PREVIEW: Gents Host SUU Before Four-Game Road Swing
Wednesday, January 12, 2011

SHREVEPORT-The Centenary men's basketball team will wrap up its home stand with a 4:30 pm contest against Southern Utah on Saturday in the Gold Dome.

Junior Maxx Nakwaasah fired off a career-best 24 points and pulled down 12 rebounds, but the Centenary men's basketball team wasn't able to overcome a tough night at the free throw line, falling 71-67 to UMKC on Thursday evening in Summit League action. The Gents (0-18, 0-7 Summit) produced its best game of the season, a four-point loss to the Kangaroos (10-7, 3-3 Summit), though wasn't able to execute from the free throw line in the final half, making just 7-of-19.

Maxx Nakwaasah recorded his fourth career double-double against UMKC with a game and career-best 24 points and 12 rebounds. The forward surpassed his previous high in points of 22, which came a year ago at IPFW (1.7.10) and tied his career-best in rebounds. Nakwaasah was 7-of-17 from the field and 7-of-11 from the free throw line on Thursday. That effort marked his 19th career double-figure scoring game and eighth of the season as he currently paces Centenary with 10.8 ppg.

It took 18 games this season for every player to record a game start. Adam Walsh rosters 12 players and everyone has been a part of a starting lineup. Jeron Trotman and Maxx Nakwaasah each have the most starts this season with 16 in the 18 games played, while Leo Davis has 12 and Andrew Rebol has 10.

6 SEE 20+
Six Gents recorded at least 20 or more minutes against UMKC on Thursday. Maxx Nakwaasah played a game-best 35 minutes, while Jeron Trotman followed with 31. Leo Davis played 28 and Travis Sims, Aaron Harwell and Jonathan Blount, all off the bench, tallied 25, 26, and 23, respectively.

Centenary free throws against UMKC were right around the season average, but proved to be a difference maker in Thursday's contests as the Gents hit just 20-of-34 for 59 percent, including a struggling second half with 7-of-19 made. On the season, Centenary is shooting 58 percent (237-406).

Sophomore Baba Diallo may have only seen just nine minutes of play off the bench for the Gents in the loss against UMKC, but the transfer scored six points on three buckets in the paint. The six-point effort tied his career-best, which came first against Oakland on 12.28.10.

Centenary may only be shooting 28 percent from behind the three-point line this season, but the Gents have remained consistent and have drained at least one three in every contest this year. The most three's made in one game came against IUPUI (12.2.10) with an 8-of-16 performance from deep. The lowest was one made at Arkansas-Monticello (12.7.10).

The Gents continue to pace The Summit League in steals this season with a total of 132 and 7.3 per game. Centenary is followed by South Dakota State with 6.5 per game. Jeron Trotman ranks fifth in rebounding with 6.8 boards per game and is fourth in blocks with 1.2 per game, while Aaron Harwell ranks first in steals with 1.9 per game.

Aaron Harwell is averaging 17.4 minutes a game and has stolen the show the last several contests as he currently leads Centenary with 32 steals in just 17 games played. The guard has tallied 24 steals in the last seven games, including a season-best 5 at Marquette on Dec. 18.

Jeron Trotman has used his 6'6" frame to tally 21 swats from the defensive end this year. The forward blocked 18 shots a year ago in limited action, but having proved to be a key inside force for the Gents, as he has now surpassed his debut season total. Trotman is just 8 blocks away from cracking the Top 10 All-Time with 47.

At the conclusion of Saturday's contest, the Gents will begin a four-game road swing, beginning at in-state rival, Louisiana-Lafayette on Wednesday before traveling to Oral Roberts on Sat., Jan. 22. Centenary will continue its road tour in conference play at IPFW on Thurs., Jan. 27 followed by Oakland on Sat., Jan. 29. The Gents are currently 0-13 away from the Gold Dome this season.

The Centenary men's basketball team is still in search of its first win of the 2010-11 season.
Centenary played its closest game of the season in a four-point loss (71-67) against UMKC on Thursday in the Gold Dome. The Gents also battled pre-season third ranked, IUPUI, to an eight-point loss (77-69) in Indy, before falling at Western Illinois by just six (57-51) earlier this season.

Centenary will play its last year in The Summit League after announcing its transition to NCAA Division III next season. The College will join the competitive southern conference, the American Southwest Conference in 2011-12. This season features a DI schedule, but next year it will be full DIII.

Adam Walsh is in his first year at the helm of the Centenary men's basketball program. The former Gent assistant took over the program when Greg Gary departed at the conclusion of last season. Walsh is a 2000 graduate of High Point University and is in his first year as a head coach.

Southern Utah enters Saturday's game with a 4-12 overall record and a 1-5 mark against Summit League opponents. The Thunderbirds are looking to snap a three-game skid as their last loss came in an 87-71 fall to ORU on Thursday.

Ray Jones leads the offense with 10.2 ppg, while Matt Hodgeson paces with 4.6 rebounds per game.

Centenary and Southern Utah will meet for the 15th time in school history as the Thunderbirds currently own an 8-6 advantage over the Gents since they first met back in 2004. The two teams split the series a year ago as Centenary won 93-85 in overtime at home. Maxx Nakwaasah led returners with 10 points.

The Centenary-Southern Utah game will be available via live stats and live streaming on

Following Saturday's contest, Centenary will travel to non-conference Louisiana-Lafayette on Wednesday, Jan. 19 in a 7:05 pm contest.