Thursday, January 9, 2014

UNCG (8-9) @ App State (4-10)

When: Saturday, January 9 7:00 pm
Where: Holmes Center (8,325)
TV: None

App State Athletics

UNCG Stats
Last Game: Furman (W 90-82) Recap
PPG: 71.5
RPG: 36.5
APG: 13.4
Leader Points: Kyle Cain (15.6)
Leader Rebounds: Kyle Cain (8.4)
Leader Assists: Tevon Saddler (3.1)
FG %: 45.4
3 PT %: 35.5
FT %: 69.3

App State Stats
Last Game: @ Elon (L 75-66) Recap
PPG: 71.6
RPG: 37.6
APG: 11.5
Leader Points: Tab Hamilton (13.4)*
Leader Rebounds: Michael Obacha (9.4)
Leader Assist: Mike Neal (3.1)
FG %: 41.4
3 Pt %: 29.5
FT %: 65.9

* - Jay Canty is averaging 16.0 points in 2 games.
Tonight's game in Boone is very interesting. Even though App State is winless in D1 games and looking for its first conference win, they are still being favored by 2.5 points in Vegas. What does that mean? It means App isn't that far off. On Monday night, the Mountaineers went to Burlington and promptly dug themselves a 15 halftime hole only to come charging back and make a game of it. That doesn't sound like a team that's ready to throw in the towel and get rid of its coach. ASU still has some fight left in them.Keep in mind that this is the same team that went out and earned a bye for the SoCon Tournament last year.

Make no mistake, even though App is led in most categories by other people, Jay Canty is the best player in Boone. He has spent all but the last 2 games sitting with a suspension that appears to involve both academics and some off the court issues. In only his second game back, Canty tallied 20 points and 4 steals. Playing against a team that is loose with the ball like UNCG, that steal total is just plain scary. Michael Obacha should provide an inside challenge for the Spartans. He leads the SoCon in rebounding and App State leads the league in offensive rebounds. One key tonight will be limiting App State to only one shot each trip down the floor.

For the Spartans, it all goes back to that simple key of limiting turnovers. UNCG is 4-1 when it turns the ball over 13 or less times. The last mountain road trip saw the team turn it over 23 times and really have no chance at victory. UNCG will also need contributions from its shooters again tonight. On Monday, Jordan Potts and Nicholas Paulos stepped up and made big shots from the outside and it opened up room for Saddler to drive and room for Locke and Cain to operate down low. I the post, UNCG owns a definite advantage. They lead the league in rebounding margin. However, with Jordy Kuiper hurt, the Spartan big men will need to do a better job staying out of foul trouble.

UNCG hasn't had a ton of success in Boone in recent memory. In order to get that crucial bye in the SoCon Tournament, the Spartans are going to have to pick up a few road wins. While a loss wouldn't be devastating, a win could really set up the team well going into next week's home stand against the Citadel and Davidson. Hopefully G has learned from it's last trip up the mountain what it needs to do to win on the road in conference. Go Spartans !!!