelt down in front of the bench showing players different things on his clipboard.
Eight games into this season, the Jaguars are still learning new things. Four of the top seven players are underclassmen. The remaining players are ones who are having to step up their games.
“Guys who were Robin last year are now Batman,” Metress said. “They have to understand their roles have changed.”
In Augusta State’s first home game in a month, Harold Doby played his role to perfection, posting a double-double in the Jaguars’ 75-57 win over Emmanuel at Christenberry Fieldhouse.
Doby recorded team highs with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Tye Beal and Devonte Thomas, who combined to shoot 5 for 12 from the perimeter, each added 13 points.
After defeating Paine in its Nov. 16 home opener, Augusta State (4-4) played six consecutive road games. The Jaguars lost four contests by a combined 11 points during a five-game stretch. Then, Augusta State exploded for a season-high 92 points in Wednesday night’s win at Flagler.
“We’re just trying to learn how to play with each other since we’re a new team,” Doby said. “The last couple of games, we got back to playing Augusta State basketball.”
Against Emmanuel, the Jaguars attacked the basket often and shot better than 50 percent from the field for the second time this season. Augusta State converted 27 of 53 attempts on 20 assists.
The Jaguars jumped all over the Lions after the tip. Beal opened the scoring with a 3-pointer. Doby added five consecutive points. Beal swished another three.
D’Angelo Boyce drove hard down the lane, took a dish from Doby and went in for a layup. After Doby scored on a floater, Boyce drove to the basket for another layup. Barely five minutes into the game, Augusta State led 17-1.
The Jaguars led 47-14 at intermission. The game got sloppy in the second half, and some of that had to do with Augusta State’s youth and inexperience. Still, Beal, the Jaguars’ senior guard, is seeing improvement.
“We’re almost there, but we’re not there yet,” he said. “We’ve got to keep getting better. We’ll definitely get there. I’m not worried about that. We’ve got a good team.”
Augusta State leaves today in preparation for Monday’s game at No. 3 Lincoln Memorial. The Jaguars won’t play again until Dec. 31, a home game against Mount Olive.