Published on March 7, 2024 by Joey Mullins  
Jermaine cutting down net

The 2023-24 season has been filled with historic accomplishments for Samford University’s men’s basketball program, with hopefully even more to come.

With the team’s win over Eastern Tennessee State University on Feb. 24, the Bulldogs won the Southern Conference regular season title for a second-straight season. This year, however, the team secured the championship outright and will be the No. 1 seed in the upcoming Southern Conference Tournament for the first time since joining the league in 2008. The ETSU win also gives Samford its 25th win of the season, the most in the history of Samford’s men’s basketball program. The Bulldogs ended the regular season with 26 overall wins. The ETSU victory happened in front of 4,523 fans, the second-largest home crowd in the university’s basketball history.

"What an accomplishment for our guys, for our program and for all of the people associated with the program, to win the SoCon this year and be the number one seed going into the tournament," said Samford head coach Bucky McMillan. "To be able to go back-to-back and bring home two SoCon championships, the first two Samford has had in back-to-back seasons, I'm so excited for our university and all of the people. Not just our players and coaches, but everybody associated with the university and our fans. I'm so happy for them."

The historic significance of this season did not just happen with the ETSU win. Earlier in the year, Samford accomplished a 17-game winning streak, setting another university record.  The Bulldogs have been unbeatable at home this season, posting a perfect 18-0 record in the Pete Hanna Center.

Individual Samford players have had impressive seasons as well. Rylan Jones, a graduate student who plays guard, currently ranks fourth in the nation in assist to turnover ratio, and senior Jermaine Marshall recently passed the 1,000-point mark in his collegiate career. The strength of the team, however, has been in its depth. Throughout this season, a total of 10 different players have led the team in scoring, with junior Achor Achor leading the team in 11 different games.

As a team, Samford currently ranks fourth in the nation in scoring, averaging 86.7 points per game. Samford also ranks fourth in the nation in three-point percentage with 39.8% , fifth in the nation for bench points per game with 34.47 points per game,  fifth in the nation for fastbreak points per game with 16,23 points per game and sixth in the nation for turnovers forced per game with 17.10 points per game.  With the regular season over, the team’s attention will shift to the Southern Conference Tournament. If the Bulldogs win the tournament, which will be held March 8-11 at Harrah’s Cherokee Center in Asheville, North Carolina, the team will earn a bid to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2000.

In addition to the men’s tournament, the Southern Conference Women’s Basketball Tournament will also be held in Asheville from March 7-10. For more information on both tournaments, click on the following link: TOURNAMENT CENTRAL

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.