– UALR heads to the island of Tortola on the British Virgin Islands for two games at the BVI Tropical Shootout beginning Friday, Dec. 20. The Trojans face Jacksonville State on Friday at 5 p.m. (CST) before taking on either Coppin State or Southern Miss on Saturday in a game that will be schedule for either 5 or 7 p.m.
Both games can be heard on Heartbeat 106.7 FM in Little Rock and will be streamed online at Heartbeat1067.com. Live stats will be provided through UALRTrojans.com.
Be sure to follow the Trojans on Twitter (@UALR_MBB) for updates throughout both matchups.
GM10 // UALR (3-6) vs. Jacksonville State (5-8)GM11 // UALR vs. Coppin State (4-5)/Southern Miss (9-2)
Friday, Dec. 20/Saturday, Dec. 21 • 5 PM (CST)/TBA
Road Town, Tortola, British Virgin Islands • Multi-Purpose Complex
Radio: KHLR - 106.7 FM
Online Radio: Heartbeat1067.com
Radio Talent: Ray Tucker (PXP)
Live Stats: UALRTrojans.com
Road Record: 1-5
Head Coach: Steve Shields (11th year)
Record at UALR: 167-149
Career Record: Same
UALR Statistical Leaders
Points: Will Neighbour (17.8)
Rebounds: Will Neighbour (7.2)
Assists: Josh Hagins (3.0)
Steals: Will Neighbour (1.4)
Blocks: James White (1.0)
Jacksonville State Gamecocks
Road Record: 1-7
Head Coach: James Green
Record at JSU: 64-98 (6th year)
Career Record: 231-248 (17th year)
JSU Statistical Leaders
Points: Darion Rackley (12.3)
Rebounds: Nick Cook (6.2)
Assists: Brian Williams (3.8)
Steals: Brian Williams (1.0)
Blocks: Jamal Hunter (1.2)
Southern Miss Golden Eagles
Road Record: 3-2
Head Coach: Donnie Tyndall
Record at USM: 36-12 (2nd year)
Career Record: 141-96 (8th year)
USM Statistical Leaders
Points: Neil Watson (11.4)
Rebounds: Michael Craig (6.7)
Assists: Neil Watson (3.6)
Steals: Michael Craig (1.6)
Blocks: David Boardingham (0.8)
Coppin State Eagles
Road Record: 2-4
Head Coach: Ron “Fang” Mitchell
Record at CSU: 421-402 (28th year)
Career Record: Same
Coppin State Statistical Leaders
Points: Michael Murray (14.8)
Rebounds: Brandon St. Louis (5.7)
Assists: Taariq Cephas (4.6)
Steals: Sterling Smith (1.8)
Blocks: Fripp/St. Louis (0.7)
• UALR will be coming off losses at Tulsa and No. 16/15 Memphis when it heads to the BVI Tropical Shootout on the island of Tortola in the British Virgin Islands on Dec. 20-21.
• The Trojans led by as many as 12 and were up seven at the half before losing 73-59 at No. 16/15 Memphis (12/13).
• UALR’s defense forced Memphis, who entered the game averaging 86.4 ppg on 48.4 percent shooting, into season lows in total points (73), points in a half (24), FGM (23), FGA (59) and FG% (39.0).
• With 15 points at Memphis, Will Neighbour has now reached double figures in scoring in nine straight games to start the season, the longest streak for a UALR player to start a year since Solomon Bozeman opened the 2009-10 season with 11 straight.
• Neighbour is currently the only Sun Belt Conference player to rank in the league’s top ten in scoring (17.8-7th), rebounding (7.2-7th), steals (1.4-5th), FG% (55.8-8th), FT% (79.6-9th) and 3FG% (45.8-10th).
• Josh Hagins is averaging 12.2 ppg and is shooting 41.9 percent from 3-point range. His 2.0 made 3-pointers per game are tied for sixth in the Sun Belt.
• DeVonte Smith has racked up 20 assists against six turnovers in five games as the team’s starting point guard.
• Now in his 11th season as head coach, Steve Shields ranks first among active Sun Belt coaches with 92 career conference wins and second in win percentage in conference play (.554).
• KenPom.com ranks UALR’s schedule as the eighth-toughest in the nation to this point in the season.
• The Trojans’ 2013-14 slate features at least 12, and potentially 13 games against teams that played postseason basketball a year ago. The schedule features seven games against teams that earned bids to the 2013 NCAA Tournament, including matchups against No. 16/17 Florida and No. 15/14 Memphis.
• In its loss at then No. 16/15 Memphis (12/13), UALR held the Tigers to season lows in total points (73), points in a half (24), made field goals (23) and field goal percentage (39.0). The Trojans held a 31-24 lead at halftime.
• The Trojans have already reached 80 points in a game four times this year, matching their total from all of the 2012-13 season.
• The Trojans’ 10.7 assists per game rank 10th in the Sun Belt. UALR is averaging almost twice as many assists in games won (15.0) than in games lost (8.5).
• UALR shot a combined 36.1 percent from the floor and 30.5 percent from 3-point range in its losses at Tulsa and Memphis.
• Prior to those two losses, UALR was shooting 45.9 percent from the floor and 43.6 percent from 3-point range over a four-game span in which it picked up three wins.
• Since being outrebounded 41 to 29 in its season opener vs. North Florida, UALR is +17 on the boards (+2.1) and has held a rebounding edge in five of eight games (Florida, Oklahoma and Memphis being the exceptions).
• On the year, UALR has pulled down an average of 12.0 offensive rebounds per game and is averaging 14.0 second-chance points.
• UALR leads the Sun Belt Conference in free-throw shooting percentage (73.7 percent).
• UALR is averaging 18.3 made free throws through three games this season, up from 15.7 per game a year ago.
• UALR’s 2013-14 schedule has already featured five teams that played in the 2013 NCAA Tournament (Florida, Middle Tennessee, Southern, Oklahoma, Memphis).
• Senior Will Neighbour is currently the only Sun Belt Conference player to rank in the league’s top ten in scoring (17.8 ppg-7th), rebounding (7.2 rpg-7th), steals (1.4 spg-5th), FG% (55.8%-8th), FT% (79.6%-9th) and 3FG% (45.8%-10th).
• Neighbour has reached double figures in scoring in each of UALR’s first nine games to start the season and already has more games of 20+ points this season (4) than he did over his first two seasons at UALR combined (3).
• Neighbour is averaging 6.0 FT attempts per game this season, up from 3.0 in his first two years.
• Neighbour’s 15-point, 10-rebound effort at Tulsa (12/10) gave him his ninth career double-double. UALR is 6-3 in those games.
• Sophomore Josh Hagins is averaging 12.2 points and a team-high 3.0 assists while shooting 41.8 percent from 3-point range on the season.
• Hagins has now reached double figures in scoring in five of the last six games. Most recently, he scored a team-high 17 points (6-11 FGs, 3-6 3FGs) at Memphis (12/13).
• Hagins is currently averaging 2.0 made 3-pointers per game, putting him on pace for 60 this season. That would be the most by a Trojan since Matt Mouzy hit 73 treys in the 2010-11 season.
• In UALR’s three wins, Hagins is averaging 16.0 points, 4.7 rebounds and 4.0 assists.
• Sophomore James White recorded his first career double-double with 11 points and a career-best 11 rebounds against UAFS (12/3). White also added two steals and two blocks.
• White’s rebounding average through nine games this season (6.4 rpg) is nearly double what he averaged a year ago (3.6 rpg).
• White has now blocked 2+ shots in 10 career games and UALR is 7-3 in those games.
• White has 13 career double-figure scoring games and UALR is 11-2 in those games.
• Junior DeVonte Smith has racked up 20 assists against six turnovers since being inserted into the starting lineup against Southern Arkansas (11/26).
• Smith is averaging 7.0 points, 4.0 assists and 1.4 steals while shooting 50.0 percent from the floor over the same span.
• Smith handed out a season-high nine assists against zero turnovers against UAFS (12/3).
• Smith’s nine assists were the most in a single game by a UALR player since D’Andre Williams (2010-12) dished out 10 assists against Philander Smith in December 2011.
• Will Neighbour is currently alone in ninth place on the Trojans’ career blocks list (64) and sits six blocks behind Jake Yancey (2000-03) for eighth place.
• Neighbour is 194 points away from becoming the 19th member of UALR’s 1,000-point club. He needs to average 9.2 points over UALR’s final 21 games to reach the mark by the end of the regular season.
• Neighbour is 57 rebounds away from reaching 500 for his career. Neighbour’s 225 boards a year ago were the most by a UALR player since Rashad Jones-Jennings (392) in the 2006-07 season.
• Junior Ben Dillard is a 42.2 percent career 3-point shooter, putting him on pace to pass Alan Barksdale (41.1 percent) as the top 3-point shooter in school history.
• Dillard’s career free-throw shooting percentage of 82.1 currently ranks sixth on UALR’s all-time list.
All-Time Against BVI Opponents
• Southern Miss is the only team in the BVI Tropical Shootout the Trojans have played before. UALR is 0-4 all-time against the Golden Eagles, with the last meeting coming in the 2002-03 season when head coach Steve Shields was an assistant under Porter Moser.
• Friday will be UALR’s first-ever meeting with Jacksonville State. If the Trojans play Coppin State on Saturday, it will also be the first meeting between the teams.