Men's basketball playoff preview

Men's basketball playoff preview

The Tigers men’s basketball team headed into the 2017-18 season with one goal in mind: make history. The Tigers entered the season as three-time defending champions and had their eyes set on a fourth with a deadly combination of veteran leadership and young talent. No team has been able to capture four consecutive AUS championships in men’s basketball since Acadia was able to do it from 1962-66, but with the Tigers finishing on top of the standings once again, they are heavily favoured to repeat.

The Tigers finished the regular season with a 16-4 record that saw them tied for first place, but the difference maker for the Tigers was their unbeaten 8-0 record in four-point games to put them eight points ahead in the standings.

The group has personified “team basketball” all season by spreading their scoring to many different threats both in the paint and from deep. It was a common trend to have a different player lead the team in scoring each game, but Sven Stammberger has made an impact on nearly every stat for the Tigers this season.

Stammberger led the Tigers in scoring, averaging 18.4 points to go along with his team high 8.2 rebounds, 52% shooting from the field and 86% from the line. He ended his regular season career with 1031 total points.

Second-year sharpshooter Alex Carson was able to put together an historic season from beyond the arc. Carson set a new Dalhousie record with 67 threes, which also puts him in second place all-time in an AUS single season.

The Tigers have won games all season by turning aggressive defence into fast break offence. Leading the league in steals, the Tigers used the extra possessions to their advantage by taking high-percentage shots and knocking them down, putting them at the top of both the three-point, and total field goal shooting percentages.

Their winning record has given the Tigers a U SPORTS top-10 ranking all season.

Their first-place conference record earns them a first-round bye and automatically places them in the AUS semifinal. The game will make for an exciting matchup, featuring either StFX or Acadia as their opponent, the only two teams the Tigers have dropped games to during the regular season.

The Tigers will start their playoff run Saturday night action at the Scotiabank Centre. Tip-off is at 6:30pm. Tickets are available online through Ticket Atlantic.