Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Season Wrap-up (USA Today)

USA Today has posted a great SoCon season wrap-up. I'll just copy some of the key UNCG portions here. You can read the rest of it here. It's a really comprehensive article that seems pretty spot on about most of the teams. I agree with the UNCG portion 100%. Although there are obviously a few more roster changes taking place that they don't note.

Offensively, the Spartans scored just 62.9 points per game (10th in the league); they were the only team to shoot less than 40 percent from the field (39.8 percent) while hitting just 31.5 percent of their 3-point attempts (11th); UNCG also was last in assists (10.3 apg).
--On the defensive side of the ball, Greensboro allowed 73.9 points per game (ninth) and was last in the Southern Conference in scoring margin (-10.9 point differential). The Spartans were tied for last in the league in steals (5.3 spg) and were 11th in the league in turnover margin (-2.5) and last in assist-turnover ratio (0.7).

WHAT WENT WRONG: Two seasons ago, the Spartans were a team that road the Kyle Hines roller coaster, pretty much going wherever he would take them. The talented forward averaged 19.2 points and 9.1 rebounds per game. His departure may have single-handedly prompted the drop from a 19-12 overall record that season to the 5-25 one the Spartans suffered this year. It also contributed toward the disadvantage in knowing exactly how to approach the lineup. Coach Mike Dement used 19 different starting lineups in an attempt to find an equation that would add up to a victory. For the most part, that never happened. And now the coach has an offseason to try something else.

THE GOOD NEWS: The Spartans will be moving into a venue that should continue to help recruiting for years to come. UNCG will begin play at the Greensboro Coliseum beginning next season. The Coliseum will have a standard capacity of 7,613 for the majority of most home games, dwarfing the 1,800-person limit of the former facility, Fleming Gym. As witnessed by the Spartans' lone game at the Greensboro Coliseum this season, officials will have no problem expanding the capacity when needed. The Spartans played Davidson in the venue on Feb. 5 in front of 11,687 fans. It was easily the highest-attended Southern Conference game this season, and it brings about the possibilities for the future.

KEY RETURNEES: The Spartans roster did not include a single senior, and the only player defection to this point was a midseason withdrawal. So UNC Greensboro will have all of its top scorers returning in 2009-2010. Guard Mikko Koivisto averaged 12.4 ppg while leading the league in free-throw percentage (89 percent). Forward Ben Stywall scored 11.7 ppg and was fifth in the league in rebounding (8.4 rpg). Fellow big man Damian Eargle added 9.2 ppg and 5.6 rpg after starting 20 contests during his freshman season. Guard Kendall Toney played in all 30 games and averaged 8.0 ppg and 3.2 rpg.

--UNC Greensboro inked Brian Cole, a 6-foot-9, 225-pound center from Dacula, Ga., during the early signing period. Cole played AAU ball with the Atlanta Celtics and was described by various recruiting services as a solid "role" player. With Ben Stywall coming back for another year, it will allow Cole the opportunity to ease into college basketball.
--The Spartans will have one more scholarship available for Mike Dement to recruit with during the last signing period. Sophomore guard Landon Clement withdrew from school after 18 games, opening a roster spot for another player.