Monday, November 18, 2013

Scanning the SoCon - Week 3

Scanning the SoCon - Week 3

Power Rankings
1. Elon
2. Western Carolina
3. Samford
4. Davidson
7. Furman
8. UTC
9. Ga Southern
10. Citadel
11. App State

Game of the Week
Wofford @ High Point

Player of the Week
Stephen Croone (Furman)

Sum up your team
UNCG started out the season by defeating the preseason pick to win the Big South, High Point. G found balanced scoring by putting 4 players in double figures. Forwards Kyle Cain and Kayel Locke led the way with 21 and did a good job matching up with High Point's strong front line. On Tuesday, the Spartans jumped out to a 15 point lead on East Carolina and looked to be on their way to win number two. Unfortunately, a turnover and two somewhat questionable foul calls in the last 30 seconds allowed ECU to escape with an 85-84 victory. In both contests, the young Spartans struggled to put the game away even though they held comfortable leads in the last few minutes. I feel like this could be a re-occurring problem as the season continues. However, the Spartans left fans with hope that this team could really make some strides forward this season. This coming week, UNCG should not be tested as they play non-D1 opponents. Hopefully, these games will give the team a chance to work out some of the chemistry issues and expand their bench.

Signing day has come and gone. Talk about your schools' signees.
UNCG picked up commitments from players that it desperately needed. CJ Coleman is a shooter from Indiana. Right now the Spartans are full of point guards that can get to the rim, but really only have 2 players (Paulos, Byrd) that can be considered pure shooters. Coleman will add another to the mix. Quadree Smith (6'8" 290 lbs) and Lloyd Burgess (6'10" 280 lbs) add more size and depth to a UNCG front line that is starting to look like the strength of the team. Smith is ranked as the #6 player in Virginia and is another DMV area connection that UNCG has tapped into the last few season (Kayel Locke, Tevon Saddler). I'm really starting to get excited about the talent level that Wes Miller is bringing to UNCG. I feel like it's been a definitely upgrade over the past 2 seasons.

With Davidson's loss to UW-Milwaukee and 0-3 start, is there anything wrong with Davidson that experience won't fix?
Davidson has lost to two Top 25 ACC opponents. I don't think anyone could fault them for those losses. The home loss to UWM was the only one that was surprising. In that game, the Wildcats were plagued by an ill-timed case of stagnant offense. Honestly, it's the kind of thing you would expect of a team that is trying to replace the players like Kuhlman, Cochran and Cohen. I don't think that this team will struggle all season, though. By January, I assume that most SoCon teams will not like to see Davidson appear on their schedules.

There are lots of non-D1s on the schedule this year for SoCon teams. What should an ideal SoCon schedule look like?
I know that non-D1's are just a part of life as for a lower level D1 program. These programs need home games, to build in a few wins into their schedule and to develop younger players. It's the same reason that high major programs schedule "guarantee games". If I got make my ideal schedule, it would probably consist of 3 money games, 2-3 low major games (mix of home and away), 1 big name home game, a good mix of home-away mid-majors and an exempt tournament. I think every team should be an exempt tournament every year. Having said that, I know that last minute buy outs put schools in a position where they have to bring in non-D1's from time to time. I'm not a fan of having a bunch on the schedule. If I was forced to schedule in order to fill out a home schedule, though, I would definitely do it.