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Paladins Entertain Bob Jones In 2017-18 Season Opener On Friday Night

Andrew Brown
Andrew Brown

Furman vs. Bob Jones Game Notes

Greenville, S.C. -- The Furman men's basketball team opens the 2017-18 regular season on Friday when it entertains the Bob Jones Bruins in a 7 p.m. contest at Timmons Arena.

Tickets for Friday's game are available and can be purchased online at or at the Timmons Arena Box Office.

The season's inaugural contest will be streamed live on the SoCon Digital Network with Dan Scott, the "Voice of the Paladins", handling play-by-play duties and Bryant Lambert providing color commentary. Their audio broadcast will also be available on FoxSports 1440AM, via the TuneIn Radio app and through Stretch Audio at Live statistics will also be provided through StatBroadcast and the link will be posted on the school's official athletics website.

Friday's game will mark the beginning of the head coach Bob Richey era. The former Paladin assistant coach, who served as interim head coach for Furman's CIT semifinal at Saint Peter's last season, was elevated to the position last April. Richey welcomes back four of five starters and five total players who registered at least 16 starts during the 2016-17 campaign as Furman posted a 23-12 overall record, 14-4 league mark and captured the school's first regular season title since 1991.

Senior Devin Sibley, the 2017 SoCon Player of the Year and a preseason College Sports Madness Mid-Major All-America choice, highlights the weapons at Richey's disposal. Sibley averaged 17.7 points and 4.1 rebounds per game a year ago en route to becoming the second straight Furman guard (Stephen Croone in 2016) to earn league player of the year honors. The Knoxville, Tenn., native is joined in the backcourt by fellow seniors John Davis III (8.9 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 2.8 apg) and Daniel Fowler (10.9 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 3.7 apg). Fowler, who started all 35 games a year ago, joined Sibley on the preseason All-SoCon squad.

Senior Geoff Beans, a 6-foot-7 product of Toledo, Ohio, and junior Andrew Brown, a former Travelers Rest High School standout, return with starting experience at forward. Beans averaged 6.3 points per game and started in 20 games last season, while Brown made 16 starts and shot over 43% from 3-point range.

Junior Matt Rafferty, a native of Hinsdale, Ill., is poised to take over the post spot for the Paladins. The 6-foot-8 Rafferty had his 2016-17 season cut short due to complications from back surgery, but enters the 2017-18 campaign with a clean bill of health. He has averaged 7.8 points and 6.3 rebounds in 50 career games, while registering 30 starts.

Friday's game will mark the first regular season meeting between Furman and Bob Jones. The Paladins topped the Bruins, 101-72, in exhibition action last year at the Bob Secours Wellness Arena in downtown Greenville as Sibley paced the purple and white with 23 points.

Furman continues its season-opening homestand by hosting Elon on Tuesday, November 14, at 7 p.m. before visiting nationally-ranked Butler on Saturday, November 18, in a game that will be televised live on FS2 from Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Ind.

Jordan Caskey, Furman Sports Information