Southern men host Spring Hill

Advocate staff photo by HEATHER McCLELLAND -- Southern guard Malcolm Miller drives the ball up the court during a game earlier this season. Miller had 16 points Saturday as the Jaguars blew away Dillard 107-64. Show caption
Advocate staff photo by HEATHER McCLELLAND -- Southern guard Malcolm Miller drives the ball up the court during a game earlier this season. Miller had 16 points Saturday as the Jaguars blew away Dillard 107-64.

It’s going to be curious to see how we come out past this stage. You beat a team in the (Southeastern Conference) that nobody expected you beat, and now teams are going to come out and play us even harder because we beat Texas A&M.” ROMAN BANKS, Southern coach

Southern University played its first six games of the season on the road, winning just once in the process. After upsetting Texas A&M on Saturday, the Jaguars have now won two of their past three away from home.

That’s exactly what Southern men’s coach Roman Banks has been looking for.

The second-year coach and his team have been searching for the formula to win consistently, in particular on the road. Southern eked out a surprising 53-51 win against the Aggies, and Banks said that formula may be close to fruition.

“It helped us understand what it takes,” Banks said. “You can’t just win one game and say you’ve found the formula. I keep telling them that. We’re trying to be a consistent winner.”

The next step in the process is Spring Hill College (2-13), which comes into the F.G. Clark Activity Center on Friday having lost eight of its past nine games. Tip-off is set for 8:30 p.m.

Southern will finally get another game at home, where it hasn’t lost this season, outscoring opponents 167-86 in two contests. But now that the Jaguars have a marquee win under their belts, Banks said he expects every opponent to come out with a little extra juice.

“It’s going to be curious to see how we come out past this stage,” Banks said. “You beat a team in the (Southeastern Conference) that nobody expected you beat, and now teams are going to come out and play us even harder because we beat Texas A&M. It’s a unique challenge for these guys, and they’ve never been there before.”

The game is the start of a three-game homestand for Southern, and marks the final nonconference contest of the season. The Jaguars open Southwestern Athletic Conference play against Texas Southern on Wednesday, but Banks said he wasn’t looking past Spring Hill.

“I expect a lot of energy right out the gate from Spring Hill,” Banks said. “They’ve got a couple of guys that can shoot the basketball. I expect to see a lot of zone out of them. We’re working on what we need to be working on, and hopefully we’ll be ready.”

One of the biggest things Banks has emphasized in recent weeks has been the play of his forwards. Banks credited the play of Javan Mitchell in the win against Texas A&M and said he expects to see an increase in touches for the posts.

Mitchell, who scored 11 points and snagged six rebounds, trailed only Malcolm Miller’s 17 points in the scoring department for the Jaguars, and 6-foot-10 center Bradon Moore added six points and three rebounds.

“I thought what was huge was that we didn’t shoot the ball very well from behind the 3-point line like we’re capable, but we shot the ball well inside the paint,” Banks said. “I think that helps our team any time we get those post touches.”