Furman Basketball Season Schedules: The Paladin Predicts a Record
The Paladin dives into Furman Basketball's schedule and its analysts predict a record.
As the sports world begins to normalize, schools all over the country have released competition schedules. Furman announced its 18-game conference schedule on Oct. 20 for the Men’s Basketball team. Southern Conference league play will begin Dec. 30 with a conference tournament taking place Mar. 5-8.
Per NCAA regulations and school safety guidelines, schools like Furman could possibly be playing a conference-only schedule. The Furman Athletic Department declined to comment on whether or not Furman would play any games outside of the conference schedule, but according to Furman officials, “the Paladins' non-conference schedule will be revealed as soon as it is finalized.”
Most colleges around the country will play conference-only schedules. The NCAA tournament selection committee surely would have liked schools to play non-conference games, as it makes their work easier when March comes around. However, with the season being grossly delayed, and COVID-19 protocols to worry about, the only way to even have a tournament is to get games in; thus, schools will most likely play conference-only games. As of now, Furman University will do the same, but COVID-19 has made it apparent anything is possible, so be on the watch for Furman to play additional games.
Furman’s 2019-2020 Southern Conference regular season runner-up team opens conference play on December 30th against the Mocs of UTC. The Paladins will play nine home games this year; it is uncertain whether Furman will host fans, but rumors have been swirling and it seems possible that Furman fanatics will be able to attend games in some capacity. The Paladins first game back at Timmons Arena will be on Jan. 2 against Mercer. The Paladins will finish the season on Feb. 27 at cross-town rival, Wofford.
While it is certainly early, Furman looks to be a conference favorite again this year. Coach Bob Richey and his team have only grown in popularity over the last three seasons. He expressed the excitement and craving his team has for competition in an exclusive interview with The Paladin: “we have built up our hunger, seven weeks of activity have our guys ready.” Furman is a combined 73-26 under Richey’s watch, with an impressive 41-13 mark in SOCON play. College basketball analyst Jon Rothstein says of Richey: “He’s an NCAA Tournament appearance away from potentially having a lucrative offer to jump to a higher level.”
Furman returns much of its exciting talent from last year: Alex Hunter, Mike Bothwell, Noah Gurley, and Clay Mounce will look to lead the team with solid reinforcement from Jalen Slawson and Jaylon Pugh. With experience being a key factor, many analysts seem to think Furman has an edge to win a Southern Conference title. Joe Lunardi’s “Way to Early” Bracketology has Furman as a 12 seed in the NCAA tournament. However, the Paladins will have to face what has been a constant kryptonite: Wofford. If they can manage to pull out solid wins in Conference regular season and tournament play against Wofford and ETSU, Furman will position themselves well to make the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1980.
The Paladin’s team of basketball analysts have Furman going 14-4, with most losses coming from either ETSU, Wofford, or UNCG. College basketball kicks off for the entire country on Nov. 25.