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Foreman shows love to baby Eagles
Surrounded by UNC Greensboro defenders, Georgia Southern guard Dwayne Foreman, lower right, looks for an open teammate. Foreman is the Eagles' all-time assist leader. GSU plays at Wofford tonight.
    Go to sleep. Turn off the TV. Study more.
    Georgia Southern freshman Willie Powers often gets an earful from senior point guard Dwayne Foreman — his roommate on road trips. Powers, a promising starting guard, always takes the veteran’s advice. He knows his bests interests are at stake.
    “He helps keep me in line with stuff I don’t want to do — he’s showing me how to lead the team as I go on,” Powers said. “I’ve learned a lot from Dwayne as far as being a leader. When things get tough, he’s the one that steps in most of the time. He’s a fun person to be around, and he’s helped me a lot this year.”
    Having spent four years in Jeff Price’s program, Foreman feels it’s his duty to assist with keeping the younger players on track.
    “I know the bumps in the road that are going to come along with playing basketball here,” Foreman said. “Basically, I just try to stay on top of (Powers) more than anybody else around here because he has great potential.”
    Foreman makes an effort to keep the nagging to a minimum and flood Powers with constructive, upbeat advice.
    “Along with the negative, I just try to give him a lot of positive encouragement because you need that in your life when you are playing basketball,” Foreman said. “Sometimes it gets hard and you get discouraged about playing the game. I pretty much just try to be there for him whenever he needs me.”
    Foreman, an Apopka, Fla. native, has evolved into one of the Southern Conference’s best point guards. He leads the team in assists (152), ranks third in scoring (9.2 points per game) and recently became GSU’s career assists leader (547), a mark he set in a Feb. 4 home win over UNC Greensboro. He didn’t hear the mid-game message across the public address system announcing the milestone that night and learned about his record from an observer after the game.
    “It’s a good accomplishment for me as an individual, but it’s been a team effort,” Foreman said. “I just need to do whatever it takes for us to win the basketball game — pass the ball or (play solid) defense.”
    Foreman’s reliability shows up in his assist-to-turnover ratio (2.17), the second highest in the SoCon.
    “That’s very impressive,” Price said. “He does a great job distributing the ball. He’s a scoring point guard, and I like point guards that can score. I’ve watched him grow for four years. His shot, leadership abilities and knowledge of how to play the game have gotten better each year, and it’s showing his senior year.”
    Foreman’s teammates say they admire the fire and passion the 5-foot-10, 170-pound senior brings to the court.
    “He lets us know as far as a leader what we need to do on the court,” sophomore guard A.J. Johnson said. “I’ve learned a lot from him as far as what passes need to be made in certain situations, what kind of shot we need for a certain time to slow things down or speed it up.”
    Said Powers: “He’s very quick, plays hard all the time and is like a coach on the court. If things go wrong, he steps in and tells me what I need to do better.”
    Aside from his leadership, the Eagles value Foreman’s relentless work ethic.
    “Probably the best thing about Dwayne is he comes to work every single day,” Price said. “He never lets up in any practice.”    
    Away from the hardwood, Foreman shows a less serious side through his playful and funny demeanor.
    “He’s always clowning around,” Johnson said. “We’re like brothers, so we like to hang out and have fun.”
    Foreman’s basketball memories include playing against NBA star LeBron James three times in AAU ball while growing up.
    “I’m up on the series 2-1, but he got the last say-so because his team won and went to the championship,” he said. “It was a great opportunity to play against a guy of his caliber.”
    With six regular-season games remaining, the Eagles (17-8, 10-5) are in second place in the SoCon’s South Division. Following tonight’s trip to Wofford, GSU plays three of its final five games in the comforts of Hanner Fieldhouse where the Eagles are 9-1 on the year.
    “Playing in front of the Hooligans and the rest of our fans is pretty good because they keep us going,” Foreman said. “We’ve got a good opportunity, and we just need to go out and do what we need to do to make a run for the tournament.”
    As for getting his diploma, Foreman plans on participating in spring commencement and finishing one class during the summer. Once school is behind him, Foreman hopes to follow the path of numerous former Eagles and play overseas. He’s also preparing for his upcoming role as a father.
    “I have to make sacrifices with that also,” Foreman said. “It’s going to be a very challenging thing for me after the season is over. I’m very excited about the situation. It’s something I’ve always wanted, but I had to wait until the right moment in time.”

Scouting Wofford
    The Eagles are anxious for payback against the Terriers (14-11, 7-8), the only team to defeat Georgia Southern on its home court this year. Wofford upset the Eagles 86-79 on Jan. 24 and have lost two in a row since winning six of seven. GSU has won three straight and five of its last six.
    “We need to go in with good focus, defend better and play a complete game,” Price said.

    Alex Pellegrino can be reached at (912) 489-9413.