Home Basketball Billikens Look to Extend Two-Game Win Streak, Host Eastern Illinois Friday

Billikens Look to Extend Two-Game Win Streak, Host Eastern Illinois Friday

by Austin Basler

The Saint Louis University Billikens opened their 2021-2022 season with back-to-back home games Tuesday and Wednesday at Chaifetz Arena, hosting the University of Central Arkansas followed by across-the-street neighbors Harris-Stowe University. Their two wins are currently tied with just 12 other teams (out of 353) for most in the nation and with an average of 111.5 points per game and a margin of victory of over 50 points many concerns created by the loss of star super-senior Javonte Perkins have been erased and fans have plenty of new reasons to be excited about what the season has in store.

Redshirt-Freshman Gibson Jimerson is averaging 19 points-per-game, up from less than 8 last season in which he started 16 of 21 games. Even more impressive is that Jimerson is scoring with extreme efficiency – 52% from the field, 55% from the perimeter, and 100% from the free throw line. The best part of these numbers is that they are being achieved in only 21.5 minutes played per game – if you draw that to scale he would be averaging just over 35 points per game! While those are all great reason to be excited the real promise is shown in the development of his offensive skillset; Known as a 3-point shooter, Gibson has shown great success getting to the rim both with and without the ball and much confidence in the midrange jumpers that we thought would be missing without Javonte Perkins. Being able to score inside the perimeter will make scoring outside of it easier and if he continues to prove his worth as a 3-dimensional scorer defenses will have a difficult time limiting his production.

Saint Louis MBB on Twitter: “Tonight’s @smartstlouis Play of the Game goes to Gibson Jimerson’s hustle as he follows his own shot and creates a wide open three point bucket for the Billikens. pic.twitter.com/LDLumoQVlk / Twitter”

Tonight’s @smartstlouis Play of the Game goes to Gibson Jimerson’s hustle as he follows his own shot and creates a wide open three point bucket for the Billikens. pic.twitter.com/LDLumoQVlk

Photo Credit: Mick Lite/Arch City Media

Yuri Collins has taken his increased responsibility in Javonte’s absence in stride and shown the entire country that he has everything it takes and more to be one of the nation’s best floor generals – if you ask me, he is already Top 10 in that category. Yuri has played just 24 and 15 minutes, respectively, against UCA and Harris-Stowe, but in those 19.5 minutes per game is nearly averaging a double-double and shooting almost 60% from the field: 9 points, 11 assists, 2.5 rebounds, and 58.3 shooting percentage while averaging just one turnover per game for an 11-1 assist-to-turnover ratio. His 9 points per game is almost twice that of either of his first two seasons and those numbers are likely to increase significantly as competition increases and his minutes settle closer to 30 or more per game. If his assists average remains at 11 for the length of the season he will climb from his current position of 16th to 1st on SLU’s Career Assists leaderboard.

Photo Credit: Mick Lite/Arch City Media

JavaScript is not available.

No Description

 

Eastern Illinois is once again a lower-level opponent that does not pose much risk to our winning record as they are currently ranked 337th in the nation, with a record of 0-1, and are projected to lose by 21 points tonight. Expect the Billikens to play starters longer than they did in the first two games of the week and continue to showcase their high-scoring, fast-paced offense that has proven so successful thus far. A major point of focus tonight will be on how #TeamBlue is able to score in the paint against the Panthers’ 6’10” Jermaine Hamlin, who is currently averaging 10 points, 7 rebounds, and 5 blocks. A low-post presence like Hamlin should serve as good preparation for Memphis next Tuesday, whose front court is predicted to be a matchup issue for the Billikens.

https://twitter.com/SaintLouisMBB/status/1459171576239296514

Tonight’s 7PM matchup can be seen on Bally Sports Midwest or ESPN+, listened to on KMOX 1120AM.

#BillsBy40 #TeamBlue #SaintLouis #Billikens #EasternIllinois #Panthers #ChaifetzArena

 

Related Articles

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.