Wednesday, December 29, 2010

#1 Duke (11-0) @ UNCG (0-11)

When: Wednesday, December 29 7 pm
Where: Greensboro Coliseum (7,617/23,500)

Duke Athletics
Duke Basketball Report
Duke Forum - Scout
Duke Forum - Rivals

Spartan Notes:
- Last time out, Justin Harper's 17 points helped Richmond outlast several pushes by UNCG, 63-53. Aloysius Henry put up 12 points and 10 rebounds. Trevis Simpson led UNCG with 14 points.
- Tonight's game is the 2nd game of a 5 game home stand for UNCG. After the Blue Devils, UNCG will host Samford, Chattanooga and Elon.
- Duke marks the 6th ACC opponent UNCG will face this season. So far the Spartans have lost to Florida State, Virginia Tech, Maryland, Wake Forest and Clemson. The last 3 of those games were played on the road. Miami (Fla) will visit the Greensboro Coliseum on Feb 15.
- UNCG has found itself with chances late in its last 2 ACC contests. It took a good defensive stand for Wake Forest to turn back UNCG, 69-67. The Spartans then turned around and mounted a furious comeback against Clemson. UNCG trimmed a 21 point halftime deficit down to 2 before before the Tigers were able to hang on to win 71-61.
- Henry leads UNCG in scoring (11.6) and rebounding (6.1). Kyle Randall is averaging 11.4 points and a team best 3.7assists.
- For the year, UNCG is shooting 40.7 from the field, 35.5 from behind the arc and 66.8% from the free throw line.

Blue Devil Notes:
- Last game, Kyle Singler's 24 points help Duke to cruise past Elon 98-72 at Cameron Indoor Stadium. With the win, Duke head coach Mike Krzyewski tied Dean Smith for second on the all-time coaching victories list.
- The Blue Devils come into this season as the defending national champions. Duke defeated Bulter last spring in Indianapolis to capture their 4th NCAA title.
- Duke defeated UNCG 96-62 at Cameron Indoor Stadium to open the 2009-2010 season for both teams. Ben Stywall led UNCG with 19 points and 8 rebounds.
- Tonight's contest could mark a major milestone for Duke's Coach K. A win would give him sole possession of second place on the All-time wins list with 880. That is only 22 wins behind Krzyewski's mentor, Bobby Knight.
- Duke will be playing it's only true road non-conference game tonight. The Blue Devils have played Marquette, Bulter, Oregon, and #4 Kansas State all at neutral sites.
- Duke's super freshman Kyrie Irving is out indefinitely with an injury. Irving is averaging a team best 17.4 points and 5.1 assists per game.
- Nolan Smith is averaging 17.1 points and a team best 5.4 assists. Mason Plumlee leads Duke in rebounding (7.7). Singler is averaging 17.0 points and 5.5 rebounds.
- For the year, Duke is shooting 50.0% from the field, 44.0% from behind the arc and 74.3%from the free throw line.

My Thoughts
Let me start by saying that on paper there is no way that this game should be less than a 40 point Blue Devil win. Duke is the #1 team in the country and in the few years that I've been doing this blog, I've never seen a team shooting this well. They have 3 different players averaging over 17 points per game. Every number I read is just unbelievable. Plus, Duke will want to win this game for their coach.

But every once in a while there are some unbelievable upsets. Little bitty Chaminade beat Virginia and Ralph Sampson. Can tonight be the night where little 'ol winless UNCG steps up and beats the mighty undefeated Blue Devils? Well, they are coming off a break and Christmas holiday. Maybe they will come out flat and UNCG can find some confidence to build on. Anything is possible. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

Gop Spartans !!!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Post Holiday Notes

Sorry if my posts have been a little erratic lately. I'll be honest and say that having a new son experiencing his first Christmas (and his first ear infection) has made things crazy around my house. However, I'm working on a bunch of new stuff for the coming year.

First off, I've done some work on my Twitter account and since Verizon has seen fit to hook me up with a nice new smart phone, I'll be twittering from it during upcoming games. Feel free to follow me, or you can just read my tweets from this page (I hope to have a gadget up for it soon!)

Also, I'm trying to get a site up for posting pictures taken at the games by myself and others. I would like it to become a good place for everyone to put up their UNCG basketball, and other sports, pictures. I should have more info on that coming soon.

Until then, I hope everyone enjoys the Duke game tomorrow. FYI ... with the Duke-UNCG, Pizza Hut Invitational and Southern Scuffle all taking place at the coliseum tomorrow, I would advise everyone to get there very early.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Spartans Hang Tough But Still Lose

UNCG 53 - Richmond 63

News & Record
Richmond Times-Dispatch
UNCG Athletics
Richmond Athletics

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Richmond (8-3) @ UNCG (0-10)

When: Wednesday, December 22 12 pm
Where: Greensboro Coliseum (7,617/23,500)
TV: None/Spartan All-Access

Richmond Athletics
Richmond Forum

Spartan Notes:
- Last time out, UNCG battled back from a 37-16 halftime defecit at Clemson before falling 71-67. Korey Van Dussen led UNCG with 20 points and 6 assists. It was the third straight ACC team that UNCG had faced on the road.
- Today's game marks the first of 5 straight that UNCG will play at home. The Spartans will host #1 Duke a week from today before moving into Southern Conference play.
- Kyle Randall lead UNCG in scoring (11.9) and assists (3.7). Aloysius Henry leads UNCG in rebounding (5.7).
- For the year, UNCG is shooting 40.7% from the field, 36.1% from behind the arc and 67.5% from the free throw line.

Spider Notes:
- In their last game, Georgia Tech pulled away from Richmond in the second half of the "Battle at Atlantis". The Yellow Jackets won by the score of 67-54. Justin Harper led Richmond with 15 points and 5 rebounds.
-The Spiders are 1-0 against the SoCon so far this year. Richmond defeated the Citadel 79-37 to start the season. Richmond also has defeated UNCG's opening night opponent VCU, 72-60.
- Last year, UNCG played at Richmond on December 22. It was also a noon start time for that game. In that game, David Gonzalves helped Richmond come back from a slow start to defeat UNCG 89-63.
- Richmond came into last year's contest sporting the exact same 8-3 record as this year.
- Kevin Anderson leads Richmond in scoring (16.6) and assists (3.8). Harper is averaging 14.0 points and team best 6.0 rebounds.
- For the year, Richmond is shooting 50.3% from the field, 42.0% from behind the arc and 60.7%from the free throw line.

My Thoughts
UNCG again gets to face another tough opponent and has another opportunity to show its improvement from the start of the season. The Spartans have played solid, tough basketball as of late, and it would be nice to see them finally push through for a breakthrough win.

Richmond is off to a great start again and comes in sporting some of the best offensive numbers in the country. UNCG will have to have it's best defensive effort of the year to have a shot at this one.

Maybe the Spartans can catch the Spiders looking ahead to Christmas break and not ready to play at this early start time. If so, it should make for a great present to all of the Spartan fans.

Go Spartans !!!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Spartans Comeback Falls Just Short

UNCG 61 - Clemson 71

News & Record
UNCG Athletics
Clemson Athletics

Comeback kids - UNCG showed fight on Wednesday night at Wake Forest by repeated coming back from 6 and 8 point deficits to retake the lead. Sunday, the Spartans fought back from being down 21 points at the half to almost force a tie twice. From there, they ran out of gas. However, it was an impressive thing to watch. You could just see the guys gain confidence with every possession.

KVD - Korey Van Dussen played his best game ever as a Spartan. His stat line was impressive. Korey finished with 20 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists and 1 steal.

Rebounds - For the second straight game, an ACC team's size helped to negate what has been a positive for UNCG this season. Clemson held a36-24 advantage on the boards (11-8 offensive rebounds).

Huge hole - UNCG managed to score just 16 first half points. A 24-4 run to finish the 1st half basically won the game for the Tigers. In order to be successful in the future, the Spartans will need a sustain 40 minute effort and not allow teams to get that kind of separation.

Wrap Up
It was impressive to see UNCG almost completely erase a 21 point Clemson lead. The Spartan players honestly have every reason to hang their heads and feel sorry for themselves. Instead that continue to fight through adversity. I have a tremendous amount of respect for these kids and coaches for fighting on.

It's only a matter of time till they break through into the win column.

Go Spartans!!!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

UNCG (0-9) @ Clemson (6-4)

When: Sunday, December 19 2 pm
Where: Littlejohn Coliseum (10,000)

Clemson Athletics
Clemson Forum - Scout
Clemson Forum - Rivals

Spartan Notes:
- UNCG couldn't get off a shot to beat Wake Forest on Wednesday night. The Spartans fell 67-69. Kyle Randall (15 pts & 5 assists) and Korey Van Dussen (14 points) led UNCG.
- Clemson will be the 5th ACC squad that UNCG has faced this year. UNCG will still host Duke and Miami before the season is over.
- The Saprtans are still in search of their first win this year.
- Kyle Randall leads UNCG is scoring (12.6) and assists (3.8). Aloysius Henry is averaging 11.8 points and a team best 5.8 rebounds.
- On the season, UNCG is shooting 41.1% from the field, 35.7 from behind the arc and 66.8% from the free throw line.

Tiger Notes:
- Last time out, Clemson ran out to a 26-5 lead and never looked back as they defeated Savannah State 61-40. The Tigers were lead by Jerai Grant with 15 points. Savannah State managed to shoot just 22.9% from the field.
- This game will mark Clemson's third against SoCon competition. The Tigers have already defeated Western Carolina (87-64) and Wofford (78-70) this year.
- Clemson finds themselves already at (0-1) in the ACC after failing to earlier UNCG opponent Florida State (75-69) last Sunday.
- Demontez Stitt leads Clemson in scoring this season (13.8). Grant is the leading rebounder (6.0) and Tanner Smith leads in assists (2.8).
- So far this year, Clemson is shooting 43.2% from the field, 32.8% from behind the arc and 67.2% from the free throw line.

My Thoughts
Clemson's offensive numbers aren't very great. In fact they are quite average. It's the defense that new coach Brad Brownell seems to have brought to Clemson. The Spartans will have to take care of the ball just as well as they did on Wednesday in Winston-Salem. Hopefully an early afternoon game close to the holidays will catch Clemson not ready to play.

Every game on TV is another shot at UNCG to impress and gain some good publicity. Let's hope the guys can build off of the positives from the other night and find a way to break through with a win.

Go Spartans !!!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Spartans Come Up Just Short

UNCG 67 - Wake Forest 69

News & Record
Winston-Salem Journal
UNCG Athletics
Wake Forest Athletics

ACC Foe - UNCG has played a lot of big named teams over the past several years. Last year Wake had a much better team and still barely escaped the Greensboro Coliseum with a win. This year, UNCG took them down to the final shot. Hopefully the guys can carry momentum over from this game.

Turnovers - I was fun to see UNCG turning dumb give aways into easy baskets. This has not been the case through most of the season.

Kyle Randall - That basket near the end of regulation was unbelievable. You can see the maturation of the sophomore guard happen right before your eyes. I think he has real potential to be SoCon POY material in the next 2 years.

Kyle Randall - Just breath and make some free throw. Have some faith in yourself. We all believe that you can make them.

Rebounds - as Much as turnovers have hurt UNCG this year, rebounds normally haven't been a problem. Even playing bigger opponents, UNCG has done a good job of holding their own on the boards. That didn't happen in this game (23-38).

Wrap Up
It's a mixed bag for me personally. I was super angry right after the game because G let a great opportunity get away from them. But I guess the positives outweigh the negatives by a long ways. Now, let's not kid ourselves that Wake is a really bad team. UNCG is not nearly as bad as the record indicates, thanks in large part to a brutal schedule. SO, let's just hope the guys can grab hold of the positives and let the negatives go.

Go Spartans !!!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

F*@% !!!!!!!!

At this time, actual words to describe the game... ummm ... elude me.

I will be drinking heavily for several hours.

UNCG (0-8) @ Wake Forest (5-4)

When: Wednesday, December 15 7 pm
Where: Lawrence Joel Veterens Memorial Coliseum (14,655)

Wake Forest Athletics
Wake Forum (Scout)
Wake Forum (Rivals)
Blogger So Dear

Spartan Notes:
- Last time out, UNCG travelled up to College Park and got destroyed by the University of Maryland, 99-56. Kyle Randall led UNCG with 18 points and 7 assists. The Spartans were crushed on the boards and managed to just shoot 32%.
- Maryland was the 3rd ACC team that UNCG has played this season. The Spartans will play 7 ACC school in total before the season concludes.
- The 0-8 start by UNCG is the worst in school history. Unfortunately, things don't appear to get any easier until after the new year. After playing in Winston, UNCG will play @ Clemson, and then Richmond and #1 Duke at home.
- Randall leads UNCG in scoring (12.3) and assists (3.6). Aloysius Henry leads UNCG in rebounding (5.9).
- For the year,UNCG is shooting 41.1% from the field, 34.6% from behind the arc and 67.5% from the free throw line.

Demon Deacon Notes:
- On Sunday, Wake Forest was buried beneath14 UNCW 3 pointers. The Deacs fell to the Seahawks 81-69 at a game played in the Greensboro Coliseum. Gary Clark led Wake with 20 points and 5 rebounds.
- It's been a rough start to the season for Jeff Bzdelik. Bzdelik came over from Colorado and took over for Dino Gaudio, who was let go at the end of last season. Wake has dropped games to VCU, Winthrop, Stetson and UNCW.
- The Demon Deacons were picked to finish last in the ACC by both the coaches and media.
- Travis McKie leads Wake Forest in scoring (13.3) and rebounds (7.6). Ari Stewart is averaging 13.2 points and 7.3 rebounds per game. C.J. Harris leads Wake in assists (4.7).
- For the year, Wake is shooting 46.2% from the field, 44.7% from behind the arc and 77.1% from the free throw line.

My Thoughts
What an amazing pillow fight we've got here. I bet there will be dozens of people in the LJVM to witness this contest.

If we use transitive properties here, UNCW beat Wake by 12 and lost to NC A&T by 5. UNCG lost to A&T by 12. So, UNCG should beat Wake by 5. Now that I have the whole game broken down, no one even needs to watch. Glad I could help.

Go Spartans !!!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Terps Crush Spartans

UNCG 56 - Maryland 99

UNCG Athletics
Maryland Athletics

This broken record is getting old.

At least G held them under 100.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

UNCG (0-7) @ Maryland (6-3)

When: Wednesday December 8 7:30 pm
Where: Comcast Center (17,950)
TV: Comcast SportsNet

Maryland Athletics
Maryland Forum (Rivals)
Maryland Forum (Scout)

Spartans Drop Games to Upstate Duo

UNCG 70 - Wofford 92

News & Record
UNCG Athletics
Wofford Athletics

UNCG 68 - Furman 81

New & Record
UNCG Athletics
Furman Athletics

Thursday, December 2, 2010

UNCG (0-5) @ Wofford (2-5)

When: Thursday, December 2 7 pm
Where: Benjamin Johnson Arena (3,500)
TV: None

Wofford Athletics
Wofford Forum

Spartan Notes:
- With the game on the line, NC A&T went on a decisive 9-0 run to defeat UNCG 82-70 on Monday. Aloysius Henry had his first double-double (12 points & 15 rebounds) at UNCG and Kyle Randall had a career high 23 points.
- UNCG fell to Wofford 3 times last season. The Terriers defeated the Spartans at the Greensboro Coliseum, 79-62. The return game in Spartanburg was also won by Wofford 77-59. The two teams met in the quarterfinals of the SoCon Tournament in Charlotte. UNCG played well, but fell short 59-47
- This game will be the first SoCon contest for the Spartans. Last season UNCG went 6-12 in conference play. That was good enough to tie Chattanooga for third place in the North Division.
- Randall leads UNCG in scoring (12.3) and assists (3.3). Henry leads the Spartans in rebounding
- For the year, UNCG is shooting 41.8% from the field, 35.3% from behind the arc and 67.3% from the free throw line.

Terrier Notes:
- Wofford fell to Xavier in 3 overtimes on Saturday, 94-90. Noah Dahlman led Wofford with 33 points. The Terriers led by 8 in the closing minutes but couldn't stop the Musketeers from forcing overtime. From there, 2 last second baskets continued the game until Xavier could finally pull away.
- Wofford has now been to overtime in its last 3 games. The Terriers fell at home in overtime to Air Force (72-66) and defeated George Mason in overtime (82-79) in the third place game of the Charleston Classic.
- The Terriers went 2-1 in the Charleston Classic. They had wins against USC-Upstate and George Mason sandwiched around a loss to Georgetown.
- Wofford was the Southern Conference regular season and tournament champions last season. They went on to earn a #13 seed in the NCAA Tournament and give the #4 seed Wisconsin a scare. The Badgers held on to defeat Wofford 53-49.
- Dahlman leads Wofford in scoring (17.9). Tim Johnson leads the team in rebounding (8.4) and assists (3.4).
- For the year, Wofford is shooting 43.2% from the field, 34.9% from behind the arc and 68.6% from the free throw line.

My Thoughts:
This starts a whole new season for the Spartans. Winning the SoCon is the only way UNCG will make it to postseason play. While starting on the road at the defending champion is not exactly the easiest first challenge, it will allow the Spartans to see where they stack up with the best of the league.

UNCG will have to shoot the ball the way they did in the first half on Monday, but will have to do that consistently for the entire game. Also, the Spartans are going to have to get better on the defensive end. Wofford is an experienced team that runs their sets very well. Even though they come into the contest not sporting a great record, they have played very well against solid power programs.

I hope G can at least stay close enough in the contest to make it interesting at the end. Hopefully, the Spartans can find their first win in Spartanburg.

Go Spartans !!!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Aggies Pull Away Late

UNCG 70 - NC A&T 82

News & Record
UNCG Athletics
NC A&T Athletics

Double-double - UNCG big man Aloysius Henry had his first double-double of the season with 12 points and 15 rebounds in 29 minutes. Henry was a force right out of the gate and it was nice to see him getting those extra minutes. Unfortunately, Henry went out with cramps right about the time A&T started their decisive run.

Super Sophs - Korey VanDussen (10 points & 3 assists) carried the team in the first half. Back court running mate Kyle Randall (23 points & 4 assists) shouldered the load in the second half. It was nice to see these guys continue to mature and hit big shots.

Defense ... again - UNCG's awful defense again didn't bother to show up on Monday. A&T shot a blistering 50.9%, while forcing UNCG to commit 12 more fouls. This led to a whopping 20 free throw advantage for the Aggies. Guys have got to get in a stance, keep the hands up and play for the entire possession.

No winning experience - There isn't a player on this team that has experienced any real amount of winning at the college level. The Spartans had plenty of chances to seize this game. Instead they hung their heads the minute adversity struck. The brutal schedule this team has played the last 2 seasons is really starting wear on the team.

Wrap up
The silver lining to this game was that the guys got experience what it was like to be in a close game and hopefully realize the energy they must bring to the floor in order to finish on top. Besides that, it was an out-of-conference contest. UNCG is still 0-0 in the SoCon. The only way that this team is going to go to the NCAA tournament is to win the SoCon. So, that is the most important thing.

The season officially starts on Thursday. So, hopefully UNCG can gather themselves up for a tough trip to Spartanburg. That sounds like the best place to start a Spartan winning streak.

Go Spartans !!!