Thursday, November 10, 2011

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