UNF's #1 Student-Run News Source

UNF Spinnaker

UNF's #1 Student-Run News Source

UNF Spinnaker

UNF's #1 Student-Run News Source

UNF Spinnaker

Ospreys set for “River City Rumble”

The UNF men’s basketball team is riding a three-game winning streak as it gets set for the Jan. 26 matchup with cross-town rival Jacksonville University in the “River City Rumble,” inside the UNF Arena at 7 p.m.

The Ospreys, (8-12, 5-4 Atlantic Sun), are coming off of a two-game road trip in which they knocked off Kennesaw State 71-56 Jan. 20 and Mercer 74-64 Jan. 22. They started their three-game winning streak with a home, 65-59 win over USC Upstate Jan. 15.

“We’re finishing obviously,” said head coach Matthew Driscoll. “Since Christmas, when we came back from Christmas break, we’ve really come around. Even in our losses, besides Belmont, we’ve been right there competing.”

While the Ospreys know playing a full 40 minutes in the games they’ve won has played a huge roll in their success, Driscoll also pointed out fitting in new players like sophomore guard Parker Smith, who was named last week’s A-Sun Newcomer of the Week, and junior guard Jimmy Williams has helped. Sophomore forward Andy Diaz is also coming along. He joined Smith in the A-Sun weekly awards, being named Player of the Week.

“Even at Maryland and Kansas State, you could just steadily see our guys’ improvement and our guys’ feel for each other,” Driscoll said. “Jimmy and Parker specifically being new guys that are playing large minutes, trying to feel out their roles. Because of that, I think we’ve really come around.”

Now, as the Ospreys get set for the cross-town Dolphins, they look to continue the good play and break the nine-game losing streak they have against JU. The last time UNF beat JU was a 90-78 home win Jan. 25, 2006.

To break that streak, the Ospreys will have to stop the Dolphins’ two-headed scoring threat. It is comprised of seniors, guard Travis Cohn and forward Ayron Hardy, who was a preseason all-league selection. Both average double figures in points-per-game. Driscoll will rely on good team defense to slow down the JU offense.

“We’re always team-oriented as far as what we’re going to do,” Driscoll said. “When teams get you into rotations, you’ve got to know, ‘Oh shoot, that’s Travis.’ ‘Oh man, that’s Hardy.’ You’ve got to know those guys are out on the floor, so therefore it becomes a team defensive game.”

While the Ospreys admit there will be a little more emotion as they head into the Jan. 26 game, they also are sure to point out they are treating it just like any other game on their schedule.

“Obviously there’s going to be more emotion just because they are cross-town,” said sophomore swing man Jerron Granberry. “But we are going to take it one game at a time as always. We’re going to watch film. We’re not going to do anything special for them. Obviously the intensity and anxiousness about it is going to be big. We can’t wait. We can’t wait to play every game now because we’re feeling the wave, and we think we’re really good. Luckily we’re playing right at the moment during conference.”

The Ospreys are looking for a big fan turnout tonight. They are whiting out the Arena, much like the Penn State football team does for big night games, so the athletic department is asking fans to wear white to the game.

The Jan. 26 game marks the first of four in a row the Ospreys will play inside UNF Arena. The Ospreys said playing in front of the home crowd gives them extra energy.

“They’re our sixth man on the floor,” said junior forward Matt Sauey. “It’s huge. Whenever they go crazy we get excited. So I just like the fact that the fans started to come out and recognize what we’re doing around here. We’ll continue to get better and keep putting wins on the board. We’re going to come out and do what we do and come out with a W in the end.”

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

Spinnaker intends for this area to be used to foster healthy, thought-provoking discussion. Comments are expected to adhere to our standards and to be respectful and constructive. As such, we do not permit the use of profanity, foul language, personal attacks, slurs, defamation, or the use of language that might be interpreted as libelous. Comments are reviewed and will be removed if they do not adhere to these standards. Spinnaker does not allow anonymous comments, and Spinnaker requires a valid email address. The email address will not be displayed but will be used to confirm your comments.
All UNF Spinnaker Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *