Friday, December 30, 2011

UNCG (2-11) @ Richmond (8-6)

When: Friday, December 30 4 pm
Where: Robbins Center (9,071)
TV: None

Richmond Athletics

UNCG Notes
Last Game: VCU (L 68-80) Recap
PPG: 64.2
RPG: 34.8
APG: 11.1
Leader Points: Trevis Simpson (15.4)
Leader Rebounds: Aaron Brackett (5.4)
Leader Assists: Kyle Randall (2.2)
FG %: 37.6
3 Pt %: 29.9
FT %: 61.6

Richmond Notes
Last Game: Liberty (W 77-61) Recap
PPG: 70.6
RPG: 30.0
APG: 12.0
Leader Points: Darrien Brothers (13.9)
Leader Rebounds: Darrius Garrett (6.4)
Leader Assists: Cedrick Lindsay (4.1)
FG %: 43.9
3 Pt %: 38.7
FT %: 75.7

The good news ... Richmond ranks almost at the very bottom of the NCAA in rebounding. UNCG has done very well in rebounding all season long. Hopefully this is one of the areas that the Spartans can take advantage of the Spiders. Also, teams have shot a little over 70% from the free throw line this season. While this has very little to do with either of today's participants, maybe UNCG can finally start to shoot well from the free throw line.

The bad news ... Richmond is a very good shooting team that doesn't turn the basketball over often. The Spartans haven't been a poor defensive team this season. However, the stats show the Spiders to be very good on the offensive end. UNCG will have to play with great focus to come away with a win.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Scanning the SoCon - Week 8

Scanning the SoCon - Week #8

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

What is on your Wish List for your team this holiday season?

UNCGBasketballFan - My wish is for a better shooting performance night in and night out from the Spartans. UNCG hasn't been able to consistanly knock down shots most of the year. I feel like if UNCG averaged shooting 45% for the season instead on 37.5%, the record would look a lot better.

Rams Outlast UNCG

UNCG 68 - VCU 80

News & Record Recap
UNCG Athletics Recap
VCU Athletics Recap

Halftime: UNCG 34 - VCU 38

UNCG Stats
Leader Points: Trevis Simpson (20)
Leader Rebounds: David Williams (9)
Leader Assists: Derrell Armstrong (5)
Team FG: 26-65 (40.0%)
Team 3 Pt: 6-22 (27.3%)
Team FT: 10-15 (66.7%)
Rebounds: 31
Turnovers: 14

VCU Stats
Leader Points: Bradford Burgess (21)
Leader Rebounds: D.J. Haley (7)
Leader Assists: Rob Brandenberg (3)
Team FG: 27-48 (56.3%)
Team 3 Pt: 5-18 (27.8%)
Team FT: 21-26 (80.8%)
Rebounds: 30
Turnovers: 15

UNCG again came out and took the fight to an opponent. However, the the story remains the same. UNCG took care of the ball really well for most of the game, with the exception of a four minute span. That span gave the Rams just enough breathing room to escape with a hard fought victory.

The good news is that the Spartans continue to have some of their best outings of the season. Unfortunately this good play is coming during a very difficult stretch of games. I still think that victories are coming for this team. They are playing too well to not start seeing the rewards for their hard work.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Virginia Commonwealth (8-3) @ UNCG (2-10)

When: Thursday, December 22 7 pm
Where: Greensboro Coliseum (7,617/23,500)
TV: ESPN3/Spartan All-Access

VCU Athletics

UNCG Notes
Last Game: @ Duke (L 63-90) Recap
PPG: 63.8
RPG: 35.1
APG: 10.9
Leader Points: Trevis Simpson (15.0)
Leader Rebounds: Aaron Brackett (5.5)
Leader Assists: Kyle Randall (2.3)
FG %: 37.4
3 Pt %: 30.2
FT %: 61.3

VCU Notes
Last Game: UAB (W 68-49) Recap
PPG: 68.2
RPG: 32.6
APG: 12.5
Leader Points: Bradford Burgess (14.3)
Leader Rebounds: Juvonte Reddic (6.4)
Leader Assists: Darius Theus (4.9)
FG %: 41.1
3 Pt %: 35.5
FT%: 72.8

VCU shoots the ball well and rebounds well.The Rams are going to press after every made basket. It will be very important for UNCG to play sound defense and try to get out on the break often to try to back VCU off of its press. It will be important for UNCG to avoid some of the problems they had last Friday night by keeping the ball out of the corners in perfect trap position for VCU. Also, look for UNCG to attack VCU with a press of its own. UNCG and VCU are the only 2 teams this year to have 20+ steals in a game versus a D1 opponent.

UNCG has shown a lot more energy as of late when playing at home. Hopefully a sizable crowd can give UNCG a boost to pull off a big upset.

Go Spartans !!!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Duke Pulls Away From Spartans

UNCG 63 - #7 Duke 90

News & Record Recap
UNCG Athletics Recap
Duke Recap

Halftime: UNCG 34 - Duke 45

UNCG Stats
Leader Points: KyleRandal (12)
Leader Rebounds: Trevis Simpson (6)
Leader Assists: Korey Van Dussen (4)
Team FG: 24-59 (40.7%)
Team 3 pt: 4-13 (30.8%)
Team FT: 11-22 (50.0)
Rebounds: 27
Turnovers: 14

Duke Stats
Leader Points: Mason Plumlee (15)
Leader Rebounds: Ma. Plumlee, Mi. Plumlee (13)
Leader Assists: Cook, Rivers, Ma. Plumlee (2)
Team FG: 29-54 (53.7%)
Team 3Pt: 10-21 (47.6%)
Team FT: 22-32 (68.8%)
Rebounds: 46
Turnovers: 18

Regardless of outcome, I really liked how UNCG played last night.I thought they caught Duke napping and came out as the aggressor. The team seemed push the ball up the court at every opportunity. It seem like UNCG players are having fun and playing very loose. It's a trend I hope continues.

Unfortunately, free throw shooting is still a problem with UNCG. The Spartans missed the front end of several first half 1-and-1 opportunities that could have really closed the gap. However, it's hard to get down on the guys for bringing that much energy to the floor of a top 10 opponent. I still think success is coming soon.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Scanning the SoCon - Week 7

Scanning the SoCon - Week #7

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

What do you think about replacing a coach midseason, as UNCG just

DavidsonCats- I hate to see a mid-season coaching switch. This one needed to happen. Several Spartan players were making idiotic statements in social media outlets, the team was stinking up on the court, and the fans were grumbling. Good luck to UNCG in their coaching search.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

UNCG (2-9) @ #7 Duke (9-1)

When: Monday, December 19 7 pm
Where: Cameron Indoor Stadium (9,314)
TV: FSN-South

Duke Athletics

Preseason Preview

UNCG Notes:
Last Game: East Carolina (L 62-71) Recap
PPG: 63.9
RPG: 35.8
APG: 10.6
Leader Points: Trevis Simpson (16.0)
Leader Rebounds: Aaron Brackett (5.7)
Leader Assists: Kyle Randall (2.3)
FG %: 37.2
3 Pt %: 30.1
FT %: 62.5

Duke Notes:
Last Game: Washington (W 86-80) Recap
PPG: 79.2
RPG: 33.7
APG: 12.7
Leader Points: Austin Rivers (15.8)
Leader Rebounds: Mason Plumlee (9.7)
Leader Assists: Seth Curry (3.3)
FG %: 49.7
3 Pt %: 40.9
FT %: 66.4

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Pirates Storm back to Defeat UNCG

UNCG 62 - ECU 71

UNCG Athletics Recap
ECU Athletics Recap

Halftime: UNCG 26 - ECU 28

Leader Points: Trevis Simpson (24)
Leader Rebounds: Aaron Brackett (10)
Leader Assists: Aaron Brackett (3)
Team FG: 26-69 (37.7%)
Team 3 Pt: 5-24 (20.8%)
Team FT: 5-8 (62.5%)
Rebounds: 40
Turnovers: 18

ECU Stats
Leader Points: Miguel Paul (17)
Leader Rebounds: Darrius Morrow (13)
Leader Asists: Miguel Paul (4)
Team FG: 24-56 (42.9%)
Team 3 Pt: 5-19 (26.3%)
Team FT: 18-32 (56.3%)
Rebounds: 40
Turnovers: 14

I really thought UNCG brought a lot of energy to the floor. ECU's press really hurt the Spartans. Coach Miller talked about it after the game. He said that they really hadn't prepared much for it, and it showed. However, the guys have had a rough week. Hopefully they can take plenty of "positives: away from this game.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

ECU (4-4) @ UNCG (2-8)

When: Friday, December 16 7 pm
Where: Greensboro Coliseum (7,617, 23,500)
TV: None/Spartan All-Access

ECU Athletics

Preseason Preview

UNCG Notes:
Last Game: @ Florida State (L 60-75) Recap
PPG: 64.1
RPG: 35.4
APG: 11.0
Leader Points: Trevis Simpson (15.2)
Leader Rebounds: Aaron Brackett (5.3)
Leader Assists: Kyle Randall (2.4)
FG %: 37.1
3 Pt %: 31.2
FT %: 62.5

East Carolina Notes:
Last game: UMass (L 58-63) Recap
PPG: 70.4
RPG: 39.5
APG: 14.3
Leader Points: Miguel Paul (16.1)
Leader Rebounds: Robert Sampson (6.5)
Leader Assists: Miguel Paul (5.6)
FG %: 41.7
3 Pt %: 31.6
FT %: 62.9

MocsMania Q&A

I've been in contact with Jon over at MocsMania this week talking about the coaching move. We decided to do a little Q & A over on his site. Normally I would just link to it b/c I want him to get the site traffic. However, I think this one is important enough to post in it's entirety over here too.

BTW, still go over and check out Jon's site. Even though it's from a UTC perspective, he really pays attention to the entire SoCon. Lots of cool stuff there.

What do you think the breaking point was for Dement that caused him to be fired midseason?

I'm not sure if there was any one thing that brought this on now. Dement has spent the last two seasons on the hot seat. However, a widely accepted rumor has been that former AD Nelson Bobb gave Dement a contract extension right before he left. So the new AD has been forced to stick with him whether she believed in him or not. This year was the last year of that deal. I guess AD Kim Record decided she couldn't wait any longer. Fall recruiting hadn't went as well as hoped and I can only guess that this was a move to try to shore it up as quickly as possible.

Were you in favor of making the move now?

I think there are some advantages to making it now. First, if you think Miller is a possible candidate then this is a great time to see what he's got. Also, It may give UNCG something to sell to spring signees. I think it would be a good sales pitch for Miller to say, "I took a 2-8 team and finished 15-15. We're building momentum." Also, if Miller is obviously not ready, UNCG has just given itself a 3 month head start on other programs that will be making a change at the end of the year. They can already get in contact with possible candidates and, maybe have one in place much earlier in the process than other schools.

What do you think about Miller?

Honestly, I don't know enough about him to give this a good answer. He seems to have been born to be a coach. He was a walk-on at UNC (after being on scholarship at James Madison) that turned himself into a starting PG and team captain. So, you know he has some leadership qualities. He apparently has some very good prep school connections in the northeast and is credited with picking up current freshman Nick Paulos. So, he does have some upside. Plus, he's only 28. When you think about some of the rising stars in coaching right now (Brad Stevens, Shaka Smart, etc.) most got their first big break at around the same age. Not sure if Miller can be as successful as those guys here at UNCG. If the administration thinks he might have some of those guys in him, might as well give him a shot.

Are there any candidates out there to take the job long term? Is Miller the long term answer?

Well, here's where things get a little tricky. I don't think there are any other candidates. I think Miller has been the guy all along and will continue to be the guy beyond this year as far as the athletics department is concerned. There are wild flying rumors that several people that hold "clout" with the university are graduates of UNC and have been dreaming of a Tarheel running the show at UNCG. However, I wonder (if these rumors are true) will these people will be inclined to give increased financial support to the program. That is something G is sorely needing right now. If this is happening this simply to get a home game with UNC at the Greensboro Coliseum, then I am beyond outraged.

However in the fictitious world where an actual search takes place after this season, three names absolutely scream at me as possible coaching candidates. One is former WFU and South Carolina HC (and Greensboro resident) Dave Odom. I have no idea if he'd be interested based on desire to coach again or based on extreme budget restrictions that come with the job. However, he's spotted quite frequently at our games and maybe the success of other big name coaches (Bobby Cremins, Cliff Ellis) at other mid-major jobs might entice him. Who knows? I think there has to be a phone call made to him.

The second person has to be former Charlotte HC Bobby Lutz. He is currently having a successful stint as an assistant coach at NC State. I've heard that he is making more money at that position than I think we will be offering for our HC spot. So, if money is his issue then we have no shot. If he wants to move back to the big chair, then he might be willing to listen. Plus, he's a NC native. Again, I think it's a call that needs to be made.

My final suggestion is completely off the grid. However, geographically and financially it would make sense. I think that local Guilford College coach Tom Palombo would be a great choice. He's coached Guilford to 4 straight DIII NCAA tournaments (including back-to-back final fours). He's coached 2 of the last 4 DIII National players of the year and has a 104-19 coaching record the last 4 years. His team this year is already 7-2 (one loss to Davidson). The question is can he recruit to the D1 level. Also, is he comfortable staying at that level or does he have the ambition to move up to a bigger challenge. I've seen his teams play and I think he could definitely be a coaching star.

What about the defection of Cody Henegar? Why do you think he left the team?

I haven't heard a lot about this except that he was unhappy with his role on the team. I've heard he had some defensive limitations that kept him from seeing a lot of playing time. Not sure about the truth to that, though. Cody seemed to have a nice "face the basket" game and would have probably figured heavily into the rotation next year. So, I hate to see him go. I absolutely expect there to be at least another defection or two before the dust settles. And maybe that is a good thing. Whatever was going on up until now wasn't working at all. Something had to change. So, if some guys feel like they need to be other places to succeed, then so be it. I wish Cody and who ever else leaves good luck.

How do you think the Spartans will respond to all this? Let's face it. They've been a wreck, between the blowout loss to UNC-A&T, and the Twitter crisis, and now this. Do they have anything left in the tank to make a run in the SoCon and go from 0-3 in league play into contention for a bye from the North?

Its hard to imagine things can get much worse. I mean, with the way they've treated their fans, I guess the team could just jump into the crowd and start randomly punching people like they were in NBA. But that's getting off point. I think we've already started to see a much better UNCG team. Ever since Drew Parker was inserted into the starting lineup at PG, the team has played much better. I'm not sure how the coaching change is going to play with the team now. I think there are at least one or two of the guys that had mentally given up on Dement. Maybe a new message will cause them to bring a different attitude to the court. I may be wrong, but I think UNCG can realistically go 10-10 over it's last remaining games this season. And that would be a very successful run for coach Miller.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

"I Picked a Hellava Day to Quit Drinking"

Okay. So, it's no secret (based on my last post) that I have been pissed about some things surrounding the UNCG basketball program. So, I decided to act like a 8 year old and take my blog and go home. But I really enjoy doing this blog. Mostly because I love to talk about UNCG basketball and no one in my house wants to hear me do it out loud. So, I have been quietly working on some new ideas. Ideas like not doing games stories, but instead doing a lot of opinion pieces about all different types of topics.

However, this afternoon's news about Mike Dement has caused me to have to change course. So, I will have a bunch of new posts coming soon about a ton of different things. One will certainly be about this coaching move. While I think there were some real reasons to make this move now, I hate to see Dement not succeed with UNCG. So, I will take this little space here to wish him success where ever he ends up and thank him for his time and effort. Also, good luck to interim coach Wes Miller.

One more thing ... thanks for all of the emails and comments. While I don't like to let other's opinions or thoughts motivate me, getting great feedback has certainly been nice. So thanks. And ... if you don't like reading my site or things that are said on the message board, then don't fucking read it and stop whining about it.

Dement out as UNCG Coach

Mike Dement and UNCG have parted ways. According to this press release from the UNCG athletics department, Wes Miller will take over as interim Head Coach. The release points out that a national search for a men's coach will be conducted.

Also, it appears Sophomore forward Cody Henegar has left the team. I don't have a link to any article stating this information. But I've had it told to me from a couple of places. So, I feel comfortable writing it. I know nothing in the way of what happened to cause him to leave. If I find something, I'll let you know.