Team: Furman Paladins
Current Record: 10-3
Coach: Bob Richey
Coach Profile: Bob Richey took over Furman just three years ago, but the Paladins have been solid ever since. They haven’t made the NCAA Tournament yet under Richey, but they did crack the Top 25 last year and almost certainly would’ve made the NCAA Tournament. Furman is likely the favorite to come out of the SoCon again this year.
What Makes Them Special?
Similar to a lot of the smaller name schools that see success, the Paladins take smart shots. They are 4th in the country with a 59.7% effective field goal percentage (behind Gonzaga, IPFW and Colgate). -They are 3rd in the nation in 2 point field goal percentage and 48th in 3-point field goal percentage.
They’ve lost three games so far this season; all road games against quality opponents. They lost at Cincinnati, at Alabama and at Winthrop (who is 13-0 by the way). Since that Winthrop loss, they’ve won 5 in a row and are currently 4-0 in SoCon play.
The Paladins have a balanced attack, but their main options on offense are Mike Bothwell and Noah Gurley. Bothwell is the do-it-all point guard. He can shoot the three, but he’s much more effective as from two and as a playmaker and finding his shooters in Alex Hunter and Clay Mounce. Bothwell can also wreak havoc for opposing offenses as he’s second in the SoCon in steal percentage.
Inside, the Paladins have their 6’8 center, Noah Gurley. His ability to shoot the three allows for Furman to stretch the floor and give their offense the spacing that contributes to their exceptional effective field goal percentage.
Definitely keep your eye on Furman going forward. They are the likely winner of the SoCon, they’re a bit undersized, but they spread the floor and have shown the ability to play with high-major opponents such as Alabama and Cincinnati.
Furman Paladins 2020-21 Player Stats