Wednesday, January 22, 2014

UNCG (10-10) @ Samford (7-13)

When: Thursday, January 23 8 pm
Where: Pete Hanna Center (4,974)

Samford Athletics

UNCG Stats
Last Game: Davidson (L 82-93) Recap
PPG: 71.6
RPG: 37.1
APG: 13.1
Leader Points: Kyle Cain (15.9)
Leader Rebounds: Kyel Cain (9.0)
Leader Assists: Tevon Saddler (3.2)
FG %: 44.7
3 Pt %: 36.1
FT %: 68.7

Samford Stats
Last Game: @ WCU (L 64-67) Recap
PPG: 69.1
RPG: 31.5
APG: 13.9
Leader Points: Tim Williams (16.4)
Leader Rebounds: Tim Williams (6.9)
Leader Assists: Isaiah Williams (3.4)
FG %: 46.1
3 Pt %: 32.9
FT %: 68.0

Here's the scenario for UNCG. The Spartans so far have defeated the teams below it in the current pecking order of the SoCon. However, they have fallen flat when playing 2 of the best teams in the league. Where does that leave G? As you might expect, in the middle. For this season, 5 of the 11 teams in the league will receive byes for the conference tournament. Getting one of those byes is very important. At this time, 3 teams (Davidson, Elon, WCU) look like locks for those spots and one more team (UTC) looks very solid. That means there's really only one spot left and 7 teams trying to get it. UNCG has probably the hardest remaining schedule in the SoCon. They will play Chattanooga and Elon twice, Davidson and Western Carolina once in their next 11 games. This was a long explanation to say that UNCG really needs to win this game. It's not in a position where it can drop games to teams that are fighting for that same fifth spot.

As expected, Samford is led by All-SoCon player Tim Williams. Williams and front court running mate Tyler Hood will pose a challenge to UNCG's equally strong front court. Also freshman Isaiah Williams and All-SoCon guard Raijon Kelly will have to be contained.

As for UNCG, it's a broken record I keep throwing out there ... the Spartans are a much better team when they do not give the ball away. Lately, they've also developed a nasty trend of letting officials effect their focus. Players are spending too much time begging for calls or complaining when calls go against them. Even worse is that it's carrying over possession after possession. UNCG needs their best players to stay on the court more. They need those guys to play smart with more focus.

After a very good stretch for UNCG back in late December, recent games have seen the team not play as well. They have been able to pull out some of these games. However, it would be nice to see a good performance at Samford. Every game that G wins keeps it closer to that bye spot. With a big game looming on the horizon on Saturday, the Spartans needs to take care of the Bulldogs and move on. Go Spartans !!!