Wednesday, January 5, 2011

SoCon Monster Game of the Week: College of Charleston at Furman

Thursday, 7:00 PM

The Paladins are 6-0 at home this year and 2-0 in the Southern Conference South Division. The Cougars are 5-3 on the road this year and also 2-0 in the Southern Conference South Division.

This game sets the stage for the whole year in the South Division. The winner will be the early leader in the division, and with the Cougars trip to Wofford on Saturday night, Charleston is in two key early season showdowns. If the Cougars lose both, they will be behind the eight ball instantly for getting the critical first round bye in the SoCon Tournament.

So, this is a very important game for the Cougars.

The Paladins on the other hand are doing very well at 2-0, and are stunning the conference. With lots of upperclassmen, Furman has broken into the upper crust. Can they become the surprise top two in the South team this year? Two years ago, it was The Citadel that kept Charleston from getting the first round bye- and is one of the main reasons that many Cougar fans believe they lost to Chattanooga in the SoCon Championship Game.

So, let's not ignore this. This game matters.

Furman has Amu Saaka averaging 15.7 points per game and 6.9 rebounds per game. Noah States averages 12.6 points per game and 5.3 rebounds per game. They are both forwards, but shoot over 77.8% from the free throw line. Amazing. They are both very good shooters as well. Jordan Miller is also averaging 11.2 points per game. The Paladins have nine guys that average in double figures in minutes.

The Paladins shot 72.8% from the free throw line shooting. They are ranked 111th in rebounding in the country. They are not a very disciplined and very good team.

Andrew Goudelock is the best player in the SoCon, more than likely. The Cougars top gun is averaging 22.9 points per game and is shooting 41.7% from three point range. He is a monster. He has 4.1 assists per game and 4.1 rebounds per game. Jeremy Simmons is averaging 13.8 points per game and 5.8 rebounds per game. Donavan Monroe is averaging 11.6 points per game. Trent Wiedeman is the leading rebounder, averaging 6.6 boards per game. Willis Hall and Antwane Wiggins also average over five rebounds per game. They are 65th in the country in points per game, and 56th in field goal percentage. They are a great shooting team, and have long athletes.

They are playing just seven guys who average double figures in minutes. Their lack of depth is a reason for concern come tournament time- though this weekend it may not be an important thing to consider. It may be more important against Wofford than now, since they have been off since Sunday's very disappointing loss to Morehead State.

--Saaka and States will perform well, even though Simmons, Wiggins, and Hall are going to provide some of the toughest competition they have faced this year.
--Goudelock should go off for a big night.
--Furman's fire will be huge as they are looking to prove that they belong in the conference title discussion, even though everyone thinks they are not for real. This is their chance to prove they are one of the best teams in the division.
--Furman 76, College of Charleston 73. The Cougars aren't ready for the tough environment. Furman wants this game so bad, and they will be amped to the extreme. The Paladins come up with the win, but it won't be easy.

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