Sunday, December 13, 2009

Post Game Shower- Mississippi Valley State

Click on the title to be taken to the boxscore for the game on

So, maybe that is how Ty Patterson will effect a game. Patterson lead the starters with 16 points in his first game back. Ricky Taylor lead all Mocs with 22.

The Mocs 22 point win was a dominant performance. They jumped out to a big early lead, and never looked back against the Delta Devils. They made 41 percent from three point range. The Mocs also won the rebounding war 34-26.

Keegan Bell only had eight points, but he did have ten assists.

This was the first time the Mocs had played like that since the Virginia Intermont game. The Mocs jumped out to an early lead and never looked back.

Jeremy Saffore came off the bench for the first time. DeAntre Jefferson, Ridge McKeither, Patterson, Bell, and Josh Odem were the five starters. Taylor, Saffore, and Chris Early all played ten plus minutes.

The Mocs can be a very good team. With Patterson back, this team suddenly looks like they have real potential. Sure, the win at Jacksonville State was good, and the win against Longwood was nice, but this win was impressive. This was probably the best win since the East Tennessee State game.

Can the Mocs actually put together back-to-back good games? Can it happen? They'll need it. This was a stepping stone win. But a stepping stone win is sure better than a loss.


Georgia Tech is coming to twon Monday night on Fox Sports. Get ready. Get to the game. This is the home game we all should be waiting for. Can't wait for a shot at a ranked ACC team at home. The Yellow Jackets are the clear favorites, but the Mocs should be fired up for this one. They could use a big home crowd.


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Postgame Shower- Elon

Click on the title to find a boxscore for the game on

That hurt. Again.

Two steps forward. One step back.

The Mocs beat Longwood and Jacksonville State, but then come up with this clunker at home.

Elon is a threat to score. When they are hot shooting, they score in bunches. That's happened every time they've won this year. They've scored big points. So once Elon was scoring, I was scared.

The Phoenix always play the Mocs very close. The Mocs simply can't beat Elon consistently. It drives me crazy. Why? Why? Why?

Josh Odem played very well. Jeremy Saffore also played decently. However, Keegan Bell played awful. Five assists were good-four turnovers were not. Two points was not. Chris Long and TJ Douglas made 9 of 20 threes on the night off the bench for the Phoenix.

And so it happened again. Another very frustrating night for the Mocs against Elon. It is bound to happen at least once a year it seems.

The team is inconsistent. Chris Early finally played, and played reasonably well. Ty Patterson should be back by Saturday, maybe Monday. This team is going to get it together. They just need to get all the pieces together, and they need to mature as a team. That maturity will come.

Just so everyone knows- I apologize for not being here updating this on Saturday night. This was my finals week...very busy! But after this week, things will calm down substantially. Get ready for a lot of posts!


Mississippi Valley State is up Saturday at 2:00. The game will be in McKenzie Arena. They are 1-7 on the season. They beat Champion Baptist College. That is their only win. It was also their only home game. Arkansas beat them last Saturday night 91-54. The Delta Devils schedule has been brutal- I watched them play Gonzaga earlier this year. They played the Zags close. That is not an awful team that lost to Gonzaga. They have some talent and athleticism. They lost by just 18 to a Gonzaga team that is in the Top Twenty-Five.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Pregame Meal- Elon

Elon Phoenix (2-6, 0-1)
G Josh Bonney (5-10 Jr)
G Devan Carter (6-1 Sr)
G Drew Spradlin (6-5 So)
F Roger Dugas (6-8 Fr)
F Adam Constantine (6-9 Sr)

Mocs (4-3, 0-0)
G Keegan Bell (6-1 RSo)
G Josh Odem (6-5 Fr)
F Jeff Smith (6-5 RJr)
F Ridge McKeither (6-5 Jr)
C Jeremy Saffore (7-1 RJr)


Here is a link to Elon’s basketball front page-

The Phoenix always struggle to put points on the board consistently and their defense is always tough. In the Phoenix two wins, however, they have averaged outscoring their opponents 95.5-77. In their six losses, they have been outscored by an average of 70.7-50.8. The low came on Thursday, when Samford hammered them, 55-31. They allowed just 55 points, and yet could not make the game remotely close.

The Phoenix best player is probably Adam Constantine. It’s hard to believe he is still there. It feels like he has been around since Elon entered the SoCon to me. He is averaging 10.5 points per game, and 6.9 rebounds per game. He is shooting 53.8 percent from the floor.

Drew Spradlin and Josh Bonney are the team’s two leading scorers. Bonney is averaging 14.5 points per game, while Spradlin is averaging 10.8. They are the motors to the offense. Bonney leads the team with nearly five assists per game. Spradlin is shooting 38.5 percent from three point range.

The leading three point shooter is Terrance Birdette. He is shooting 61.9 percent (13 of 21) from three point range. He can fill it up when he gets to play.

The Phoenix have been outrebounded by six boards per game. They also have forced on average just under fifteen turnovers a game, while committing nearly fourteen. They are shooting 38.5 percent from the field as a team, while allowing opponents to shoot 48.3 percent from the field. This team has been getting hammered defensively as well as offensively so far this year. It’s only getting worse, too. Samford shot 50 percent from the floor, while Elon shot 26 percent from the floor in the most recent game. It was a humiliating performance by the Phoenix on Thursday night.


The Mocs are shooting just 43.4 percent from the floor. With the way Elon’s defense has allowed other teams to shoot, the Mocs will need to shoot better.

Keegan Bell played brilliantly against Jacksonville State and was the key reason they won the game. With six assists a game, and 9.7 points per game, he is the engine that makes the Mocs go. Going against Bonney should be an incredibly interesting match-up. Bell has an advantage, but it is not a dynamic one.

Ricky Taylor has started to play well again in the Mocs last two wins. He has come off the bench in both games. He’s averaging 10.3 points per game overall. Most of that has occurred these last two games. The guard is playing much better when a little bit of pressure is taken off. Will he start tonight?

Ridge McKeither is averaging 7.3 rebounds per game, but the Mocs on the whole are getting outrebounded by just under half a rebound per game. They have not been rebounding well lately.
Elon has been getting outrebounded for most of the year. The Phoenix will need to rebound well to stick around in this game.

The Mocs defense has been good throughout the year so far. They allow too many made three pointers, even though opponents are only shooting 34.3 percent from long range against them. The Phoenix will need to find ways to score.

Constantine will play a key role against Saffore, and Bonney’s match-up with Bell is also key. Those two player match-ups will go a long way to determining this game. If Elon can’t find ways to score, then they will have a tough time winning this game.


- How will the Mocs play in their first home game since the ETSU game back on November 17?
- Will Bell put together another huge game?
- Can Taylor keep the pressure off in a home game?
- Will the Mocs be able to put a dagger into Elon early in the game?


The Mocs need to try to bury Elon early in the game. They have a chance to take the Phoenix out of it early by getting out to a double digit lead quickly. This Elon team does not appear to be a team that can come back from a big deficit. Of course, the Mocs may not be able to jump out to a big lead either. They have not been able to jump on team’s early very well. They need to tonight in a big home game. This is the Southern Conference opener, so this is really the biggest game of the year until January. They need this one to continue on their goal to get a first round bye in the SoCon Tournament. Elon will play the Mocs closer than many people expect for a while, like they always seem to. The Phoenix will stick within single digits until the final ten minutes, when they will run out of gas. Mocs 71, Elon 55.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Post Game Shower- Jacksonville State

Click on the title of this article to go to the boxscore for the game on

Yes. This was satisfying.

After the loss that I called "humbling" to Texas-Pan America last Friday, this win felt just as good. After all, the Mocs were underdogs, playing on the road, where they had not performed well, against a team that had already hammered Georgia Southern and should have beaten Georgia. To win this game 80-71 is about as exilirating as it gets when playing a non-major program in December.

That was Keegan Bell. That was who we had been waiting for. He had 17 points, five rebounds, eight assists, and just two turnovers. He made 9 of 10 free throws. The Mocs as a team made 78.3 percent of their free throws in this one.

Ricky Taylor played great off the bench again. He scored 13 (with four of the Mocs six three pointers), had eight rebounds, and three assists. Taylor seems to be more comfortable coming off the bench at this point. If that's how he is more comfortable, how can we argue with it?

Jeff Smith played very well, too. He scored eleven points and had four rebounds. Josh Odem made a lot of big shots on his way to thirteen points.

Everything did not come up roses for the Mocs, though. They lost the rebounding battle 36-30 to a team that is probably not as big as they are. This is not a good sign. But clearly the focus was there today. The free throw shooting was sparkling, and they only committed ten turnovers, after committing four before the first media timeout.

The other major problem for the Mocs was that Dante Harvey, just back from one injury, went out with another injury. Coach Shulman said after the game that Harvey may have fractured his wrist. That would be fairly devastating to a team that is finally starting to get everyone on the floor.

Ridge McKeither did not have his best night. He scored seven points and had six rebounds. He appeared to take a step back tonight.

There are still puzzling things to me. Jasper Williams started a game earlier in the year. Tonight, he played one minute. DeAntre Jefferson has been a solid offensive weapon so far this year. Tonight, he played nine minutes. That is the second time in two games that he has not played double digits in minutes.

But, it is hard to be critical of much. On the night, the Mocs shot 49.1 percent from the floor. Fans have complained of poor offensive performance. This was a Gamecocks team that was allowing 43.4 percent shooting from the floor to start the year. So the Mocs played excellent on offense against a decent defensive team.

It's easy to forget that Jefferson and McKeither are both junior college transfers. JC transfers rarely look great before January. McKeither has looked very good so far for the most part, and Jefferson appears to me to be playing well, at least on the offensive end. Let's not forget that they will look even better during the second half of the season, more than likely.

All in all, this was a good night for Chattanooga basketball. The Mocs are 4-3, and are back to playing better basketball. The big early lead was erased, which was not good, but the Mocs responded well to the close game late. This was a big game for the Mocs to win, in a game that the Mocs could have easily folded in.


No matter what anyone says, this was not the biggest game of the week. Obviously. The biggest game is still to come. The Mocs will be at home on Saturday night at 7:30 to take on the Elon Phoenix in the SoCon opener. Elon is just 2-5 at the moment, with a road win over Lipscomb and a home win over Farleigh Dickinson-Florham. The Phoenix lost Charlotte, Coastal Carolina, Hofstra, Yale, and UNC-Wilmington. They will play at Samford on Thursday before taking on the Mocs Saturday night in their second SoCon game. The Phoenix always seem to be a tough out in conference play, especially for the Mocs. The Mocs will need to be on top of their game and have a nice home crowd supporting them to get this very important win.

Early and Cage Updates

It appears that Chris Early has been medically cleared to play. This is very good news for the Mocs. Odds are that he does not play tonight, but will play against Elon at home Saturday night. This is huge for the Mocs.

Also, Troy Cage has not been medically cleared to play. It appears that John Shulman is looking into getting him a sixth year of eligibility to get him a medical redshirt year. This is bad news for the Mocs, but could be good news in the long run.

Analysis is pretty simple here. Early is a very good addition that would really help the Mocs get on track if he comes in and is ready to play against Elon. Watching Dante Harvey struggle coming back from injury makes me wonder if Early will be capable of getting ready to play effectively by then. Let's hope he is.

As for Cage, this is not good that he may need to sit out for a while, but the team could get much better with him next year and the following year. It may work out just fine in the long run for this team.

GO MOCS! Beat the Cocks!

Pregame Meal- Jacksonville State

8:00 Tuesday, December 1

Mocs (3-3, 0-0)

G- Keegan Bell (6-1 RSo)
G- Josh Odem (6-5 Fr)
G- Jeff Smith (6-5 RJr)
F- Ridge McKeither (6-5 Jr)
C- Jeremy Saffore (7-1 RJr)

Jacksonville State (2-3, 0-0)
G- Jay-R Strowbridge (6-0 RJr)
G- Jeremy Bynum (6-3 Jr)
G- Trenton Marshall (6-5 Jr)
F- Stephen Hall (6-5 So)
F- Sean Thurston (6-7 Jr)


Here’s a link to the Jacksonville State men’s basketball site.

Jacksonville State is 2-3, with back-to-back road losses to Southeast Louisiana and Georgia. The Georgia loss was a three point loss. The Gamecocks are 2-1 at home, hammering West Alabama and Georgia Southern, but getting obliterated by 25 by UAB.

This Gamecocks team is a hard working team that gets a lot of rebounds. They have outrebounded their opponents by nearly four boards a game. They shoot 47.4 percent from the field, 36 percent from three point range, and 73.1 percent from the free throw line. This team can shoot the ball well. They also only commit 12.6 turnovers per game.

These stats all indicate one thing- this team is disciplined, smart, and hard-working. That will make them dangerous in any situation. They will be a tough out in the OVC this year. They have really started to turn that corner.

Jay-R Strowbridge is a transfer from Nebraska. He is the team’s second leading scorer, averaging 14.4 points per game. He is also third on the team in assists. He is a great free throw shooter (85.7 percent) and an OK three point shooter (36.4 percent).

However, junior college transfer Trenton Marshall has been the team’s best player so far. He is averaging 17.4 points per game. He also leads the team with ten steals. He is shooting 84.2 percent from the free throw line, while making 37.5 percent from three point range. This guy has been a real impact player for the Gamecocks early on.

Stephen Hall and Nick Murphy are the other players that average double digits for the Gamecocks. Both of them play big. Hall is averaging 8.4 rebounds per game and is shooting 56.8 percent from the field. He is averaging 11.2 points per game. Murphy is averaging 11.8 points per game while getting 6.3 rebounds and shooting 63 percent from the field. Hall is making 72.2 percent of his free throws, while Murphy is shooting 68.4 percent on his free throws.

The Gamecocks defense has been OK too. Opponents are shooting 43.4 percent from the floor, while making 35.4 percent of their threes. However, they commit a lot of shooting fouls. Opponents are shooting 22.2 free throws per game. Also, the Gamecocks do not force a lot of turnovers, forcing just 12.2 per game.


The Mocs biggest problem has been that they have not been able to keep from turning over the basketball. They are averaging 19.7 per game. Of course, the Gamecocks don’t force a lot of turnovers. So, that may be one of the biggest questions that needs to be answered quickly. Will the Gamecocks be able to force Keegan Bell and the rest of his teammates into some turnovers?

The Mocs offense has not been overly efficient either, shooting just 42.5 percent from the field. The Gamecocks defense has been good, so this may not bode well for the Mocs offense.

It will be a very interesting match-up to watch Nebraska transfer Strowbridge go against Vanderbilt transfer Bell. The two will probably be matched up on each other for a lot of the game, so that may be the match-up that defines the game.

The Mocs have averaged outrebounding their opponents by half a rebound a game. However, at his point, it is difficult to call them a good rebounding team. They did not do well rebounding against Texas-Pan America or Longwood over the weekend. With the Gamecocks having strength in rebounding, the Mocs could really have their hands full in that department.

Ridge McKeither and Josh Odem are the only two Mocs averaging in double digits, but it is obvious that the most important player for the Mocs is probably Ricky Taylor, whether he starts or not. Taylor scored well against Virginia Intermont and Longwood, and the Mocs offense just seems to look better when Taylor is playing well.

Dante Harvey has not looked as he has tried to work himself back into the lineup. He is clearly pressing at this point. Hopefully, he can pull himself together and take a deep breath and just make plays. That’s what the Mocs need from him.


- Can Bell respond to the challenge and take over the game (mentally and physically)?
- Will DeAntre Jefferson get more playing time?
- How is the Mocs psyche for a tough road game?
- Will the Mocs be able to protect the basketball?
- Can the Mocs rebound the ball?


Well, this one was marked as a question mark in the preseason, and there seems to be little reason to feel too differently about it now. The Mocs disappointing performance in Texas has left them feeling some pressure from the fan base, despite it being early in the season. How will they respond to that pressure? Jacksonville State played well at home in two games, and they played very well against Georgia last week. The Mocs will need to protect the ball, otherwise they will have no shot against this team. They need every possession they can get. The Mocs will also need to rebound better than they have been. I’d love to pick the Mocs, but just can’t do it in this situation. Jacksonville State 78, Chattanooga 72.