Reviewing and previewing local college basketball:
Augusta State's Karim Telfer. The senior guard seems to be getting over his early season struggles. He is the current Peach Belt Player of the Week after averaging 19.5 points, 6 assists and 5.5 rebounds the past two games. He ranks second in the Peach Belt in scoring.
Augusta State's other scorers. The Jaguars sit last in the Peach Belt in scoring and scoring margin. This despite ranking 4th of 11 teams in field-goal percentage. So what gives? Augusta State is last in the conference in turnovers, giving up almost 18 freebies a game.
Some readers want to know how The Augusta Chronicle ranks the following local teams. As it's pointed out, Aiken Tech might not be able to beat Augusta State head to head. (One reader compared ranking Aiken Tech ahead of Augusta State akin to ranking Murphey Middle School ahead of Richmond Academy). Well, the Knights are again ranked ahead of the Jaguars in this week's Shootout. Why? The paper doesn't base team rankings solely on how teams would perform against each other. Rather, rankings are based on how well teams are currently playing. Besides, Paine and USC Aiken do not play each other.
Life isn't perfect. These rankings aren't either. If you enjoy them, great. If not, laugh them off.
Paine women at Augusta State, 5:30 p.m. Lady Lions' second-worst loss last season came in a 20-point rout against the Lady Jaguars. Paine needs a big game from Savoyia Barrett and Stephanie Reed from the perimeter. Augusta State has to learn to win the close game.
Paine men at Augusta State, 7:30 p.m. Jaguars needed overtime last season to beat the Lions at home. Then, Paine pulled out a close win in November at Carter Gym. The Lions might have the edge, because they've been winning the close games and the Jaguars haven't. Expect another tight contest.
1. Paine (3-1, 2-0). Chris Jackson looking to break out of a scoring funk and give the Lions an inside presence.
2. Aiken Tech (7-2). The Knights can enjoy the rest of the year after a fast start to the season.
3. USC Aiken (2-5, 0-1). The Pacers are last in the Peach Belt in scoring defense, giving up 86.3 points per game.
4. Augusta State (2-5, 0-2). Jaguars shooting just 63 percent from the foul line.
1. Paine (4-1, 2-0). Lady Lions can turn some heads by defeating their rival tonight.
2. USC Aiken (4-4, 0-1). Lady Pacers last in conference scoring with 63.4 points per game.
3. Augusta State (3-5, 0-2). Lady Jaguars committing 23.3 turnovers per game.
Paine College at Augusta State, 5:30 (women) and 7:30 (men), today. Four teams will be battling for more than pride. The Jaguars and Lady Jaguars desperately need wins to turn their seasons around. For the Paine men and women, a pair of victories would make for a satisfying Christmas break.
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