Team preview: Georgia Southern

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(Information in this team report is as of October 1.)

What does Georgia Southern do to replace one of the most explosive scorers in the nation after a 20-win season?

For starters, you don't "replace" someone like Elton Nesbitt, a 21.7 points-per-game scorer and one of the greatest players in the program's history. The plan in Statesboro is to rely on a solid nucleus of four experienced returnees, some sizable recruits and a winning tradition.

"A guy like Elton Nesbitt, you don't replace individually," coach Jeff Price said. "He was a once-in-10-years talent. It's going to be different without him. We'll see who steps up and how much they do it."

The Eagles, who have been first or second in the Southern Conference South Division six of the last seven years, were certainly one of the best teams in the league last season, winning the division title and engineering an 18-game home win streak. But once again, they stumbled in the SoCon Tournament, falling to Appalachian State, 74-61, in the quarterfinals.

The sting of that defeat was eased slightly by a berth in the NIT, but the Eagles played a similarly poor game, falling 77-61 to Charlotte. Nesbitt was held to roughly half his season average in the back-to-back losses, perhaps showing how reliant the Eagles were on his scoring.