Friday, January 17, 2014

Davidson (7-11) @ UNCG (10-9)

When: Saturday, January 18 5:00 pm
Where: Greensboro Coliseum (7,617)^
TV: 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.

Davidson Athletics

UNCG Stats
Last Game: Citadel (W 69-65 OT) Recap
PPG: 71.1
RPG: 37.2
APG: 12.9
Leader Points: Kyle Cain (15.7)
Leader Rebounds: 9.1
Leader Assists: Tevon Saddler (3.0)
FG %: 44.9
3 Pt %: 35.1
FT %: 68.5

Davidson Stats
Last Game: Elon (L 85-87 OT) Recap
PPG: 75.4
RPG: 31.6
APG: 12.3
Leader Points: De'Mon Brooks (17.3)
Leader Rebounds: De'Mon Brooks (6.9)
Leader Assists: Tyler Kalinoski (3.3)
FG %: 44.7
3 Pt %: 32.1
FT %: 67.8

First off, let's not let the record fool us. Davidson is a good basketball team. The SoCon's standard bearer has played a tough schedule. Like UNCG, they've matched up with four ACC teams. Five of their losses have came to ranked teams. They dropped an overtime heart breaker in Chapel Hill to UNC after leading for almost the entire game. The Wildcats also played a chunk of their non-conference schedule without potential Player of the Year De'mon Brooks. So, it's no surprise to see them already getting some momentum as conference play starts.

Davidson comes to Greensboro after dropping a tough overtime thriller to Elon. The loss was their first to a SoCon opponent in Belk Arena since 2011. Elon erased a 14 point Davidson lead in the last five minutes of play. The team is led by Brooks, but still seems to be looking for other to step up and fill roles left void by Jake Cohen, JP Kuhlman and Nik Cochran. Miami (OH) transfer Brian Sullivan has been a nice addition for the Wildcats. Tyler Kalinoski and Tom Droney have stepped up as well. The problem for the Davidson is that even by SoCon standards they are not a very big team.

UNCG leads the SoCon in rebounding margin (+4.1). Davidson is dead last (-5.1). Some of that is a product of the competition that the Wildcats have faced. But still that's a huge hole. It's something that UNCG will have to exploit. The Spartans will pose some matchup problems for Davidson. Kyle Cain and Kayel Locke have been a very good post duo and should match up well with Brooks. The problem for UNCG is on the defensive end. Even though Davidson hasn't been tremendous on offense, UNCG struggles with very deliberate offenses. Davidson is still coached by Bob McKillop and he is very good at his job. His team will stick to their style of play and will make all 5 players on the floor defend. They will keep reversing the ball until they find the correct shot.

This is a ridiculously important game. Yes, it only counts as 1 in the win-loss column, but it carries more significance than just that number. UNCG got spanked in their first shot at a good SoCon team. Since then, they've loaded up against the bottom of the conference. Now it's time to try it again with the reigning "Kings of the SoCon". A loss wouldn't be the end of the year. But a win could send a big message that UNCG can't be overlooked. This should be a fun game and fun environment. Can UNCG seize the moment? We'll soon find out. Go Spartans !!!


Anonymous said...

Double Brooks and put Baldwin on Sullivan