The Columbus State Cougars Men’s basketball squad has started the 2014-2015 NCAA Division II season off with a bang! Led by Head Coach Robert Moore, the Cougars have been victorious in 6 regular season contests, only losing thus far at Saint Leo University in November. The Cougars have rallied to win three straight wins, being victorious over Coastal Georgia, Carver Bible College, and Fort Valley State University. Coach Moore’s team has averaged 83.3 points per game, shooting almost 50 percent from the field. Moore’s unit has also shot quite well from the foul line producing a 62.7 percent from the line. The Cougars have an array of talented players who have attributed much to the team’s explosive offensive attack. Senior guard Kenney Funderburk, who made the preseason All Peach Belt Tournament team, leads the team in scoring, averaging 16.9 points per game. Funderburk is a threat from the perimeter as well with 5 three pointers on the season. Coach Moore’s squad has another weapon offensively in the form of senior forward DeAngelo Kirkland. Kirkland is averaging 14.3 points, 9 assists, and 11.0 rebounds per game this season, remarkable averages no doubt.
Senior center Shane Heyward has also been a reliable presence in the paint averaging 10.7 points per game and 4.7 rebounds per game. Heyward has also been a menacing defensive force inside for opponents, having 16 blocks on the season. Funderburk, Kirkland, and Heyward are surrounded by several dynamic teammates who have all collectively made this Cougar team a tenacious bunch thus far this season offensively. The Cougars success this season is resonated by their ability to control the offensive and defensive boards, averaging 42.6 rebounds per game. Coach Moore’s Cougars have been equally impressive defensively as well on the season. The team is averaging 6.3 steals per game, 29.7 defensive rebounds per game, and has allowed opponents to produce only a 39.9 field goal percentage from the field.
This Columbus State Men’s squad has yet to lose at home. The Cougars Frank G. Lumpkin Center’s atmosphere has been indeed advantageous for the Cougars who boast a 4-0 home record. Today (Saturday December 13, ’14) the Cougars will try to stay unblemished at home this season and try to sustain their current 3 game win streak. The Pirates of Armstrong Atlantic come into Saturday’s matchup in Columbus with a 2-4 record. One could be quite sure that Coach Moore is stressing that his team does not underestimate the Pirates and look ahead in the schedule, but take care of the business at hand instead. Moreover, with the heart of their Peach Belt Conference schedule up ahead, the Cougars are in great position to possibly clinch their first post season berth in two years, yet the season is still young nonetheless. The squad must continue to play effectively as a team by getting to the basket offensively and utilize great ball movement to allow open shots to develop from the perimeter. The Cougars must also continue to be stingy on defense and force clubs to take low percentage shots from the field. Tip off for Saturday’s contest between the CSU Cougars and the Armstrong Pirates is scheduled for 4:00 pm at the Frank G. Lumpkin Center in Columbus, Georgia.
Generro D. Walker