by Taylor Fraze
This week’s spotlight is on junior men’s basketball guard Christyon “Spudd” Eugene.
Eugene led the Trojans in scoring this past week with 17 points against ULM and 19 points against Coastal Carolina. In the game against Coastal Carolina, Spudd set a career high with five made 3-pointers in the game. These performances helped Troy clinch the fifth seed in the conference tournament.
Eugene transferred to Troy last year from Eastern Florida State, where he averaged 11.9 points per game with 3.4 assists per game. He started his basketball career at Angelina College in Lufkin, Texas. While attending Angelina College, Eugene averaged 9.4 points per game with 3.3 assists per game. This season for Troy has been his best in his Division I career.
This season, Eugene is averaging 11.8 points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.7 assists which is a drastic change from last season’s total of only 4.8 points per game. Eugene leads the starters in 3-point percentage at 40-percent for the regular season.
Eugene’s ability to get open for shot and find his teammates for a pass has been on full display all season long, but this past week it was heightened to a new level.
Troy defeated ULM 82-78 in overtime February 22, thanks to Eugene. With 1:05 remaining in the second half, Eugene found his teammate Nelson Phillips for the open jumper that resulted in a foul.
This jumper and free throw put Troy up by three on the Warhawks until ULM hit a three to send the game to overtime. In overtime, Eugene made a jumper after a steal to put the game out of reach with 1:34 remaining. This jump shot put the Trojans up by seven points in an eventual four-point victory. Eugene’s 3-point percentage paced the team’s offensive efforts as he led all Trojans going 4-for-6 from downtown.
Eugene replicated this performance in the season finale against Coastal Carolina. Eugene shot 50-percent from downtown going 5-for-10 in the game. Christyon opened the game with the first basket for the Trojans in a game, where the team would live from beyond the arc. Eugene made five of the Trojan’s 17 total three pointers, the most of any player on the team and a career high. Eugene scored the final points of the game for Troy by making two free throws with 1:03 remaining.
“I feel like we are playing great,” said Spud in his post-game interview. “The confidence is high, and we all believe in each other heading into the tournament.
Troy heads to the Sun Belt tournament as the fifth seed, thanks to the offensive efforts of Eugene this past week. The first game of the tournament for Troy will be Thursday, March 1 with a win advancing the team to the quarterfinals on Saturday, March 4. The Sun Belt Championship game is Monday, March 6, at 6 p.m.