MACON, Ga. (MERCER RELEASE) – The Mercer men's basketball team looks to remain unbeaten at Hawkins Arena this weekend as it hosts Denver for a 3 p.m. tipoff on Saturday.
Mercer (5-4) is back on the Hawkins Arena hardwood for the first time in two weeks after completing a three-game road swing at Ohio, Valparaiso and Oklahoma. The Bears went 1-2 during that stretch, with the win coming in three overtimes at Valparaiso on November 29.
SCOUTING THE OPPONENT
Denver has won two-straight games and comes to Macon with a 2-4 overall record on the season. The Pioneers have a 1-3 record away from home this season.
The Pioneers return three starters from last year's team that finished 22-10 and advanced to the round of 32 in the National Invitation Tournament (NIT). In the Preseason Summit League poll, Denver was picked to finish second in the eight-team conference standings while senior forward Chris Udofia was named Preseason Summit League first team and junior guard Bret Olson was named Preseason Summit League second team.
Olson leads the team offensively at 12.7 points per game while sophomore guard Jalen Love and Udofia chip in 11.5 and 11.3 points per game, respectively. Olson has scored 10 or more in four-straight games, including a pair of 19-point performances in the last two outings.
Denver head coach Joe Scott is in his seventh year at the helm of the program and owns a 102-84 record with the team. Prior to signing on at Denver, Scott was head coach for three seasons at his alma mater, Princeton. From 2000-2004, Scott was head coach at Air Force.
Mercer is the 11th most experienced team in the country, as ranked by Statsheet.com. The metric takes into account the average class year per minute played.
Mercer is one of just five schools in the country with 12 or more players averaging 10+ minutes per game. Joining Mercer in that group are Alcorn State, Jacksonville, Missouri State and UMBC.
Jakob Gollon is the reigning A-Sun Player of the Week after torching Valparaiso for a career-high 37 points last week. The honor is the second conference Player of the Week selection of his career.
Mercer is averaging 42.8 points off the bench over the last five games. Ike Nwamu leads the reserves at 11.2 ppg over that span.
Mercer is 34-4 at home since the start of the 2011-12 season. Between the 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons, the Bears ripped off 17-straight home wins.
Langston Hall, Daniel Coursey, Jakob Gollon and Bud Thomas have started 77 games together in their Mercer careers. This year, they are joined by Anthony White Jr. to form an all-senior starting five.