SAINT LEO, Fla. – SaintLeoLions.com will be implementing CoverItLive for tonight's men's basketball game between Saint Leo and Valdosta State. (Chat window is at the bottom of this preview)
The CoverItLive blog is designed to provide live, up-to-date analysis and thoughts of select away events to help fans of the Green and Gold interact with scoring table personnel in ways a traditional radio or television broadcast cannot provide. It is also a great chance for fans, parents and students, to interact as the game is in progress and will have a decisively Saint Leo tone.
The game itself sees the Lions travel three hours up to Georgia's most southern city, where Saint Leo was victors last year in an 85-79 upset in the season's first game.
This team and this season are completely different for the Lions as new Head Coach Lance Randall takes his rebuilt group on the road for the first time in 2011-12. Facing their first NCAA competition, the Lions are 1-1 after an impressive outing to open the year against Southeastern on Friday night, and a disappointing loss the next day to Southern PolyTech.
Averaging 13.5 points per game, newcomers Marcus Ruh and Trent Thomas lead the Lions in scoring as the teams is bucketing 53 points per game. Connecting on 67 percent of his shots from the field, Thomas has also hit 50 percent of his three-point attempts, but it is too early in the season to set anything in concrete for the Lions.
Valdosta State comes in with an identical record as the Lions with an 88-78 opening night win over Puerto Rico-Mayaguez, followed up by an 88-77 loss to Sunshine State Conference rival Nova Southeastern in games played in Ft. Lauderdale.
Without a doubt, the leader of the Blazers is Michael Panaggio, who has come off the bench in both games to average 17.5 points and 31.5 minutes per game. A high-scoring team, the Blazers are averaging 82.5 points per game but are surrendering 83 points in a contest. Not very efficient from behind the 3-point arc, Valdosta State is 25 percent true from long-range but have still hoisted up over 50 attempts just two games in.
All participants in the CoverItLive blog are encouraged to ask moderated questions and support the Lions in a respectful manner.
In addition, Twitter and Facebook updates will be available throughout the contest, along with live audio and video provided by the host Blazers. All multimedia links (except for CoverItLive) can be found on the men's basketball schedule page at http://www.saintleolions.com/sports/mbkb/2011-12/schedule.
SaintLeoLions.com will be going live with the blog at 7:45 p.m.