LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN -- The Covenant men's basketball team returns to the friendly confines of Barnes Physical Education Center this weekend for a pair of games against Birmingham Southern (4-1) and Berry (3-4).
Vs. Birmingham Southern - Friday, Dec. 13 at 8 p.m.
Last Meeting: March 5, 2011 (Steubenville, Ohio - NCAA Provisional Tournament Final) - BSC 69, Covenant 60
Last Meeting on Lookout Mountain: None
Series Note: BSC is 3-0 all-time against Covenant
About Birmingham Southern (4-1 overall, 1-0 Southern Athletic Association):
BSC is 4-1 on the year after defeating Millsaps 82-76 on Sunday, December 1 in Birmingham… Larry Thomas had a career-high 33 points in that victory and was named SAA Player of the Week following that performance… BSC has victories over 2013 NCAA tournament teams in Spalding and Emory… Lone loss was to Salisbury in the Hoopsville Classic back in November… BSC has played just one true road game this season and it resulted in a 70-69 win over Stevenson on Nov. 23… The Panthers are shooting 53 percent as a team this season which ranks 6th in Division III coming into this week's action… BSC also scores an average of 78.4 points per game… Defensively, BSC surrenders 72.4 points and allows opponents to shoot 46.3 percent from the field.
Chris Graves is in his third year at the helm of the Panthers program. He is 49-12 overall at the school. Graves has also been an assistant at Tennessee State as well as a graduate assistant at the University of Arkansas under hall of fame coach Nolan Richardson. Graves graduated from John Brown University in 1999 where he was a student assistant for longtime coach John Sheehy.
Vs. Berry - Saturday, Dec. 14 at 4 p.m.
Last Meeting: Nov. 15, 2013 (Rome, Ga.) - Covenant 71, Berry 65
Last Meeting on Lookout Mountain: Jan. 10, 2013 - Covenant 64, Berry 53
Series Note: Covenant has won four of the last five meetings
About Berry (3-4 overall, 0-1 Southern Athletic Association):
Berry is 3-4 on the year after falling to Maryville 85-68 in non-conference action last Saturday… Owen Jacobs tallied 23 points and 11 rebounds in the loss… Jacobs has five double-doubles already this season which ranks seventh in Division III and first in the SAA coming into this week… Jacobs is also 37th in the country in points per game (21.7), 17th in rebounds per game (11.7), and 18th in total rebounds (82)… Berry is 2-2 on the road this year with wins at Emory & Henry and Columbia International… The Vikings are first in the SAA in assists per game averaging 14.4 as a team… The Vikings average 78.1 points per game while shooting 41.4 percent from the field.
Jeff Rogers is in his first year as the head coach of the Vikings. Previously, he spent four seasons as the head coach at Thomas More (Ky.), a Division III school, where he went 77-34 and was named Presidents' Athletic Conference Coach of the Year in his final year.
Covenant Update: 4-4 overall, 0-0 USA South
Covenant is coming off a three-game road trip last week… The Scots went 1-2 on that trip with losses to Emory and Crown (Minn.) and a victory over Bethany Lutheran… In the 94-76 win over Bethany Lutheran, Colton McGriff scored a career-high 35 points to go along with 11 rebounds… McGriff's 35 points were the most by a Scot since Feb. 9, 2008 when Reed Crosson scored 35 against Virginia Intermont… McGriff was named USA South Player of the Week on Monday after averaging 22.7 points and 6.7 rebounds in the three contests last week… Freshman Ben Phelps continues to shoot the ball well from long range as he ranks fourth in the USA South in 3-point percentage at 53.8 percent… Coming into this week, Covenant ranked 15th in Division III in free throw attempts with 220 and 17th in free throws made with 153… The Scots average 74.8 points per game and shoot 42.8 percent… Covenant is 2-0 at home this year.
Kyle Taylor is in his fifth year as the head coach of the Scots. Taylor has improved the win total in each of his first four seasons, including a 13-11 mark last year. Overall, he has a 34-76 record coming into this weekend.