Eastern Florida State College to Host Sixth Annual Jim Grimes Basketball Classic Starting Dec. 30

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titans are 9-4 heading into the Jim Grimes Classic

Eastern Florida State College will host the sixth annual Jim Grimes Classic on Thursday and Friday at Titan Field House on the Melbourne campus. (EFSC image)

BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – Eastern Florida State College will host the sixth annual Jim Grimes Classic on Thursday and Friday at Titan Field House on the Melbourne campus.

The classic is held each season around the holiday season to remember coach Grimes who was the associate head coach of the men’s basketball team for the 2012-13 season before taking over the women’s program on March 18, 2013. Grimes passed away suddenly at the age of 45 on Jan. 29, 2017.

In his three-plus seasons as the women’s coach, Grimes led them to Southern Conference titles in 2014-15 and 2015-16, earning trips to the NJCAA Region 8/FCSAA Tournament both seasons.

“It’s a loaded field once again and going to be a great event played in honor of an amazing man who was my great friend and great coach, Jim Grimes,” Eastern Florida State College men’s basketball coach Jeremy Shulman said.

“It is incredibly exciting to host such an amazing event at Eastern Florida State College and fans are going to see some of the best teams in the country play right here on the Melbourne campus.”

The field features a couple of teams ranked in the NJCAA Division I National poll and the Titans come into the classic receiving votes in the poll.

No. 12 Indian River State College will open the classic against No. 16 Shelton State Community College Thursday at 4 p.m. Indian River State comes into the week 14-2 on the season and has won two in a row.

The Pioneers are averaging 96.6 points per game which is the sixth-most in the nation and are paced by Bendji Pierre who is averaging 19.1 points per game while teammate AJ Cajuste is scoring 17.3 points per game.

They will be tested by a Shelton State team that comes into the top 25 matchups 8-3 overall and is holding teams to under 64 points per game this season. The Bucs have four players averaging at least 10 points per game led by Andres Burney who is scoring 13.6 points per game.

Eastern Florida State College will play Southern Union State Community College in the second game of the day, tipping off around 6 p.m. on Thursday.

The Titans come into the game 9-4 on the season and have won two in a row heading into the Jim Grimes Classic. (EFSC image)

The Titans come into the game 9-4 on the season and have won two in a row heading into the Jim Grimes Classic.

Eastern Florida State College is led by Roberts Berze who is averaging 12.8 points per game and has scored 27-plus in two of the past three games. The second-year freshman made nine 3-pointers against ASA New York and has had at least two 3-pointers in each of the past four games.

They will play a Southern Union State Community College that is 5-5 this season but has won the past two games.

Jarden Maze leads the Southern Union offensive attack, averaging 15.8 points per game while teammates Destin Eke and LeBryan Bayonne each coming into the week averaging 10 points per game.

Isaiah Edden is among the top five players in the country in 3-point percentage, hitting 57.9 percent of his shots this season.

On Friday the classic begins at noon as No. 12 Indian River State College will play Southern Union State Community College at noon and the Titans will play No. 16 Shelton State at 2 p.m.

All four games will be played on the Melbourne campus and admission is free to games at Titan Field House. Games will also be streamed live online at the EFSC Titans YouTube page.

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