If the recent trend holds true, Georgia Regents will decide its starting lineup in practice today.
Before the past two games, different players have picked teams for a 5-on-5 scrimmage. Then, the winning squad has started the next day’s contest. So far, it’s working.
Behind K.J. Sherrill’s game-high 23 points, the Jaguars shrugged off a slow start, rallying for an 81-75 overtime win over Shaw on Thursday night at Christenberry Fieldhouse.
Georgia Regents, which plays host to Emmanuel College at 1 p.m. Saturday, improved to 6-2. Against Shaw (1-6), the Jaguars played their fourth consecutive game with a different starting lineup.
“We have guys who practice hard who don’t produce in games. And we have guys who produce in games who don’t practice as hard as I’d like,” coach Dip Metress said. “It’s very difficult nowadays to get the guys to practice at a pace you want them to practice.”
Georgia Regents played its second game without senior forward Harold Doby, who had foot surgery a week earlier. On crutches, Doby said he’ll likely return in early January. Until then, the team is still trying to figure out how to play without the fire and emotion he brings to the court.
“It’s always weird without our captain, Doby,” Sherrill said. “He’s still on the bench, but he’s not out there on the court. He can give us good feedback.”
In front of a small, quiet Thursday night crowd, the Jaguars fell behind early, bounced back, fell down again and trailed by six with less than four minutes left in regulation. Then, Devonte Thomas scored two of his 17 points on a pair of free throws.
On the inbounds play, Georgia Regents threw out a rare trap, forcing a turnover. Keshun Sherrill scored on a layup to cut the lead to two. Then, Ryan Weems, who scored 17, added two free throws to tie the game.
In overtime, Thomas drilled a 3-pointer from the left corner to snap a 72-all tie. Later, Thomas drove to the basket but missed a layup. Hustling on the play, K.J. Sherrill caught the ball in mid-air, throwing down a thunderous, putback dunk for a 77-72 lead with 42 seconds remaining.
“There was a very stale feeling, but the guys didn’t let that energy affect them,” Metress said. “A couple of guys made some big plays down the stretch.”