Friday, October 19, 2018

Mounce's jam session caps Dins After Dark

Furman sophomore Clay Mounce won the dunk contest Thursday
at the second annual Dins After Dark preseason basketball event.
Furman fans got their first look at the 2018-19 men's and women's basketball teams at the annual Dins After Dark event Thursday night at Timmons Arena. After the Paladins' new court was unveiled at last season's inaugural event, large new video boards were on full display for the first time Thursday.

As the event wrapped up with a dunk contest, Furman sophomore forward Clay Mounce provided plenty of highlights for the boards to replay. Mounce bested freshman Jalen Slawson in the finals with a pair of dunks that drew the highest ratings of the night from a panel of judges that included former players T.K. Hayes and Kendrec Ferrara.

Senior Brady Schuck set up Mounce's first dunk of the finals. Schuck dribbled along the baseline and flipped the basketball off the side of the backboard. Mounce went up and caught the loose ball and did a 360 spin before throwing it down. Mounce went between his legs on his way to the hoop on his final slam.

While the event was a fun evening of entertainment for players, coaches, students and fans, it's just another part of enhancing the basketball experience at Furman. It's no coincidence that it's coincided with the men's program turnaround over the last few years.

"We've gotten a new court, redone the lights and now we've got the video boards. We just have to continue to find ways to make it better," Furman men's coach Bob Richey said. "When you're trying to build a program, you've got to build it from all angles. You can't fall in the trap of saying, 'we're just going to recruit or just watch film.' You've got to attack the whole thing.
"It's fun just looking at where we've come on this journey and continuing to progress it."

Prior to the dunk contest, Richey provided some of his own highlights in a 3-on-3 tournament between the coaches and students. The student team looked to have an advantage as it consisted of Furman football players. But this year's coaching team included a new assistant by the name of Daniel Fowler.

What was a fun exhibition of make-it, take-it "21" turned out to be quite an entertaining contest. Fowler, a 2017 graduate who holds the school record for games played (133), had a reverse layup to give the coaches a 19-18 lead. He then found Richey, who knocked down his fourth 3-pointer of the contest to end it.

"Somebody had to make some shots," Richey said with a smile afterwards. "Daniel was by far the best player on that court tonight, but all shooters can have their moment. That's the only thing I could do out there."

Dins After Dark opened with kind of a mixed doubles scoring contest. Two-persons teams consisting of one men's and one women's player teamed up to see who could score the most in one minute. The team of Schuck and Hannah Sellinger won the competition, which was highlighted by Schuck nailing a half-court shot.

The Furman men will wrap up the preseason portion of its practice schedule with private scrimmages each of the next two Saturdays.

"We will have about a week-and-a-half before our first game to really touch up some things after those two scrimmages," Richey said. "You don't play scrimmages to win them. That's why they close them and the score's pretty irrelevant. You play scrimmages to figure out groupings and rotations. It's going to be good to get those under our belt."

The men's team opens the season by hosting Bob Jones on Nov. 6 at 7 p.m. The women's team has a home exhibition game against USC Aiken on Nov. 1 at 7 p.m. before opening the season with a home game against Coker on Nov. 7 at 7 p.m.

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