Wednesday, November 6, 2013

High Point (0-0) @ UNCG (0-0)

When: Friday, November 8 7:00 pm
Where: Greensboro Coliseum (7,617)^
TV: None/Spartan All-Access

^ - Greensboro Coliseum is undergoing renovations and will not be using the upper deck for any seating at UNCG games this season. I do not have the official seat totals with these changes.

High Point Athletics

Preseason Preview

UNCG Stats*
Last Game: Lees-McRae Exh. (W 104-76) Recap
PPG: 71.7
RPG: 36.2
APG: 12.1
Leader Points: Kayel Locke (9.9)
Leader Rebounds: Kayel Locke (4.4)
Leader Assists: Drew Parker (2.6)
FG %: 41.8
3 Pt %: 34.1
FT %: 67.3

High Point Stats*
Last Game: Bridgewater Exh. ( W96-53) Recap
PPG: 71.7
RPG: 37.2
APG: 14.8
Leader Points: John Brown (16.4)
Leader Rebounds: Allan Chaney (8.1)
Leader Assists: DeJuan McGaughy (2.5)
FG %: 44.7
3 Pt %: 31.2
FT %: 71.8

* - "Stats" are from 2012-2013 season. "Leaders" are best of the returning players.

Well, it's time for real college basketball to start again. It feels awful good to be writing that sentence. It's the time when "wait til next year" becomes reality and everyone has that feeling of hope. All teams are potential conference champions and NCAA Tournament participants.

For the second straight year, UNCG opens with the High Point University Panthers. Last season, UNCG was coming off a North Division Championship and was predicted to win another. High Point had lost several major contributors and had a major college transfer plus freshmen with potential. The Millis Center was full of electricity and HPU rode that wave (and the strong play of their new players) to a pretty convincing win. UNCG wasn't able to achieve at a level of those lofty preseason expectations. Meanwhile HPU went on to win their conference's division title.

This season's game sees an almost identical script, just reversed. The Panthers return almost everyone from last season and are predicted to win the Big South and head to the NCAA Tournament. UNCG has lost almost all major contributors. A lot of the Spartans talent lies in potential, not experience. Also, this year's game will be played on UNCG's home court at the Greensboro Coliseum. Will the outcome change around too?

Well, let's first look back on what happened last year. UNCG dug a huge hole by turning the ball over and the Panthers exploited their weakness by pounding the ball inside. UNCG also didn't help itself by taking some ill advised early shots. By the time the Spartans settled down in the second half, they couldn't come all the way back and lost by 8. Those deficiencies stuck with UNCG almost all season. This season, though, UNCG seems to have fixed at least one of those problems. Kyle Cain, Jordy Kuiper and RJ White will add skill, size and depth to the lone returning post player (Kayel Locke). I expect our big guys to match up relatively well with the HPU big men. John Brown is a special player. He is going to make some plays. UNCG just needs to stay solid and continue to play focused, fundamental defense. I am afraid that the turnovers could be a problem in this game again. I'm not sure what's going on with Jordan Potts. If he's not available, Drew Parker is the only returning player with PG experience. That doesn't fill me with tons of hope. However, his team does appear to want to share the ball and find the best shot available. That should serve them well.

Just like last season, this game only counts as 1 in the win-loss column. This one game is not going to make or break the entire season. But it's a home game against a county rival. The will be some electricity in the coliseum and the game will count. I'm excited and looking for a good showing. On paper it's not as good of a match up as I'd like to see. But it's a chance to see my favorite team play again and there's always hope.

Go Spartans !!!