Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The Citadel (4-3) @ UNCG (1-3)

When: Thursday, Dec. 4 7 pm
Where: Fleming Gym (2,320)
TV: None/ All-Access

Citadel Athletics
Citadel Forum

Spartan Notes:
- Last time out, UNCG lost to NC State 79-52 at the RBC Center in Raleigh. Kendall Toney scored 16 points and pulled down 8 boards. Freshman Damian Eargle chipped in 10 points. UNCG trailed by just 11 at the half. However, a 16-4 Wolfpack spurt after the break squashed any thoughts of a Spartan upset.
- 9 UNCG scholarship players (out of 10) have seen action in all 4 games this season. Eight of those players are averaging double figures in minutes played.
- UNCG has used a different starting lineup for all 4 games.
- Only one player is averaging double figures in points. Mikko Koivisto leads the team in points (15.8) and assists (3.3). Ben Stywall leads UNCG in rebounding (8.0).
- As a team, UNCG is shooting 39.7% from the field, 32% from 3 point range and 58.2% from teh free throw line.
- The Spartans defeated the Bulldogs twice last season. UNCG won 84-54 at Fleming Gym. Kyle Hines led UNCG with 22 and Austin Dahn led the Bulldogs with 19. UNCG won 74-63 in the return game in Charleston. This time Ben Stywall led UNCG in scoring (21 pts), but Austin Dahn again led the Bulldogs (17 pts).

Bulldog Notes:
- The Citadel are coming off a 55-41 win over Grambling State in Cancun, Mexico. Cameron Wells had a double-double (10 pts and 14 rebs). The Bulldogs went 12-26 from 3 point range (46.2%).
- UNCG and The Citadel have played one common opponent so far this year, Central Arkansas. UNCG lost to the Bears 73-60 in Conway. The Citadel lost 58-53 in Cancun, Mexico.
-The Bulldogs are led in points (16.9) and rebounds (6.6) by Cameron Wells. Zach Urbanus is their leading assist man (2.6).
- For the season, the Bulldogs are shooting 43.5% from the field, 32.3% from 3 point range and 72.7% from the free throw line.
- The Citadel has beat Grace Bible, Cincinnati Christian, Charleston Southern and Grambling State. The Bulldogs lost to VCU, Iowa and Central Arkansas. The Citadel is 0-1 on the road, 2-1 at home and 2-1 in neutral site games.

My Thoughts:
News Flash --- UNCG isn't going to receive an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament. The Spartans will have to make some noise in the SoCon in order to play somewhere in the postseason.

Ok, here it is. This is a home game against a team that was picked to finish basically last by the coaches and media. But here's the tricky part ... they're not quite as bad as predicted. Unlike UNCG, they have won a game against a D1 program. They have played 7 games already and they have shown signs of playing well. Last year, this team started 5 freshmen. Thus, these guys have played together quite a bit. However, this will be only their second true road game.

UNCG is going to have to do several things in order to be successful. They are going to have to play off the crowd energy. They are going to have to protect the basketball. They are going to have to step up and make free throws. They are going to have to play smart, hard-nosed defense without getting into foul trouble.

It's time to start seeing some real improvement out of this team. The games are coming weeks apart right now. Hopefully, this means the guys are getting plenty of time to watch film and then work on things they are seeing. With the conference opener here now, it's time for things to start coming together. We can't start behind the 8-ball ... with a home loss.

Go Spartans !!!