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GSU post learns a valuable lesson
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Georgia Southern's Eric Ferguson gets behind the Wofford defense for a dunk in the first half Wednesday at Hanner Fieldhouse. The freshman guard/forward leads GSU post players with 14.5 points per game. - photo by SCOTT BRYANT/staff

The bad news in Wednesday’s 74-65 loss to Wofford was that Noah Dahlman went 10 for 10 from the floor on the way to 26 points.
    The good news was that Georgia Southern got it all on tape.
    The footage will serve as a point of reference for GSU’s post — junior-college transfer Rory Spencer and sophomore Cameron Baskerville, as well as freshmen Eric Ferguson, Marvin Baynham and Sam Mike — as the Eagles prepare for today’s game against post-heavy Furman.
    “We’ve been using it as a teaching point with our young post, and Rory Spencer who’s an older guy, on how to play the game,” said Georgia Southern coach Charlton Young. “We counted — [Dahlman] only took five dribbles the entire night. Everything was from three feet and in. He doesn’t look like a great player, but he’s a great college player and he plays very hard. You can tell he’s a student of the game.”
    Spencer’s scoring (11.6 points per game) has been inconsistent, and Young has seen the rest settle for jump shots instead of attacking the basket. Ferguson, who doubles as a swing guard, leads the forwards in scoring with 14.5 points each time out.
    “We do a lot of break-down film study with them,” said Young, “so we can say, ‘Hey Eric, take it personal when we tell you to attack the rim. Noah Dahlman’s attacking the rim and he’s 10 for 10 from the field. How would you like to go 10 for 10 from the field and have 26? You’d feel pretty good, and we’d feel pretty good. You take fall-away jumpers with no success. You attack the rim and either they foul you, or they’ve got to help and we get wide-open shots.’ Those guys have got to attack the rim and put some effort into the paint.”
    The Eagles (4-14, 0-5 Southern Conference) put together a solid first half Wednesday against defending SoCon champion Wofford, as they committed only one foul and turned it over only six times, but a late turnover resulted in a 30-26 WC lead at the break.
    “When you minimize your turnovers, you give yourself a chance,” said Young, whose Eagles average 18.7 turnovers per contest. “The game should have been 28-28 at the half, but we had a turnover right at the end there and gave up an easy layup, just kind of fell asleep.”
    The inconsistency returned in the second half.
    “It’s like golf,” said Young. “You’ve got to do it all. They say, ‘You’ve got to drive it,’ so you work on driving it. Then they say, ‘You’ve got to be able to make the approach shot.’ Then they say, ‘Oh, you want to be good? You’ve got to chip it.’ Then you get up there, and it’s, ‘You drive for show and you putt for dough.’ You’ve got to be good at it all. In a game like [Wofford], in the first half you show [the players] what’s good and you praise them. Then you show them the second half and you show them what we’ve got to get better at.”
    Furman (11-5, 3-2) boasts a 91-75 home win over South Carolina, and is a good example of a program that has learned from its mistakes.
    “They’ve got the same guys that have been losing the last three years in the program,” Young said. “They have experience — a lot of seniors — and a guy who’s an NBA talent in Amu Saaka (16.1 points per game). They’re really dominant in the paint. … They understand that you’ve got to get the ball in there, even when you don’t score.”
    Tipoff for today’s game is scheduled for 2 p.m. in Hanner Fieldhouse.

    Matt Yogus can be reached at (912) 489-9408.