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Eastern Florida to Face Re-Tooled Palm Beach State on Wednesday
Jan. 14, 2014 - Eastern Florida State College's men's basketball team heads south on Wednesday night to renew its Florida College System Activities Association Southern Conference rivalry with Palm Beach State College.
But the Panthers team it will face bears no resemblance to the squad which it defeated last season in two of three games by a total of 12 points to capture the conference championship. Palm Beach State has a new head coach in Scott McMillin and a roster of 11 new players, 10 of them freshmen.
Eastern Florida, which returned six players from last season, heads into the game at 15-4 overall, 1-0 in conference and ranked fourth in the FCSAA Coaches Poll. Palm Beach is 12-6 overall and 1-1 in conference.
Tipoff is at 7 p.m. in Lake Worth.
Regardless of the Panthers' makeover Eastern Florida State's fourth-year head coach Jeremy Shulman expects a tight, hard-fought game. After all, it's the Southern Conference where every possession is a battle let alone every game.
Freshman guard Effenberg Zeme leads Palm Beach in scoring at 13.1 points per game. Freshman forward Jarrel Marshall is at 11.1, freshman guard Bobby Conley at 10.8 and freshman guard Maurice West at 10.6.
Marshall is averaging a team-high 7.0 rebounds per game. Freshman guard Elijah Mays leads in assists at 4.7 and Conley in steals at 2.4.
Sophomore guard Torrance Rowe leads Eastern Florida in scoring at 13.7 points per game followed by freshman reserve Demetrius McReynolds at 13.4; sophomore Shaheed Davis at 11.1; sophomore Jure Gunjina at 10.7 and sophomore Mike Kirkland at 10.1. Kirkland leads in rebounds at 6.7 per game while sophomore Ben Patrick sets the pace with assists at 5.9.
Freshman Jermohn Queen leads in steals with 1.8 per game.
Eastern Florida returns home to face conference foe Miami Dade College at 2 p.m. Saturday in the Melbourne Campus gym. Admission is free.