After a big upset over the Duke Blue Devils in last year’s NCAA Division I Men’s Tournament in March, the Mercer Bears had the whole country asking,” Duke lost to whom?” Well no doubt that victory over perennial powerhouse Duke forced the world to acknowledge the Bears as a legitimate force in college basketball, but perhaps also put a bit more pressure on the Bears for their 2014-2015 season. Be that as it may, one would be surprised to know that under the lead of head coach Bob Huffman, the Bears have enjoyed a few upset wins. Huffman’s Bears have victories over the likes of Alabama, Auburn, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Ole Miss and Seton Hall. With all being considered, it’s not surprising that as a result of Mercer’s success, Huffman has received coach of the year honors in the Atlantic Sun conference in 2013 and 2014, piling up over 120 victories and counting while at Mercer.
Coach Huffman’s 2014-2015 men’s Bears squad have started off with a solid 6-6 record, with an impressive undefeated record of 5-0 at home. The Bears are averaging 65 points per game 11.7 rebounds and 12.2 assists per game offensively. The Bears are shooting 42.5 percent from the field 36.9 percent beyond the arc, and 69.8 percent from the foul line. Junior guard Ike Nwamu has led the bears in scoring this season, averaging 18.3 points per game, shooting an astounding 74.6 percentage from the field. Senior forward T.J. Halice has also been productive offensively for Coach Huffman’s Mercer squad averaging 9.4 points per game. The Bears have also benefitted from the scoring of Junior guard Phillip Leonard and Senior forward Darius Moten, averaging 8.7 and 8.8 points per game respectively. Huffman’s squad has also played quite well on defense thus far on the season, averaging 5.4 steals per game and averaging 22.7 defensive boards per game. Mercer’s defense has held opponents to 61.2 points per game. Moreover, the Bears have forced opponents to take low percentage shots thus producing a stifling 39.5 percentage from the field from their foes. After last game contest resulting in a tough road loss to the Volunteers of Tennessee, it’s only fitting that the Bears hit the road once more to face the Bulldogs of the University of Georgia.
Tip-off is scheduled today,12/27/14,for 6:00 pm at Stageman Coach Coliseum in Athens, GA. The game will also be televised on the SEC network, please check your local listings. Coach Huffman’s team will be aiming for a big win to get back on track as a whole, and possibly as a result, secure an invite back to the tournament in March, to make perhaps yet another big upset.