1981 & 2015 NATIONAL CHAMPIONS
10NCAA REGIONAL TITLES
24SSC TOURNAMENT CHAMPIONSHIPS

Men's Basketball Opens Play on Saturday

Men's Basketball Opens Play on Saturday

LIVINGSTON, Ala. - Florida Southern College men's basketball tips off its 2019-20 campaign when it faces Delta State and West Alabama this weekend at the annual GSC/SSC Challenge at Pruitt Hall on the campus of West Alabama. The Moccasins will open the season against Delta State on Saturday at 7 p.m., before closing out the weekend against UWA on Sunday (5 p.m.). Florida Southern is coming off a 25-8 record last year, a season in which the Mocs won their 24th Sunshine State Conference Tournament title while advancing to the semifinal round of the NCAA South Regional.

This weekend's games are the first of five-straight road contests to open the season. The Moccasins will travel to USC Aiken on Nov. 16, and open SSC action at Embry-Riddle (Nov. 20) and Barry (Nov. 23). Florida Southern head coach Mike Donnelly is entering his fifth season at the helm of the program and leads an experienced and talented group that includes a pair of returning starters, along with three others who played in at least 30 games.

The Mocs added six new players, including a pair of Division I transfers in Brandon Carroll (Bryant) and Jalyn Hinton (Jacksonville). Jair Rodgers (Concord) who led all of Division II in three-pointers per game in 2018-19, also transferred to Southern for his senior season. Xavier Rhodes, who was a reserve at DII National Champion Northwest Missouri State as a freshman, also joined the Mocs in the offseason.

Florida Southern will be led by the senior tandem of Brett Hanson and Jack Rauch. Hanson, who averaged 17.9 points and 7.5 rebounds per game as a junior, was an NABC and D2CCA All-South Selection last year and was the SSC Tournament MVP. Rauch started 28 games and averaged 9.4 points and 7.0 rebounds per game as a junior.

The Moccasins were selected to finish second in the SSC Preseason Coaches Poll behind defending regular-season champion Nova Southeastern. Although not ranked in the initial National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Coaches Poll, Florida Southern is receiving votes.

GAMEDAY INFORMATION

When: Saturday, Nov. 9 | 7 p.m. vs. Delta State
Where: Pruitt Hall (Livingston, Ala.)
Live Video: www.UWAathletics.com
Live Stats: www.MocsLive.com

When: Saturday, Nov. 9 | 5 p.m. at West Alabama
Where: Pruitt Hall (Livingston, Ala.)
Live Video: www.UWAathletics.com
Live Stats: www.MocsLive.com

MOCCASIN STORYLINES

• Florida Southern opens the season at the annual GSC/SSC Challenge as it squares off against Delta State (Nov. 9) and West Alabama (Nov. 10). The Moccasins are playing in the GSC/SSC Challenge for the fifth-straight season.

• The Moccasins are 5-5 in the annual event over the past five seasons, and are opening up the year with back-to-back games against Delta State and West Alabama for the sixth year in a row.

• Florida Southern knocked Delta State out of the first round of the NCAA South Regional a year ago with a 78-72 win at Rick Case Arena in Ft. Lauderdale. Senior guard Brett Hanson had 20 points and nine rebounds in the victory, which saw the Mocs score 50 second-half points to erase a 35-28 halftime deficit.

• The Mocs and Statesmen have met on the hardwood 10 times, with Florida Southern leading the all-time series 7-3. Delta State has a 3-2 edge in games played on a neutral floor. Southern is currently riding a three-game winning streak in the all-time series after defeating Delta State twice last season and in the second game of the 2017-18 campaign.

• Florida Southern's roster this year includes eight returners and six newcomers. The incoming group of players includes four transfers and two freshman.

• Two of this year's new transfers, Brandon Carroll and Jalyn Hinton played at the Division I level before joining the Moccasins, while Xavier Rhodes and Jair Rodgers were at the Division II level. Caroll spent two seasons at Bryant, Hinton was an A-Sun all-freshman selection at Jacksonville, Rhodes was on the undefeated Northwest Missouri squad that won a national title last year, and Rodgers led Division II in three-pointers as a junior at Concord.