Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Open Letter

I am writing this as simply an open letter to all followers of the blog.

I graduated high school in 1997 and went off to college at NC State. I spent a year there studying engineering. While there, I attended almost every basketball game in historic Reynolds Coliseum. The atmosphere was always electric. I did some of the camp outs to get good student seats and went to games early just to get to stand on the bleachers behind the team benches. I even stood out in sleet one afternoon for a couple of hours to get tickets to the postseason NIT games.

At the end of that freshman year, I had come to the realization that NC State wasn't the right university for me. Don't mistake this for me failing out. I had very good grades. I just didn't like the class sizes and didn't enjoy the professors. It wasn't a good fit and it was time for a change.

That fall I transferred to UNCG and instantly fell in love with the place. One thing that I did bring with me from NCSU, though, was my love for attending basketball games. I'm not sure I missed very many of them over the course of 3 years. While friends would stay at home to watch Duke or UNC on a random Wednesday night, I would go over to little Fleming Gym and cheer on the Spartans.

Since graduating in 2001, I've managed to make it to huge portion of the games. I've had season tickets for the past 4 years. I've been to so many road games that I've lost count. I've watched G play in the preseason and postseason NIT. I dragged my very pregnant wife to the SoCon tournament a few years ago because I was convinced the Spartans had a run in them.

I started this blog in November of 2008 basically because there was nothing in the way of an Internet presence for UNCG with the exception of a small message board. I thought it would be cool to start a dialogue about my university's basketball program with anyone that would listen. I wanted this site to be a cheerleader for UNCG basketball and to show people that there were people associated with this school that actually rooted for UNCG's basketball team. Since starting the blog, I have had the chance to meet a bunch of people associated with the program. Also I've met some normal, nice folks who just come out to the games and like to talk basketball. I have met a network of other UNCG fans through a now vastly expanded message board. I have had the chance to talk basketball with a bunch of different blog and websites all over the country and to spread the word that UNCG fans care about their basketball program. I am very thankful for and proud of all of these things.

At the very top of this site there is a disclaimer that basically states that everything that is written here is mostly my opinion with some unchecked facts mixed in for fun. I will help everyone to read between the lines that I am an early 30's, partially balding, white guy that possesses absolutely zero talent in the sport of basketball. I have never played or coached a single minute of meaningful basketball in my entire life. I have tried to convince others much smarter about the sport than me to write here, but all have declined. So, it simply has been me writing based on knowledge I've gained sitting in front of the TV or court side. I've mixed in some tongue-in-cheek clips with movie lines that summed up how I felt from time to time. I've tried not to veer off into anything that wasn't somehow related to UNCG basketball.

In the time since I started this blog, I've became a father, got a major promotion and started a new side career. All of this has left with very little free time to actually devote to the day-to-day updates that come during the actual season.

At the start of this season, I decided to really commit to this blog and site. I wanted to really work hard to keep it up to date and looking good. I even decided to pay more attention to my twitter account. I really wasn't aware of how much of an information tool that has become lately.

Two nights ago, I watched my Spartans get beaten substantially by our cross town rivals, NC A&T. The meltdown afterwards by this fan base has been quite intense. I have been right in the middle of it. I hated losing, but the manner in which it happened was completely shocking. I have since made some angered comments over this site, twitter and the forum which probably skirt the line of bad taste. For that, I accept the blame.

However, I have spent more time that I care to add up today exchanging emails with people discussing comments made by current and former UNCG players over twitter about all of posters over at the forum. According to the things that I read, most of the posters are not true fans, haters, jock sniffers and fair weather groupies. It is quite obvious that the forum (and by extension this blog) is not appreciated or welcomed by the team.

Thus, I have decided to take some time away from posting anything in the forum and I will not be updating the blog indefinitely. I do not want to spend any time or effort on something that is not in the best interest of the program that I absolutely care about. I may start back at some point, but right now I think it's best to step away for a bit. I don't make any money off of this site and certainly spend way too much time on it that could be spent in other places. I have always written here because it was fun. After reading those things today, doing this instantly lost all of its appeal. I apologize if my reasoning seems a little juvenile or thin skinned. I just think it's the right time to make this move. I really hope this is just temporary and I'll have a change of heart soon. But who knows.

So, until the next post ...

Go Spartans !!!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Dear Mike ...

... FIX IT !!!

Monday, November 28, 2011

That Could Have Went Better

UNCG 65 - NC A&T 87

News & Record
UNCG Athletics
NC A&T Athletics

NC A&T (3-3) @ UNCG (2-3)

When: Monday, November 28 7 pm
Where: Greensboro Coliseum (7,617/23,500)
TV: None/Spartan All-Access

NC A&T Athletics
Dawg Pound (Blog & Forum)

Preseason Preview

Note: Tonight's game is being called an A&T home game. I'm sure that will mean that all UNCG home game festivities will be taken away from the Greensboro Coliseum. However, since it's being played at the coliseum and not the Aggies actual home court, I refuse to look at this as a road game. In the eyes of the NCAA Selection committee or the RPI this is a home game for UNCG and I will treat it as such for this blog.

Spartan Notes:
- Last time out, 21 second half points from freshman Nick Paulos sparked UNCG to a 72-60 victory over Towson in the consolation game of the Maui Invitational "Mainland" bracket.
- After tonight's game, UNCG will jump into December conference play as they travel to App State (12/1) and Western Carolina (12/3). The Spartans will return home next Monday (12/5) to face rival Elon.
- Last season, a late 9-0 A&T run help vault the Aggies over UNCG 82-70. Aloysius Henry posted a double-double (12 pts & 15 rebs) in that contest. Kyle Randall scored 23 points.
- This season, Trevis Simpson leads UNCG in scoring (12.0). Henry leads the team in rebounding (5.0) and Randall leads in assists (2.6).
- For the season, UNCG is shooting 38.7% from the field, 33.3% from behind the arc and 56.5% from the free throw line.

Aggie Notes:
- Last time out, Nic Simpson's 14 points propelled A&T to an easy victory over visiting Barber-Scotia College, 88-53. Austin Witter also scored 14 points to go along with 11rebounds.
- NCA&T is ranked in the top 25 in the nation in points, rebounds and assists per game.
- Simpson leads A&T in scoring (12.5). Witter leads the team in rebounds (6.0) and Marc Hill leads in assists (4.7).
- For the year, A&T is shooting 42.3% from the field, 31.5% from behind the arc and 73.6% from the free throw line.

My Thoughts:
UNCG has had 8 days off since it's their last game in Murfreesboro. Hopefully the time off has given the guys time to re-charge their batteries and find their offensive rhythm.

Go Spartans !!!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Scanning the SoCon - Week #3

Scanning the SoCon - Week #3

SoCon Ranking
1. Davidson
2. College of Charleston
3. Western Carolina
4. App State
5. Elon
6. Chattanooga
7. Wofford
8. Ga Southern
10. Citadel
11. Furman
12. Samford

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Spartans Earn a Split at Mainland Regional

UNCG 60 - MTSU 82

Daily News Journal (Murfreesboro)
UNCG Athletics
MTSU AThletics

A 15-0 run by Middle Tennessee State with 14:03 left in the second half turned what was a close game into a blowout. Marcos Knight (17 pts) and JT Sulton (16 pts) led MTSU. Aloysius Henry (12 pts, 7 rebs) was one of only 2 Spartans (Korey Van Dussen, 11 pts) to score in double figures.

Extra Points:
- UNCG out rebounded MTSU 31-29. They also had 12 offensive rebounds to MTSU's 9.
- Every UNCG player saw action in the game.
- The Spartans struggled from the free throw line again. UNCG made just 50% (9-18) of their free throws. Middle Tennessee State shot 77.8% (28-36) from the free throw line.
- The Spartan managed to tally just 10 assists while turning the ball over 23 times.

UNCG 72 - Towson 60

UNCG Athletics
Towson Athletics

After a sluggish first half, Nick Paulos (25 points) helped UNCG to run away from Towson in the second half at the consolation game of the Maui Invitaitonal "Mainland" bracket. Kyle Randall (10 pts) and Trevis Simpson (10 pts) also scored in double figures for UNCG. Robert Nwankwo led the Tigers with 17 points.

Extra Points:
- After shooting 10% (1-10) from behind the 3 point arc in the first half, UNCG shot 52.9% (9-17) in the second half. Nick Paulos was 6 of 11 alone.
- After struggling from the free throw line on Saturday, UNCG went 12 for 18 from the line today.
- Korey Van Dussen had 8 steals and 6 rebounds fo the game.
- UNCG forced Towson into 28 turnovers.
- The Spartans dished out 16 assists to only 12 turnovers for the game. UNCG only turned the ball over once in the 2nd half.
- There were 2 technical fouls issued to the Spartans on Sunday. Aaron Brackett picked up one and the UNCG bench was also assessed one.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

UNCG (1-2) @ Middle Tennessee State (3-0)

When: Saturday, November 19 6 pm
Where: Murphy Center (11,802)
TV: None

MTSU Athletics
MTSU Forum (Scout)

Preseason Preview

Spartan Notes:
- On Thursday night, UNCG opened the home portion of their schedule with a 71-58 win over UNC Pembroke. The NCAA Division II school used their size to play a close first half before the Spartan methodically pulled away in the 2nd half. Trevis Simpson led the way for UNCG with 22 points, including a career high 4 three pointers. Kyle Randall also scored 12 points and handed out 5 assists.
- Today's game is part the Maui Invitational tournament's "mainland" bracket. The Spartans have already played 2 opening round games against Georgetown and Tennessee. The winner of today's game will play the winner of the contest between Belmont and Towson for the bracket championship. The losers of the 2 contests will square off in the consolation game that will also be played at MTSU's Murphy Center.
- All 13 of UNCG's scholarship players have seen game action this season. 12 of the 13 have played in all 3 regular season games.
- After this weekend's games, UNCG will take over a week off before returning to action in the Greensboro Coliseum against NC A&T.
- Simpson is averaging a team best 14.3 points and 4.0 rebounds. David Williams in leading the team in rebounds (5.7) and Kyle Randall leads in assists (1.7)
- After 3 games, UNCG is shooting 37.8% from the field, 31.4% from behind the arc and 55.1% from the free throw line.

Blue Raider Notes:
- Last time out, Iowa State transfer LaRon Dendy scored 16 points and pulled down 13 rebounds as Middle Tennessee State stunned UCLA at home 86-66. The Raiders shot an amazing 71.9% from the field that included going 10-11 from behind the arc.
- MTSU's game against UCLA was their only opening round game for this year's Maui Invitational.
- The Blue Raiders were selected to finish 2nd in the East Division of the Sun Belt Conference in preseason predictions.
- Dendy is leading MTSU is points (15.3) and rebounds (9.3). Bruce Massey leads the team in assists (3.7).
- For the season, the Raiders are shooting 53.7% from the field, 46.2% from behind the arc and 63.9% from the free throw line.

My Thoughts:
I think this weekend's games should give UNCG fans a much better feel for this season's team. The first two games were on the road at power conference teams and last night's game was against a DII school. Those are not good indicators for this team. This weekend's games will be against other mid major programs.

MTSU shoots the ball very well and judging from the stat line against UCLA, can get very hot from behind the arc. The Spartans need to carry over the defense they played in the second half on Thursday night. They will also need Trevis Simpson, Kyle Randall and Nick Paulos to continue shooting the ball as well as they did in the 2nd half also.

The Blue Raiders are ranked in the Mid-Major top 25. SO, UNCG will have to play very well on the road to come out with a victory.

Go Spartans !!!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Spartans Pull Away from Pesky Braves

UNCG 71 - UNC Pembroke 58

UNCG Athletics
UNCP Athletics

After a slow start, the Spartans finally started to settle into a game for the first time in 3 games. By the time the second half rolled around, Trevis Simpson and Aloysius Henry helped to put away a very pesky Division II team. Simpson's 22 points led UNCG

Extra Points:
- UNCG out rebounded the Braves by 10. It was the 2nd time in the first 3 games that the Spartans. David Williams seemed to find every offensive rebound in the 2nd half.
- I can see why Taylor Hoffer has been finding himself getting more playing time this season. He was definitely the most physical player on the court.
- It was good to see Kyle Randall step up and make some big shots early in the game. Kyle has been really struggling this season and I hope this game will give him more confidence.
- UNCG shot 81.3% (13-16) from the free throw line.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

UNC Pembroke (2-1) @ UNCG (0-2)

When: Thursday, November 17 7 pm
Where: Greensboro Coliseum (7,617/23,500)
TV: None/Spartan All-Access

UNCP Athletics

Preseason Preview

Spartan Notes:
- Last time out, Georgetown used a 15-3 run before halftime run out to a 41-16 lead at the break. The Hoyas defeated UNCg 86-45. Hollis Thompson led Georgetown with 19 points. Trevis Simpson scored all of his team high 11 points after halftime.
- Tonight is the first of 12 home games UNCG will play this season.
- Tonight is the first timeUNCG has played a Non-Division1 team in the regular season since November 17, 2008. That night UNCG hung on to defeat Webber International 90-78 behind Landon Clement's 26 point outburst. The game was played at Fleming Gym.
- Simpson leads UNCG in scoring (10.5) . Derrell Armstrong leads in assists (2.0) and David Williams leads in rebounds (5.5)
- For the year, UNCG is 36.1% shooting from the field, 25% from behind the arc and 42.4% from the free throw line.

Braves Notes:
- Last time out Shahmel Brackett made a 3 pointer with 20 seconds left to defeat Fayetteville State 75-73. Brackett led the Braves with 21 points.
- Brackett leads the team in scoring (14.0). George Blakeney leads the Braves in rebounds (9.7)
- Through 3 games, the Braves are shooting 44.7% from the field, 37.5% from behind the arc and 70.6% from the free throw line.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Hoyas Destroy Helpless Spartans

UNCG 45 - Georgetown 86

Stay tuned ...

Monday, November 14, 2011

UNCG (0-1) @ Georgetown (1-0)

When: Monday, November 14 7 pm
Where: Verizon Center (20,674)

Georgetown Athletics
Georgetown Blog
Georgetown Forum

Preseason Preview

Spartan Notes:
- Last time out, UNCG was blasted by Tennessee in the opening round of the Maui Invitational. Trae Golden led the Vols with 29 points. Korey Van Dussen led UNCG with 12 points. Trevis Simpson and Derrell Armstrong chipped in 10 apiece for the Spartans.
- Tonight's game will be UNCG's first against the Hoyas. This game is also an opening round game for the Maui Invitational. The Spartans are part of the "Mainland" bracket and will conclude play this coming weekend at Middle Tennessee State.
- The Spartans defensive problems from last season spilled over into it's opening game. Tennessee shot a blistering 64.6% from the field and hit 15 3 point attempts.
- For the season, UNCG is shooting 41.5% from the field, 30% from behind the arc and 40% from the free throw line.

Hoya Notes:
- Last time out, Georgetown shook off a slow start to thrash Savannah State 83-54 in their home opener. Henry Sims scored a career high 19 points for Georgetown, which led only by 3 early in the second half before going on a huge run to win easily.
- Georgetown was involved in a high profile altercation this summer during an overseas trip to China. From video taken on cell phones, it appeared several Chinese players shoved a Georgetown player before things escalated into an all-out brawl.
- The Hoyas will continue their Maui Invitational with a first round meeting with #11 Kansas next Monday.
- Sims currently leads the Hoyas in scoring (19 pts) and assists (5.0). Otto Porter leads Georgetown in rebounding (8.0).
- For the season, Georgetown is shooting 66.7% from the field, 53.3% from behind the arc and 58.3% from the free throw line.

My thoughts:
Tennessee shot as well as any opponent UNCG is going to see this season. Oh wait ... Georgetown shot even better. That certainly is scary.

Let's face it, what I'm looking for out of UNCG tonight is progress. Better rotations, confident shooting and something that looks like team defense would all be an improvement over Friday.

Go Spartans !!!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Scanning the SoCon - Week #2

Scanning the SoCon - Week #2

SoCon Ranking
1. Davidson
2. Chattanooga
3. App State
4. Charleston
5. Western Carolina
6. Wofford
7. Ga Southern
8. Elon
10. Furman
11. Samford
12. Citadel

Vols Make It Rain 3's

UNCG 63 - Tennessee 92

News and Record
UNCG Athletics
Tennessee Athletics

Tennessee made baskets on their first 3 possessions to jump out to a quick 8-0 lead 1:09 into the game. UNCG never really was in the contest beyond that point. Trae Golden (29 pts) helped to push the Vols to a 49-30 halftime lead. A couple of Korey Van Dussen steals helped UNCG to get the lead down to 15 with just under 17 minutes to play. However, Golden converted a 3 point play to stop the run. after that, UT pushed their lead all the way up to 31 points before the final margin settled at 29.

Extra Points:
- Defense was a problem for UNCG last year and it has already proved to be a problem in the first game, this year. Tennessee shot 64.6% (31-48) from the field and 62.5% (15-24) from behind the arc. Obviously, that was not entire based on poor defense. Tennessee made some tough shots and their confidence spread throughout their team. I will hold judgement until I see more action. But this is a scary beginning.
- UNCG was 3 of 10 from the free throw line.
- The Spartans outrebounded the Vols and outscored the bigger SEC team in the paint.
- Coach Mike Dement's substitution pattern was odd and erratic. I thought the reason to play exhibition games and scrimmages was to help look at different combinations and figure out who should be playing. Instead, everyone on the UNCG bench (minus Brian Cole) got in the game. And this wasn't some instance of clearing the bench at the end of a lopsided game. All 12 guys played in the first half. I have no idea what was going on with the subs.

Friday, November 11, 2011

UNCG (0-0) @ Tennessee (0-0)

When: Friday, November 11 7 pm
Where: Thompson-Boling Arena (21,678)
TV: FoxSportsNet*/ESPN3
* The game will be shown on a tape delayed basis in the triad & triangle for TWC subscribers.

Tennessee Athletics
Tennessee Forum (Scout)
Rocky Top Talk (Blog)

Preseason Preview

Spartan Notes:
- Last time out, Trevis Simpson paced the Spartans with 18 points as UNCG crushed neighbor Greensboro College 91-48 in an exhibition contest. Simpson lead 4 Spartans in double figures as UNCG led by a comfortable 53-23 halftime margin.
- Almost every preseason prediction possible has placed the Spartans in the 4th spot in the North division behind Chattanooga, App State & Western Carolina.
- UNCG returns 4 of 5 starters from last year's squad.
- 2009-2010 leading scorer Brandon Evans is the only significant loss from last year's team.
- Evans averaged 11.9 points and 4.1 rebounds.
- UNCG finished last season with a record of 7-24.
- Trevis Simpson is the leading returning scorer with 11.8 points per game. Aaron Bracket led in rebounds (6.0) and Kyle Randall led in assists (3.4).
- Last season, UNCG shot 42.9% from the field, 35.6% from behind the arc and 69.0% from the free throw line.

Volunteer Notes:
- Last time out Tennessee hung on to beat the #2 ranked team in DII, Lincoln Memorial University, 76-67. The game was an exhibition contest. The Volunteers led comfortably until a late run by LMU cut their lead down to 4 with less than 8 minutes remaining. Tennessee was lead by Trae Golden with 22 points and 8 assists.
- Last season Tennessee finished 19-15 and advanced to the NCAA Tournament.
- Amid an NCAA investigation, former Tennessee coach Bruce Pearl was replaced by Cuonzo Martin. Martin coached the last 3 seasons at Missouri State.
-The Volunteers have a lot of fire power to replace from last season's squad. Last year's top 2 scorers left early for the NBA. Scotty Hopson (17.3 pts, 3.3 rebs) and Tobias Harris (15.3 pts, 7.3 rebs) both left school early.
- The only major contributor to return is Cameron Tatum. He is the leading returning scorer (8.8), rebounder (3.1). He is also the leading returner in assists (2.3).
- Last season, The Vols shot 43.1% from the field, 30.0% from behind the arc and 68.4% from the free throw line.

My Thoughts:
UNCG beat up on Greensboro College in the exhibition game, but didn't shoot well from behind the arc. 3-15 will not cut it against a team from the SEC playing in its home opener. Part of the problem was that sharp shooting freshman Nick Paulos was injured. It's not certain whether Paulos will be available in Knoxville. If he isn't, others will have to step up and make shots.

The Vols are playing with a bunch of new pieces and a new coaching staff. They could be vulnerable for an upset as ever right now. But the Spartans will have to play well. A road win over a power conference team could be a major boost for a program looking to rebound from several lean seasons. I hope they can get it done.

Go Spartans !!!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Preseason OOC Opponent Preview - Duke

Location: Durham, NC
Conference: ACC (RPI #5)
Last Season: 30-4
Finish: 2nd (out of 12)
Postseason: NCAA Tournament (Sweet 16)
Last 10: 7-3
Coach: Mike Krzyzewski (32nd yr)

2011-2012 Schedule:
- 10/29 Bellarmine (Exh)
- 11/2 Shaw (Exh)
- 11/11 Belmont
- 11/12 Presbyterian
- 11/15 Michigan St
- 11/18 Davidson
- 11/21 Tennessee (Maui)
- 11/22 Maui Invitational
- 11/23 Maui Invitational
- 1/29 @ Ohio State
- 12/7 Colorado St
- 12/10 Washington
- 12/19 UNCG
- 12/30 Western Michigan
- 1/1 Penn
- 1/4 @ Temple
- 1/7 @ Ga Tech
- 1/12 Virginia
- 1/15 @ Clemson
- 1/19 Wake Forest
- 1/21 Florida St.
- 1/25 @ Maryland
- 1/28 St. John's
- 2/2 @ Va Tech
- 2/5 Miami
- 2/8 @ UNC
- 2/11 Maryland
- 2/16 NC State
- 2/19 @ Boston College
- 2/23 @ Florida St
- 2/25 Va Tech
- 2/28 @ Wake Forest
- 3/3 UNC

- 6'-4" SG Austin Rivers - ESPN Rated 98 (Winter Park, FL)
- 6'-6" SF Michael Gbiniji - ESPN Rated 96 (Chester, VA)
- 6'-11" C Marshall Plumlee - ESPN Rated 96 (Warsaw, IN)
- 6'-1" PG Quinn Cook - ESPN Rated 96 (Hyattsville, MD)
- 6'-8" SF Alex Murphy - ESPN Rated 96 (South Kingston, RI)

- Kyrie Irving (Early Draft Entry) - 17.5 pts, 3.4 rebs, 4.3 assists, 1.5 steals (11 games)
- Nolan Smith (Graduated) - 20.6 pts, 4.5 rebs, 5.1 assists, 1.2 steals
- Kyle Singler (Graduated) - 16.9 pts, 6.8 rebs
- Casey Peters ( Graduated) - 0.3 rebs (10 games)

Top Returners:
- Seth Curry - 9.0 pts, 1.8 rebs, 2.0 assists
- Andre Dawkins - 8.1 pts, 1.9 rebs

Preseason OOC Opponent Preview - ECU

East Carolina
Location: Greenville, NC
Conference: C-USA (RPI #8)
Last Season: 18-15
Finish: 7th (out of 12)
Postseason: CIT Tournament
Last 10: 5-5
Coach: Jeff Lebo (2nd yr)

2011-2012 Schedule:
- 11/11 Milligan
- 11/14 @ Campbell
- 11/17 Coker
- 11/22 App State
- 11/26 Chowan
- 11/29 @ Old Dominion
- 12/3 Charlotte
- 12/6 UMass
- 12/16 @ UNCG
- 12/19 Coastal Carolina
- 12/22 Garner-Webb
- 12/29 NC Central
- 12/31 Virginia-Wise
- 1/4 @ Southern Miss
- 1/7 UCF
- 1/14 Tulsa
- 1/18 @ UTEP
- 1/21 @ Houston
- 1/25 Southern Miss
- 1/28 @ UAB
- 2/1 SMU
- 2/4 Rice
- 2/8 Memphis
- 2/11 @ Marshal
- 2/18 @ UCF
- 2/22 @ Memphis
- 2/25 UAB
- 2/29 Marshall
- 3/3 @ Tulane

- 6'-3" SG Paris Roberts-Campbell - ESPN Rated 84 (Mathews, NC)
- 6'-5" SG Paul Stone - ESPN Rated 75 (Danville, VA)
- 6'-3" SG Shamarr Bowden - JUCO (Greensboro, NC) 12.2 pts, 2.2 rebs
- 6'-6" SF Maurice Kemp - JUCO (Miami, FL) 16.8 pts, 9.9 rebs

- Jontae Sherrod (Graduated) - 15.6 pts, 3.6 rebs, 1.9 assists, 1.1 steals
- Jamar Abrams (Graduated) - 10.3 pts, 4.1 rebs
- Brock Young (Graduated) - 9.6 pts, 2.5 rebs, 4.4 assists, 1.1 steals
- Chad Wynn (Graduated) - 2.9 pts, 1.7 rebs

Top Returners:
- Darius Morrow - 13.0 pts, 6.3 rebs
- Corvonn Gaines - 6.7 pts, 2.9 rebs, 3.1 assists, 1.6 steals

SoCon Previews

Charleston Post & Courier

4. UNC Greensboro
Last season: 7-24, 6-12 (5th in North)
Coach: Mike Dement, 327-360 overall, 122-163 at UNCG.

Players to watch: G Trevis Simpson, 6-4, so. (11.8 ppg, 3.6 rpg) G Kyle Randall, 5-10, jr. (9.4 ppg, 2.3 rpg); C Aloysius Henry, 6-10, sr. (9.5 ppg, 4.8 rpg).
Note: UNCG lost its first 15 games last season before rallying to win seven of its final 16, including two victories over Davidson and one over Appalachian State.

Fox News

UNC-GREENBORO: The Spartans won just six games in league play last year, and that number can be increased in the new campaign if the team can figure out a way to play well at the defensive end. UNCG surrendered over 80 ppg last season, and that is simply too many points, especially when there is not a consistent scoring presence on the roster. Trevis Simpson is the only returning player who averaged double figures last year and that total was just 11.8 ppg. As mentioned, if the Spartans are going to improve they will need to play much tougher defensively, but they will also need to get consistent efforts from guys like Aloysius Henry and Kyle Randall. Henry is a 6-10 center, but managed only 4.8 rpg last year, so clearly the big man needs to be more physical. As for Randall, he needs to shoot better than the mere 35.8 percent he hit from the field last season, resulting in 9.4 ppg. However, the guard did lead the team with 103 assists, so he is certainly capable of controlling the game on the floor for UNCG.Read more:

What to Expect for the Mid-Majors ...

Southern Conference
My pick: Davidson (South), Chattanooga (North)

Bob McKillop has a contender three seasons after Stephen Curry drew celebrities to Davidson's games. It's hard to envision a repeat of the 2007-08 campaign. But with seven of eight starters returning, including J.P. Kuhlman, the Wildcats should get back to the NCAA tournament for the first time since Curry left the scene. Chattanooga has four starters back from last season's squad.
Contenders: Charleston will challenge Davidson after adding highly touted recruit Adjehi Baru. In the North, Chattanooga will face tests from Western Carolina and Appalachian State.

X factors: Elon could be a sleeper this season.

Preseason MVP: J.P. Kuhlman, Davidson

Blue Ribbon Preview

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Preseason OOC Opponent Preview - FSU

Florida State
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Conference: ACC (RPI #5)
Last Season: 21-10 (11-5)
Finish: 3rd (out of 12)
Postseason: NCAA Tournament (Swee 16)
Last 10: 6-4
Coach: Leonard Hamilton (10th yr)

2011-2012 Schedule:
- 11/11 Jacksonville
- 11/14 UCF
- 11/16 Stetson
- 11/20 South Alabama
- 11/24 UMass
- 11/30 @ Michigan State
- 12/5 Charleston Southern
- 12/11 UNCG
- 12/18 Loyola Marymount
- 12/22 @ Florida
- 12/30 Princeton
- 1/4 Auburn
- 1/7 @ Clemson
- 1/10 @ Va Tech
- 1/14 UNC
- 1/17 Maryland
- 1/21 @ Duke
- 1/25 @ Wake Forest
- 2/1 GA Tech
- 2/4 Virginia
- 2/8 @ Boston College
- 2/11 Miami
- 2/16 Va Tech
- 2/18 @ NC State
- 2/23 Duke
- 2/26 @ Miami
- 3/1 @ Virginia
- 3/4 Clemson

- 6'-7" SF Antwan Space - ESPN Rated 94 (DeSoto, TX)
- 6'-3" SG Terry Whisnant - ESPN Rated 92 (Cherryville, NC)
- 6'-11" C Keil Turpin - JUCO (Normal, IL) 15.2 pts, 7.7 rebs

- Chris Singleton (Early Draft Entry) - 13.1 pts, 6.8 rebs, 2.0 steals
- Derwin Kitchen (Graduated) - 10.4 pts, 5.8 rebs, 3.6 assists
- Andrew Rutledge (Graduated) - 1.3 pts (4 games)
- A.J. Yawn (Graduated) - 0.3 pts (7 games)

Top Returners:
- Michael Snaer - 8.8 pts, 2.7 rebs, 2.2 assist
- Bernard James - 8.6 pts, 5.9 rebs
- Deivdas Dulkys - 7.3 pts, 2.8 rebs

Preseason OOC Opponent Preview - NC A&T

North Carolina A&T
Location: Greensboro, NC
Last year: 15/17 (9-7)
Conference: MEAC (RPI #30)
Finish: 5th (out of 11)
Postseason: None
Last 10: 6-4
Coach: Jerry Eaves (8th yr)

2011-2012 Schedule:
- 11/11 @ Creighton
- 11/14 @ Iowa
- 11/17 @ Campbell
- 11/19 Chicago State
- 11/23 Johnson & Wales
- 11/25 Barber-Scotia
- 11/28 @ UNCG
- 12/3 @ NC Central
- 12/10 @ Evansville
- 12/13 @ UCF
- 12/15 @ St Mary's (MI)
- 12/18 @ Hawaii
- 12/21 @ Akron
- 12/23 @ Ohio
- 12/28 @ Houston
- 1/3 Carver Bible College
- 1/7 Bethune-Cookman
- 1/9 Florida A&M
- 1/14 Howard
- 1/21 @ Morgan St
- 1/23 @ Coppin St
- 1/28 Maryland-Eastern Shore
- 1/30 Deleware St
- 2/4 @ Bethune-Cookman
- 2/6 @ Florida A&M
- 2/11 South Carolina St
- 2/13 Savannah St
- 2/18 NC Central
- 2/25 @ South Carolina St
- 2/27 @ Savannah St
- 3/1 Norfolk St

- 6'-4" G Jean Louisme - JUCO (Fort Myers, FL) 19.9 pts, 3.7 assists
- 6'-6" F Dominique Behonh-Tolley - JUCO (Cameroon, Africa)
- 6'-9" C Jacob Carson - ESPN Unrated (Goose Creek, SC)
- 6'-7" F Anthony Estes - ESPN Unrated (Washington, DC)

- Thomas Coleman (Graduated) - 17.0 pts, 10.5 rebs

Top Returners:
- Nic Simpson - 13.3 pts, 2.4 rebs
- Marc Hill - 10.8 pts, 2.3 rebs, 3.1 assists

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Scanning the SoCon - Week #1

This season I will be participating in a SoCon round table discussion with fellow Southern Conference bloggers over at Mocs Mania. He has titled the segment "Scanning the SoCon". I don't plan on re posting the whole article, just a weekly link to it. However, I will post my personal 1 through 12 ranking of the SoCon teams (he just posts the cumulative poll).

Scanning the SoCon - Week #1

SoCon Rankings
1. Davidson
2. Chattanooga
3. App State
4. Western Carolina
5. Ga Southern
7. Charleston
8. Elon
9. Wofford
10. Furman
11. Samford
12. Citadel

Preseason OOC Opponent Preview - Middle Tennessee State

Middle Tennessee State
Location: Murfreesboro, TN
Last Year: 16-16 (10-6)
Conference: Sun Belt Conference (RPI #23)
Finish: 2nd in East Division (out of 6)
Postseason: None
Last 10: 6-4
Coach: Kermit Davis (9th yr)

2011-2012 Schedule:
- 11/11 Austin Peay
- 11/13 @ Loyola Marymount
- 11/15 @ UCLA
- 11/19 UNCG
- 11/20 Towson/Belmont
- 11/22 Cumberland
- 11/26 @ Austin Peay
- 12/1 @ Tennessee State
- 12/4 Akron
- 12/7 @ UAB
- 12/10 Tennessee-Martin
- 12/13 Belmont
- 12/21 @ Ole Miss
- 12/29 Florida International
- 12/31 South Alabama
- 1/5 @ Troy
- 1/7 Louisiana-Lafayette
- 1/12 @ Florida International
- 1/14 @ Florida Atlantic
- 1/19 Arkansas State
- 1/21 @ South Alabama
- 1/26 Troy
- 1/28 @ Vanderbilt
- 2/2 @ North Texas
- 2/4 @ Denver
- 2/9 Western Kentucky
- 2/11 Arkansas-Little Rock
- 2/18 Florida Atlantic
- 2/23 @ Louisiana-Monroe
- 2/25 @ Western Kentucky

- 6'-7" PF Jaquez Rozier - ESPN Rated 76 (Waynesboro, GA)
- 6'-1" SG Raymond Cintron - JUCO (San Juan, Puerto Rico) 19.8 pts, 3.6 rebs, 4.7 assists
- 6'-2" SG Marcos Knight - JUCO (Rentz, GA) 12.3 pts, 5.8 rebs
- 6'-3" SG Bruce Massey - JUCO (Germantown, MD) 13.5 pts, 7.2 rebs, 6.8 assists

- James Washington (Graduated) 14.8 pts, 2.3 rebs, 2.8 assists
- Trevor Ottley (Graduated) 5.7 pts, 5.2 rebs

Top Returners:
- Jason Jones 13.1 pts, 4.8 rebs
- JT Sulton 9.3 pts, 5.0 rebs

Monday, November 7, 2011

Preseason OOC Opponent Preview - UNC Pembroke

Location: Pembroke, NC
Conference: Peach Belt Conference (NCAA DII)
Last year: 18-12 (9-9)
Finish: 3rd (out of 7)
Postseason: DII NCAA Tournament
Last 10: 5-5
Coach: Ben Miller (4th yr)

2011-2012 Schedule
- 10/28 @ UNC (Exh)
- 11/3 Athletes in Action (Exh)
- 11/11 St. Andrews
- 11/12 Coker
- 11/15 @ Fayetteville St
- 11/17 @ UNCG
- 11/22 Wingate
- 11/26 Allen
- 11/29 Fayetteville St
- 12/1 Morris
- 12/3 Lander
- 12/12 @ Mount Olive
- 12/17 @ Flagler
- 12/19 @ Armstrong Atlantic
- 12/30 Shawnee St
- 1/5 Clayton St
- 1/7 Montevallo
- 1/12 @ North Georgia
- 1/18 USC-Aiken
- 1/22 Georgia College
- 1/25 @ Augusta St
- 1/28 @ Columbus St
- 1/29 @ Georgia Southwestern
- 2/2 @ Francis Marion
- 2/8 Augusta St
- 2/11 @ USC-Aiken
- 2/15 Francis Marion
- 2/18 Armstrong Atlantic
- 2/19 Flagler
- 2/25 @ Lander

- 6'-0" G Griffin Pittman (Charlotte, NC)
- 6'-6" F Ben Jacobs (Four Oaks, NC)
- 6'-0" Guamain Rose (Whiteville, NC)
- 6'-7" F Brandon Winford (Goldsboro, NC)
- 6'-9" F Tyler Kordenbrock (Jacksonville, NC)

- Chris Hargrove (Graduated) 11.2 pts, 5.0 rebs
- Lamar Cross (Graduated) 2.9 pts

Top Returners:
- Shahmel Brackett 15.3 pts, 4.3 rebs
- George Blakeney10.6 pts, 6.4 rebs

Spartans Punish Pride

UNCG 91 - Greensboro College 48

Game Story - UNCG Athletics
Game Story - UNCG Sports Blog

The Spartans hit their opponent with a 22-4 outburst right off the bat and by the end of the first 20 minutes lead by a huge margin (53-23). Trevis Simpson (18 pts) paced the Spartans, who had 3 other players score in double figures. Defense was the first half story as UNCG forced their neighbors from down the road into 15 turnovers and 37.5 % shooting. The game was played in a mostly full Fleming Gym.

This is UNCG's only exhibition game. They open the season on Friday night at Tennessee. That game will be broadcast on FSN-South.