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Scouting Morgan State

Gary Williams said yesterday it will be imperative that his team not get too excited for the start of ACC play on Saturday, what with a nonconference game against Morgan State to play Wednesday night and all.

The Bears (5-8) enter tomorrow night's contest having lost two straight games, though each were to respectable opponents. Morgan State fell to Washington, 81-67, on Dec. 30 and lost to St. Mary's, 76-60, on Dec. 28.

Despite his team's recent struggles, third-year Coach Todd Bozeman said in a brief phone interview Monday that the season has had its bright spots, as well. "We've taken some positive steps," he said.

One positive note has been the play of late of junior guard Reggie Holmes (6-foot-4, 180 lbs.), who got off to a slow start this season due to several nagging injuries. Holmes is the team's leading scorer (14.3 points per game), despite shooting 35.7 percent from the field. He tallied 16 points and pulled down nine rebounds in the loss to Washington.

"Reggie is a scorer," Bozeman said. "He was a scorer when he got here. He's just learning how to be more efficient with his play. It's not necessarily one guy or two guys that lead us. Sometimes, it's different guys, but Reggie is certainly one of the guys that we count on, for sure."

The Bears have five players averaging at least 8.3 points per game, though the team is averaging just 63.1 points per contest. Morgan State relies largely on the efforts of six players, few of whom shoot particularly well.

As a team, the Bears shoot 37.9 percent from the field, 31.9 percent from three-point range and 62.0 percent from the free-throw line.

Senior guard Jermaine "Itchy" Bolden (5-foot-9, 175 lbs.) shoots 32.3 percent from the field and scores 8.3 points per game. And yes, his nickname really is "Itchy." I have no idea why. Frankly, I'm not sure I want to know.

Senior guard Rogers Barnes (6-foot-2, 190 lbs.) averages 8.4 ppg while holding a 38.0 field goal percentage.

Senior forward Marquise Kately (6-foot-5, 220 lbs.) averages 9.8 points per game while shooting 41.1 percent from the floor.

Redshirt freshman forward Kevin Thompson (6-foot-8, 240 lbs.) shoots just 37.4 percent from the field, though his main contributions are made on the defensive end. He leads the team in rebounding (6.9 per game) and in blocked shots (15). "He gives us a low post presence, that's for sure," Bozeman said.

Aside from Thompson, the Bears don't have a whole lot of size. Junior forward Rico Myles (6-foot-8, 225 lbs.) receives the most minutes of any Morgan State reserve and he pulls down 5.0 boards per game, but that's about it in terms of big men. Still, the Bears hold a +1.7 rebounding margin.

By Steve Yanda  |  January 6, 2009; 10:53 AM ET
Categories:  Men's basketball  
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