The Lee men’s basketball team will face its toughest test of the young season tonight when an old TranSouth Conference rival, Freed-Hardeman University, visits Walker Arena. The action is slated to tip off at 7 p.m.
While the Flames are ranked 15th in the NAIA preseason poll, the Lions are listed at the 12th spot and have been impressive in exhibition losses to Lipscomb University (99-84) and Murray State (87-74). The Racers are ranked 26th in the preseason NCAA Division poll.
Lee is off to a 4-0 start and Freed-Hardeman is officially 1-0 after beating Belhaven University of the SSAC, 83-63. This will be the 23rd meeting between the Flames and Lions and the series is deadlocked at 11-11.
“Coach Jason Shelton has one of the best post players in the NAIA,” said Lee coach Tommy Brown. Senior Kyle Teichmann scored 23 points against Lipscomb and 19 against Belhaven.
“We’ve got to find a way to slow him down,” said Brown. “Not only can he score from inside, he’ll slip outside and knock down a jumper.” Orlando Bass and Chandler Mack (6-foot-7) have also been impressive in the early going.
The Flames will counter with a strong guard attack in Will Barnes, Chase Dunn and Duran Blue. The inside attack has been paced by Big Steve Bennett, Chad Lee and Patrick Shaughnessy.
“We need a big crowd for this game,” said Brown. “Freed will come in ready to battle and it has the makings of a real good college contest.” It will also mark the end of five straight home games for the Flames. They will open SSAC play next Friday and Saturday at Auburn-Montgomery and Mobile, and will not return to Walker Arena until Nov. 30.