By Chad Waller, Director of Communications and Sports Information
NAIA Game of the Week – No. 2
No. 4 Columbia (Mo.) (16-1, 7-0 AMC) at No. 6 Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.) (13-0, 7-0 AMC)
Saturday, Jan. 18 | 4 p.m. EST | Smith-Kirk Court | Henderson, Tenn.
Live Video/Audio – Provided by Freed-Hardeman
• What a way to meet for the very first-time in history as undefeated and sixth-ranked Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.) hosts No. 4 Columbia (Mo.) (16-1) on Saturday at 4 p.m. EST. The Lions (13-0) are the only remaining undefeated program in either division of NAIA men's basketball.
• The 2013-14 campaign marks the first season Freed-Hardman is a member of the American Midwest Conference (AMC) -- the Lions were most recently affiliated with the now defunct TranSouth Athletic Conference (TSAC).
• Both clubs are tied atop the AMC standings with a 7-0 record.
• Columbia is 7-1 this year on the road, while Freed-Hardeman is 9-0 at home.
• The Cougars have won or shared the AMC regular-season title in each of the past three seasons. During that span, Columbia has posted a 39-3 conference record. On the flip side, the Lions are still searching for their first conference title. They had four runner-up finishes in the TSAC in its last six years of existence.
• This marks the first meeting between the two clubs in men's basketball.
• On Thursday, Freed-Hardeman out-lasted Park (Mo.), 78-72, behind 25 points from Orlando Bass. Coming into that game, the Lions had blown out AMC opponents by an average of 28 points.
• Columbia is back in action for the first time since Tuesday after holding on against Mid-Continent (Ky.), 70-67. The Cougars scored 17 points from the foul line, compared to eight for Mid-Continent.
• On its current 13-game win streak to start the season, Freed-Hardeman has surpassed its best start in school history, which was an eight-gamer in 1998-99.
• Since its only loss of the season on Dec. 18 against then-No. 13 Benedictine (Kan.), 73-59, Columbia has rattled off seven wins in-a-row.
• Columbia head coach Bob Burchard is in his 26th season and currently stands No. 5 on the Division I active wins list with a 648-227 (.741) mark.
• Jason Shelton leads the Freed-Hardeman program and is in his ninth season of coaching. Prior to last year's 14-19 record, the Lions reached the 20-win mark in five-straight seasons.
• As a team, the Cougars rank No. 1 in Division I in assist/turnover ratio (+1.46) and are fifth in 3-point field goal percentage (.402) and overall field goal percentage (.509). Columbia will be matched up against a Freed-Hardeman team ranked No. 3 in the country in field goal defense (.374).
• Balance in the scoring column has been a key to Columbia's success. Seven different players have either tied or led the team in scoring for a single game. Coming off the bench, Devin Griffin is the top scorer with a 16.1 average - he has hit for 10-plus points in 15-of-his-17 contests. Derrick Dilworth (15.6) and Jeremy Nolen (9.0) are the next two players with offensive bursts.
• Besides a strong defensive unit, Freed-Hardeman ranks No. 4 in scoring margin (+21.7) and No. 12 in field goal percentage (.490). Another strong point is rebounding as the Lions, who rank No. 2 in rebounding margin (+12.9) have out-rebounded their foes in every game this year.
• Kyle Teichmann moved up the school career scoring charts in the win Thursday with 11 points against Park. He now stands No. 4 with 1,915 points and needs 23 points to pass Garrett Grills for third. Teichmann, a second-team All-American in 2012, missed last season with an ACL injury.
• Behind Teichmann's team-leading scoring average (16.8 ppg), Bass pours in 14.7 points and Reginald Gilmore chips in 11.4 points.
• The rematch between these two teams is scheduled for Feb. 22 in Columbia, Mo.
Note – A special thanks to the Sports Information Departments at Columbia and Freed-Hardeman for providing portions of the information above.
Additional Notes from Around NAIA Division I Men’s Basketball
(Through games played on Jan. 16, 2014)
• From Jan. 24 - 26, the 11th Annual Coaches vs. Cancer Suits and Sneakers weekend will occur to raise awareness about the fight against cancer. Both divisions of NAIA Men's Basketball Coaches will conduct a national effort of fund raising for the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) and American Cancer Society. For more information, click here.
• Just one team remains unbeaten in Division I men's basketball, Freed Hardeman (Tenn.) at 13-0. The newest member of the American Midwest Conference has smashed its school-record for its best start, which was eight-games.
• Freed-Hardeman leads Division I with its current 13-game win streak. Cal State San Marcos is second in line with a 10-game streak. With a loss on Jan. 11, Dalton State (Ga.) had its win streak snapped at 13-straight games, which was the longest in Division I.
• Cal State San Marcos owns the most wins with a 19-1 record. Four other clubs have at least 15 wins, Columbia (Mo.) (16-1), Dalton State (18-2), Montana State-Northern (15-4) and Talladega (Ala.) (16-2).
• One team is still searching for its first win -- Paul Quinn (Texas). Last week, two programs earned their first victory of the year.
• On Jan. 9, Evangel (Mo.) head coach Steve Jenkins reached the 600-win plateau after a 85-78 victory over MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.). He became the seventh active Division I head coach to hit 600 wins.
• Starting their program in 1902 – 03, the Tigers of Georgetown (Ky.) are the all-time leader in NAIA men’s basketball with 1,738 wins (through games on Jan. 16, 2014). Georgetown is 13-4 on the season.
• For the second-straight week, Pikeville (Ky.) was voted as the No. 1 team in the Division I Men's Basketball Coaches' Top 25 Poll. For the complete release, click here.
• Phillip Miller of Wiley (Texas) was named this week’s NAIA National Division I Men’s Basketball Player of the Week. For the complete release, click here.
• Other Top 25 matchups this week:
o Thursday – No. 18 Georgetown (Ky.) def. No. 1 Pikeville (Ky.), 92-77
o Friday – No. 10 Concordia (Calif.) def. No. 7 Arizona Christian, 82-72
o Saturday – No. 2 SAGU (Texas) at No. 11 St. Gregory's (Okla.)
o Saturday – No. 10 Concordia (Calif.) at No. 25 Hope International (Calif.)