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JCSU Golden Bulls look to grow closer midway through home stand
Golden Bulls (5-2) face West Georgia Saturday
 
Published Saturday, November 25, 2017 12:27 am
by Herbert L. White

PHOTO | TROY HULL
Johnson C. Smith point guard dribbles upcourt in the Golden Bulls' 77-61 win against Lees-McRae on Nov. 21 at Brayboy Gym. JCSU (5-2) plays West Georgia Saturday in the fifth game of an eight-game home stand.

Johnson C. Smith needs to grow up at home.

The Golden Bulls, who are midway through an eight-game home stand, have won two straight going into Saturday’s encounter against West Georgia at Brayboy Gym. After losing the first two against Benedict and No. 2 Queens, JCSU (5-2) responded with wins against Lees-McRae and Belmont Abbey. The key to moving forward is pretty simple.

“Play defense and be more consistent,” said senior guard Robert Davis. ”Play hard the whole game, not taking any lapses. That’s the main focus.”

The Golden Bulls, coach Steve Joyner said, “turned into Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” against mature teams like Benedict and Queens. It’s a lesson JCSU needs to take to heart.

“We showed characteristically we’re a young ball club,” Joyner said. “We’re not mature enough to know what was in front of us, that is we could’ve maintained our undefeated [streak] by beating a good Benedict team and could’ve gained some national attention by upsetting Queens. We didn’t handle any of that correctly and it showed our maturity level. We’re trying to grow up. We’re not there.”

Said Davis, who leads the Golden Bulls in scoring at 24.3 points a game: “I think we were too excited. We were doing too much; we weren’t playing like we normally play. We got out of our comfort zone and I think that messed us up.”

As good as Davis has been, the key to JCSU’s success is point guard Christian Kirchman. Joyner wants the senior to concentrate on putting his teammates in position to succeed.

“I think so goes Christian Kirchman, so goes the team,” Joyner said. “He has to continue to be a floor general as opposed to pushing his own offense. I think he’s got to learn to make everybody on the court better and make sure we’re on the same page.”

With four more home dates before hitting the road, the Golden Bulls have an opportunity to build confidence before the CIAA season opens. A successful run at Brayboy can set the tempo for the start of the new calendar year.

“It’s definitely important to us,” Davis said, basically to let the [CIAA] know we’re here and we’re coming.”

 

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