Siloam Springs, Ark. (October 26, 2011) - by Sidney Van Wyk
The Golden Eagles begin their season ranked sixth by the Sooner Athletic Conference coaches’ poll after finishing last season at 22-9 overall and 14-8 in the SAC.
The men open the season on the road on Saturday, October 29 against Ecclesia College (Ark.) at 3 p.m. and then look to host Hillsdale Freewill Baptist (Okla.) in their home opener on Tuesday, Nov. 1 in the annual Toilet Paper Game.
To open conference play, JBU plays Rogers State, the team picked second behind Oklahoma Baptist in the SAC poll, on November 22.
“We’ve got some time here where we really have to make some strides and get ready,” said head men’s basketball coach Clark Sheehy in reference to the game against Rogers State.
One of the teams’ key players this season will be 6-4 senior forward Adrian Miller from Hernando, Miss., who averaged 11.2 points a game last season and was a third team All-SAC member.
Six-seven senior post Andy Garcia from Bronx, N.Y. is another player who Sheehy expects to perform well this season. Garcia averaged 7.3 points per game after transferring in as a junior from Carl Albert (Okla.).
Sheehy also said that 5-8 senior guard Thomas Galliguez of Sugarland, Texas, who averaged 2.5 points per game, 1.5 assists and 1.4 rebounds last season, will be an intricate part of the teams’ ability to play hard and to play competitively.
Coleson Rakestraw, a 6-3 guard from Siloam Springs, Ark. and 5-8 point junior guard Abel Galliguez, are also key members of the JBU line up as well.
Rakestraw averaged 10.5 points a game and was an honorable mention All-SAC member as a sophomore. Abel Galliguez redshirted last year due to an injury but averaged 10.5 points per game the year before as a sophomore, while leading JBU to a SAC Tournament title and trip to the NAIA National Tournament. Galliguez earned SAC Tournament MVP honors that season.
Sheehy is also excited about the level of play and improvements that this year’s recruiting class has made, adding depth and diverse talent to the team. He expects valuable contributions from freshmen Max Hopfgartner, Tucker Trumbo, Jared Johnson, and Joseph Pelegreen.
“What we keep telling our guys is that the challenge is to try to keep getting better every day and hopefully if we do that we can play some really good basketball at the end of the season when it counts,” said Sheehy.
For a complete view of the schedule, click here.