Gore Report:Irish will be early test for men’s UNF basketball


In front of a cheering crowd of over 1,200 fans, the UNF Ospreys men’s basketball team took care of business Nov. 5 against a struggling but determined Ave Maria team.

And it was the new faces on the team that stood up to lead the Ospreys to the 71-56 victory.

Freshman Andy Diaz college debut went well. He had 12 points and 12 rebounds, a nice double double to begin the season.

Another new face key to success was junior transfer Brian Haugabrook. Haugabrook led the team in points with 13 and was a highlight reel himself with behind the back layups up and down the court. Matt Sauey also stepped up, literally, for the Ospreys with two dunks.

But Saturday, Nov. 14 will be the first game of the regular season, and that’s when it actually starts to matter. The Ospreys will travel to Notre Dame for their first ever Division I regular season game that matters toward postseason. And though the Fighting Irish from South Bend, Ind. are heavy favorites, UNF men’s head coach Matt Driscoll and his boys may turn some heads and keep the game close. To do this, though, the Ospreys need to find a way to stay calm and focused at the free throw line. Shooting 62 percent from the line, like they did against Ave Maria isn’t going to cut it — even Driscoll admitted to this. Another way to stay competitive against Notre Dame is defense. Diaz said it best in a post game press conference after the Ave Maria game when he referred to his double double, saying rebounds were more important than points to him because rebounds set up scoring opportunities. Besides these factors, it will also help if the Ospreys have a little luck on their side, especially since Notre Dame hosts future NBA star Luke Harangody and 2008 Big East Player of the Year.

Harangody told the Spinnaker, “Anyone can hang with anyone on any given day, and you have to put forth the same amount of effort whether you’re playing against a Quincy or a Syracuse.”

Last week, No. 25 Syracuse lost to a Division II team. And when Driscoll coached at Baylor, his team also lost to a D II team before later on in the season advancing to NCAA tournament.

So it’s possible for UNF to make history on Saturday.

Despite the game not being televised, log on to twitter.com/unfspinnaker for live updates throughout the game, hashtag #unfbb. For post game coverage, go to unfspinnaker.com.