Bryce Dejean-Jones will start Saturday’s game against Jacksonville State, according to coach Dave Rice.
The rest of the starting five from the opener against Northern Arizona will remain intact, so the sophomore swingman will join Anthony Marshall, Katin Reinhardt, Mike Moser and Anthony Bennett. Game 1 starter Justin Hawkins will shift to a reserve role.
Dejean-Jones was impressive against Northern Arizona, scoring 15 points in 20 minutes and doing it efficiently. Still, Rice said the move was as much about re-installing Hawkins as the sixth man as it was about rewarding Dejean-Jones.
“I just think Justin is critically important in that sixth-man role,” said Rice. “He brings so much to that role. I love him as a sixth man. Bryce brings a physical element at the small forward spot, so I think this suits both players.”
Hawkins played 25 minutes on opening night and finished with a line of five points, six rebounds, five assists and two steals. Rice said he talked to both players, and both received the news well.
Rice also expressed his desire for a stable lineup and rotation, so this seems to be a long-term move.
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