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Breaking down AU’s Turnaround

(02/03/16 5:50pm)

After the first month of conference play, the AU men’s basketball team could not have looked any worse. The Eagles went 0-6 with an average margin of defeat of 15 points. However, this young team has come together over the past week and a half, putting together four straight wins. After three straight road wins against Lafayette, Navy and Colgate, the Eagles returned home and defeated Holy Cross 58-45 on Monday night. After sitting in dead last in the conference for more than a month, the Eagles have now climbed up to seventh place and are just two games out of third place. So what has been the reason for this turnaround? Here are some of the biggest reasons AU has been able to salvage their season and push themselves into Patriot League contention.

An introduction to Ben Simmons and a brief history of AU against NBA players

(12/22/15 6:16pm)

This afternoon, the AU men’s basketball team will travel to Baton Rouge to play Louisiana State University in a challenging non-conference match-up. The Eagles, who hold a 2-8 record so far this year, will take on LSU freshman sensation Ben Simmons. The 6’10 forward from Melbourne, Australia was ranked as the number one overall player for the class of 2015. Just a few months into his college career, Simmons, who has already received national recognition and attention from NBA scouts, has proven that his game deserves the hype. He averages 18.1 points a game and leads the country with 13.9 rebounds a game. On December 2 against North Florida, Simmons scored a season-high 43 points, recorded 14 rebounds, seven assists, five steals and three blocks. The stat-stuffing phenom has drawn comparisons to Lebron James and the four time MVP doesn't mind. ESPN NBA Draft Analyst Chad Ford has Simmons as the number one overall player for the 2016 NBA Draft and wrote about him on his Big Board, stating “Simmons is the prize of this draft. There really isn't a close second right now. His combination of size, athleticism, court vision and rebounding prowess is unique, and he's ultra productive, ranking No. 7 in the country in player efficiency rating.”

Takeaways from AU’s loss against Stony Brook

(12/18/15 10:37pm)

Playing for the first time in Bender Arena in exactly one month, the AU men’s basketball recorded its second consecutive loss, falling to Stony Brook University 86-68. The Eagles now hold a 2-7 record, the team’s slowest start in the last five years. Here are some major takeaways from the game to consider as the Eagles prepare to take on University of Maryland-Eastern Shore on Sunday.

Takeaways from AU’s home-opener loss

(11/18/15 7:42pm)

The AU men’s basketball team played its first game at Bender Arena Tuesday night  against Hampton University for a crowd of over 1,200 people, but fell  short 61-48. After a slow first half from both teams, the Eagles went into the break with a 23-21 point lead. Hampton, however, owned the second half, as the Pirates hit an 18-4 run over the first six minutes to take a 39-27 lead. The Eagles clawed their way back into the game when senior guard Jesse Reed hit a layup to bring AU within 4 trailing 50-46 with 1:12 left in the game. However, AU failed to close the gap any further. On the next play, Hampton senior guard Reginald Johnson hit an “and-1” and converted on his free throw to push the lead back up to seven. The Pirates continued to hit their foul shot success down the stretch and extended their lead for a 61-48 victory. Here are some big takeaways from Tuesday night’s game.