Eastern Florida Basketball Gets Back To Business
By Mark DeCotis, Eastern Florida Sports Information // December 30, 2014
mens basketball comes off the break 14-1
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA — With their holiday break behind them Eastern Florida’s women’s and men’s basketball teams get down to serious business this week.
The women at 8-5, off to their best start in years and ranked seventh in the Florida College System Activities Association coaches poll, get things started by hosting Niagara (New York) Community College at 6 p.m. Tuesday in Melbourne.
NJCAA Division II Niagara comes in at 13-0. The women then begin FSCAA Southern Conference play by visiting Indian River State College at 2 p.m. Saturday in Fort Pierce.
Indian River is 2-9 but to Eastern Florida head coach Jim Grimes pre-conference records don’t matter.
Eastern Florida’s men, 14-1, ranked second in Florida and 15th nationally in the NJCAA Division I poll, resume on Wednesday with a stiff challenge as they host Shelton State (Alabama) Community College at 4 p.m. in Melbourne.
Shelton State is 13-1 and ranked 16th nationally.
“We’re all 0-0 when the ball is tipped to begin conference play,” Grimes said.
“While all games are important and effort and growth and improvement are what we strive for, the conference games are the only things that matter when it comes to advancing to the postseason. Every team in Florida wants to be among the select few playing at the state tournament in Ocala the first weekend in March and to do that you need to finish first, second or third in conference. You do that by winning your conference games. Period, end of sentence.”
Eastern Florida then hosts the Eastern Florida New Year’s Classic. The Titans play NJCAA Division III Wytheville (Virginia) Community College (8-4) at 7:30 p.m. Friday and USC-Salkahatchie (South Carolina) (11-5) at 4 p.m. Saturday.
Eastern Florida’s Southern Conference foe Broward College (13-3) plays Salkahatchie at 5:30 p.m. Friday and Wytheville at 2 p.m. Saturday.
Eastern Florida has won 38 straight games at home.
Two-time defending champion Eastern Florida opens conference play by visiting rival Indian River at 7 p.m. Jan. 7. Eastern Florida plays its first conference home game at 7 p.m. Jan. 14 when it hosts Palm Beach State.
“This is the most exciting time of season,” said Eastern Florida head coach Jeremy Shulman.
“We have three tough games this week and then we begin play in our conference in which the five teams boast an overall record of 56-18 and have a collective winning streak of 19 games. Three – us, Broward and Palm Beach – are ranked in the top 10 in Florida.”
“Conference is going to be a dogfight from the first tip to the final basket. But first we need to take care of business at home this week by defending our home court. We have the best fans in Florida and they are in for some exciting basketball.”
Admission to all Eastern Florida home games is free.