Monday, December 31, 2012

Week One SoCon Pick 'Em

Pick the winner of each game either in the comments section or by e-mailing me at

Please note the deadline.

Read the rules here.

(Deadline for these picks is Friday at 9:00 PM Eastern)

Furman at College of Charleston (4:00, ESPN3)
Western Carolina at The Citadel (7:00)
Chattanooga at Samford (8:00)

Game of the Week (2 points)
UNCG at Davidson (7:00, ESPN3)

SoCon Pick 'Em Rules

Last year, we did the SoCon Tournament Challenge. It was fun and exciting. DrOldman won the Challenge.

This year, we're going to try something new.

Each week, each participant will be asked to pick each SoCon game. Each participant will be scored given one point for each correct pick and two points for a correct Game of the Week pick. Game of the Week will normally be deteremined by the vote in Scanning the SoCon each week.

Sign up in the comments section or e-mail me at If you provide me your e-mail address, I will send out an e-mail each week to you reminding you to get your picks in to me. Be sure you get the picks into me before the deadline each week. (Normally the day before the game.)

Tiebreakers are as follows:

1) Record in the Game of the Week.
2) Record in games between North and South.
3) Points in most recent week.
4) Place the previous week.
5) Coin flip.

So join the fun, either by e-mailing me or posting in the comments section.

Looking forward to it!

January in Preview: Conference Time

The Mocs are heading into January feeling pretty good about themselves, having won three straight games. How they handle January will have a large impact on how everyone feels about the season on the whole.

The Mocs play seven SoCon games this month, and five of those on the road. They also play Georgia Tech, also on the road. That's six out of eight on the road for a team just now figuring out how to win. Yes, in February, they go through a stretch where six out of seven are at home. But that does not help matters at all in January.

So let's look at what is to come.

Toughest Game: at Georgia Tech, January 2. This is not easy, and the trip to College of Charleston is probably not any easier. But the Mocs tend to not win against major conference teams. It's become something of a mental thing for this team. On top of that, the Yellow Jackets are actually, you know, good. The Mocs played very well at Kansas earlier this year, and played reasonably well at LSU too. So a solid showing wouldn't be surprising. Winning would be pretty stunning.

Easiest Game: Appalachian State, January 17. Conference games are never easy. Never. It doesn't matter who you play, when you are a 5-8 team, no game is easy. That being said, the Mocs have to feel the best about playing Appalachian State at home. The Mocs have now won three straight home games, and their next home game will be against the Mountaineers on January 17. Yes, the confidence could be broken by then if they can't come up with a road win or two, making this one tough. But if you look at the schedule, this is the one the Moc fans have circled as the  most likely win at this point. They are just 4-8 on the year. The Mocs will probably be favored in this one. The Mocs may not be favored in another game this month.

Biggest Game: at Samford, January 5. Actually, either this one or the game against  The Citadel on January 10 has to be considered the biggest game. The Mocs are working with a bit of confidence right now. A loss to Georgia Tech, while losses are never good, can probably be accepted. But losses to Samford and The Citadel in back-to-back games may shoot the Mocs confidence back down the drain. The Mocs desperately need a win in one of these. Samford is more important because that one is a game within the division.

Prediction: 3-5. I am predicting a win over Appalachian State and then two wins in three games at Samford, at The Citadel, or at home against Western Carolina. There is also an opportunity to win at UNCG at the end of January. Trips to Georgia Tech, Elon and College of Charleston are probably out of the question at this point. I'd love to have this record backwards. We'll see.


December in Review: Slow Start. Strong Finish.

The Mocs were bad at the beginning of December. As in, not good. The Mocs were humiliated by Davidson, humbled by Eastern Kentucky, competitive but still lost to LSU, and were OK but still beaten pretty soundly by Mercer. That was how the month started. Then the last three games were a dominating performance against Reinhardt, and solid wins over High Point and Utah Valley. The Mocs wound up 3-4 for the month, but took a really odd way to get there.

Before the month started, I projected a 5-2 mark for the month. I thought they would beat Eastern Kentucky and one of Davidson, LSU, and Mercer. Turns out thet were outmatched against Davidson, Eastern Kentucky, LSU, and Mercer. Whoops.

But there is reason to believe that the team is starting to come around. Despite Casey Jones injury that will have him sidelined for probably at least the majority of January, the injury to Lance Stokes, and the preseason injury to Dontay Hampton, the Mocs showed signs of coming together in the Dr Pepper Classic.

Can the Mocs continue to come together? Were those two wins a sign of things to come or simply two wins against overmatched teams? It's hard to know at this point. I don't know when we'll know for sure. Obviously, winning some SoCon games is very important to prove this team is still coming together.

The Mocs injury problems are very real, but actually it is forcing Coach Shulman to play a shorter bench, which is something many fans have clamored for. He simply does not have the bodies to play many more right now.

It also has forced Farad Cobb into the starting lineup, and Alex Bran into a role on the team. Cobb is learning, and Bran provides a little bit of instant offense. But mostly, this moves gets Rico White off the point, and puts him in a better position to score. Probably not ironically, the Mocs have cut down on their turnovers dramatically in the two games that White has not started at point guard. White is a wonderful scorer and shooter, but he needs to be off the ball. I admire him for playing point guard, but is not his natural position. This is helping the offense look smoother.

We'll see what lies ahead. It was a bad start to the month, but the end provides a little hope.


Daily Dribbles- 12-31-12

--Not the best day ever for the SoCon on Sunday afternoon. Wofford was hammered by Virginia, 74-39. Furman lost to SMU 72-53. Appalachian State beat Milligan, 71-51. Like I said, not the best.

--Monday is a decent day for the SoCon. Manchester College goes to Elon, Liberty heads to Western Carolina, College of Charleston heads to Marist, and UNCG takes on North Carolina State. A chance for the SoCon to go 3-1 is right there for the taking. This is another chance for the SoCon to capitalize.

--The SoCon is ranked 28th right now in the RPI, and could get up to 26th this week if they have an excellent week. It would take an excellent week, though.

--Lots of great games this week. I am very interested to see what the SoCon is  made of.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Scanning the SoCon- Week Nine

Each week, twelve bloggers/message boarders (one representing each team) all will vote on a Game of the Week and Power Rankings. At least four will answer a series of questions on their team and around the SoCon. Don't forget to check back Monday through Friday to read Daily Dribbles from around the SoCon here on MocsMania. Also, don’t forget to make picks in the SoCon Pick ‘Em.


 Appalachian State- Yosef's Cabin T-Dog
Chattanooga- Mocs Mania- JohnMoc
College of Charleston- King Kresse CougarSurf11
Davidson- Davidson Cats Message Board David Sink
Elon- Elon Pendulum Student Newspaper- Zachary Horner
Furman- The UFFP Message Board- SoConJohn
Georgia Southern- GSU Fans Message Board half-n-half
Samford- Samford Bulldogs Message Board AP
The Citadel- The Sports Arsenal- Sandlapper Spike
UNC-Greensboro- UNCG Basketball Fan DashSpartan
Western Carolina- Purple & Gold Jerry Love
Wofford- Terrier Fans Message Board


Wofford at Virginia
Milligan at Appalachian State
Furman at SMU

Manchester College at Elon
Liberty at Western Carolina
College of Charleston at Marist
UNCG at North Carolina State

The Citadel at Clemson

Chattanooga at Georgia Tech
Duke vs. Davidson
Georgia Southern at UAB

Wofford at Tulane

Princeton at Elon
Furman at College of Charleston
Western Carolina at The Citadel
North Carolina A&T at Georgia Southern
UNCG at Davidson
Chattanooga at Samford


1) Davidson 131 (10)
2) College of Charleston 118 (1)
3) Elon 109
4) Wofford 102
5) Western Carolina 87
6) UNCG 69
7) Georgia Southern 64
8) Chattanooga 58
9) Appalachian State 51
10) Samford 31
11) The Citadel 22
12) Furman 16


Duke vs. Davidson in Charlotte (3)

Others Receiving Votes: UNCG at Davidson (2), North Carolina A&T at Georgia Southern (1), Liberty at Western Carolina (1), Princeton at Elon (1), Chattanooga at Georgia Tech (1), Wofford at Tulane (1), Chattanooga at Samford (1)


Sum up your team since the last time you wrote.

Appalachian State- It's getting better. It started out bad by blowing a double-digit lead and losing to Western to extend the losing streak to seven and there was some hoopla about a free throw. Then Mike Neal was able to return for the road trip to UMKC and ASU was able to pull out a 81-71 win. This was followed up by a close 74-69 loss at South Carolina. The team returned to the Holmes Center with a 78-70 win over Presbyterian to make it two wins in three games, lights years ahead of where the team was a month previous. Having Neal in the offense has relaxed the team. By the time you read this, ASU will have played NAIA Milligan on Sunday and barring a King College (or Anderson) debacle, the team will go into conference play having won three of four. Freshman Michael Obacha has worked his way into the starting lineup, which has remained steady for the first time in a long time. Another freshman Chris Burgess has turned into a good sixth man, scoring double figures in the last three games. Overall stats have gotten better as the Apps have won the rebounding battle in the last three games and assists are on the rise. One piece of good news for Capel is that the AD Cobb said on the radio that he more-than-likely will be the coach in 2013-14 for the final year of his contract.

College of Charleston- The last time I reported on CofC for Scanning the SoCon, the Cougars were riding high and about to take on Louisville in Charleston. We all know how that turned out. The Cougars then followed that up by losing to Division II Anderson University. Since that low point Doug Wojcik’s squad seems to have jumped back on the horse. They’ve picked up three straight victories over really solid competition in Old Dominion, Coastal Carolina and Vermont and will most likely enter conference play on another hot streak. Slowly but surely this team has cut down on the unforced turnovers and it’s paying dividends. The Cougars are not an offensive juggernaut by any means (60.9 ppg) but their ability to rebound, defend and now take care of the ball gives them enough opportunities to win games. Despite the lack of points, the team scores very efficiently from the field and that should serve them well come SoCon play.

Furman- Well, I didn't write on Furman last time I don't believe, but things are not looking up for the Paladins thus far, as Furman appears to be on pace to have a season much similar to the 2007-08 campaign when the Paladins won seven games. Furman's 65-53 loss on the road to Jacksonville--a team picked to finish towards the bottom of the Atlantic Sun--provided no reason for optimism...One of the few bright spots for the Paladins this season has been point guard Stephen Croone, who is one of the better freshmen in the league so far...He ranks second on the team in scoring average (8.7 PPG) and leads the club with 46 assists heading into this evening's contest against Larry Brown's SMU Mustangs.

UNCG- UNCG has really regressed since the start of the year. The Spartans took a 15 day break for exams and really haven't looked like the same team as before yet. Last Saturday UNCG played decent against a not so good Wake Forest team, but just couldn't get enough defensive stops to really make it interesting. Two main problems jump out for the Spartans ... the defense is just very poor and there seems to be some team chemistry issues. The chemistry problem seems to be underlined by second leading scorer Derrell Armstrong being suspended for a game a few weeks ago. In order for UNCG to start stringing together wins, the coaching staff is going to have to get this group on the same page and playing some sort of defense.

Of the teams that have not been very good so far this year in the SoCon (Appalachian State, Chattanooga, Samford, UNCG, Furmna, Georgia Southern, and The Citadel) which team do you think is most likely to finish with the best SoCon record?

Appalachian State- UNCG. First off, they're in the North Division. They got the athletes and looking at their schedule, it's not as brutal as recent years but still tough. Plus they get to play Furman twice so they could easily finish 12-6.

College of Charleston- I would say UNC Greensboro. They’re still underachieving this year but one thing they can do is score. That alone should get them some victories over other SoCon teams.

Furman- Appalachian State--The Mountaineers have athleticism and quite simply, they have Jay Canty. Canty is a player that reminds me of former Mountaineer star Marshall Phillips, who was at ASU in the late 1990's after transferring in from a small juco. He went on to become a star and be the missing piece that team needed to give Buzz Peterson some success in his first stint as the head coach...ASU was the Cinderella story of that 1997 SoCon Tournament before losing in the SoCon semifinals to Marshall...Canty is the type player that I think will be ASU's X-factor come conference play.

Georgia Southern- I think it has to be between Georgia Southern and UNCG. They are arguably the two most athletic teams in the conference and the fact that either team is mentioned with the others on this list right now has to be disappointing for those two fan bases. But right now UNCG is bad on defense and Georgia Southern is bad on offense and as a result both teams are struggling. If either team can just get to mediocre on those respective sides they could end the season with a solid conference record. But GSU's next three conference games are against Wofford, Davidson, and Charleston and with the Eagles already 0-2 in conference play an 0-5 start is very possible. So I think UNCG is the team on that list that should finish with the best record.

The Citadel- UNCG and Samford have a better shot at finishing with a better league record than the other teams by virtue of playing in what appears to be the easier division.

UNCG-  I think UTC could play the role as last year's UNCG team. They have a very good front court and an emerging back court that really could be a second half surprise. I look at their 2 wins this past weekend as proof that they really are starting to put things together.

In honor of making New Years Resolutions, what one thing do you wish your team would resolve to do better in 2013?

Appalachian State- The same wish I've been wishing for two years. To play like a team, even in the rough times and not get frustrated easily thus giving up some gaudy runs.

College of Charleston- I wish the Charleston Cougars would take the same looseness they play with on the road into TD Arena. They’ve played uptight at home a lot this season. Undefeated on the road the Cougars are averaging 47% shooting from the floor and 48.3% from three. You have to protect your home court.

Davidson- Finish games.

Elon- I wish Elon would resolve to be a better shooting team. Against Columbia Dec. 22, the Phoenix shot better than 45% for the first time in seven games. The maroon and gold have some sharpshooters - Jack Isenbarger and Sebastian Koch notably, Tanner Samson on occasion - but they've seemed to fallen off a bit as of late. If Elon's shooting picks back up, the Phoenix will have the North Division crown sewn up nice and tight.

Furman- Furman needs to make its resolution to shoot the ball from the perimeter a bit better in the New Year, hitting just 31.3% from long range this season.

Georgia Southern- I wish Georgia Southern would get rid of the terrible high ball screen that Coach Young has been running for 3 years now and get some player and ball movement on offense. Our offense is downright terrible right now and a lot of it has to do with the players standing around and playing timid. I'd like to see the Eagles cut it loose and just play basketball instead of being so worried about running set plays every time down the floor.


Which player do you enjoy watching the most in the conference?

Appalachian State- Chris Czerapowicz of Davidson. It's interesting to see a European player who can play inside and out.

College of Charleston- Trevis Simpson. For some reason I have a soft spot in my heart for high-usage volume shooters. I’ve never seen Simpson hold back on a shot he doesn’t like; but when he’s on, the results are awesome.

Davidson- Nathan Healy or Eric Ferguson. I like how hard Healy plays. He never quits, never gives up. Ferguson is always good for some spectacular highlights, and he allows some good chances to the guy that he's supposed to guard. He giveth and he taketh away, but he's never boring to watch.

Elon- I always enjoy watching Mike Neal, a guard at Appalachian State. I've seen him three times now and have always been impressed with the way he plays. I can't exactly pinpoint why, I just remember walking away from each game impressed by his play. Eric Ferguson at Georgia Southern also sticks out for me.

Furman- Trevis Simpson of UNCG--How can you not like watching this guy? He's a human highlight reel waiting to happen each time he takes to floor...Wow, what a leaper!

Georgia Southern- Probably my favorite player to watch in the conference is Elon's Jack Isenbarger. I think it's because he plays the game the way that I was taught to play it. Earlier this year when Elon came to Statesboro I paid close attention to how hard Isenbarger plays on both the offensive and defensive ends of the floor and that night his hustle was off the charts. The way he plays reminds me a lot of the way Steph Curry played at Davidson or how Richard Hamilton played in his prime for the Pistons. When you are given the task of guarding Isenbarger you better be ready to bust it chasing him around all night and don't think you are getting any breaks when it's his turn to play defense because he's got just as much energy for that side of the ball as well.

Samford- Trevis Simpson (UNCG). Such a high-flyer and maybe the most athletic player in the SoCon. Entertaining every time he steps on the floor. I always enjoy watching him play.

UNCG- This may come off as a bit biased, but I love to watch Trevis Simpson play. When he's hot he can just take a game completely over. He doesn't always take good shots and some are way too forced, but when he feels it look out.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Mocs 76, Utah Valley 69

The Mocs won the Dr Pepper Classic Championship for the 15th time. Say what you want about whether or not the competition was that good, but the Mocs came up with two wins in two games. They have now won three straight games. Considering that many people thought they would only win five or six games this entire season, the Mocs now are at five wins overall.

There is absolutely room to improve. Their field goal percentage was not good again. They allowed Holton Hunsaker to make 8 of 15 from three point range and score 37 points.

That being said, the Mocs did a lot of things really well in this one again. Farad Cobb again did not commit a turnover. He did only play 18 minutes. But the starting point guard for the second straight game did not commit a turnover. That's pretty solid work. They committed just fourteen turnovers for the game, after just twelve in the game Friday night. That's not a tremendous total- it is too many. But the fact is that the Mocs actually have cut down on them, and this is a major improvement.

The Mocs got back to something they did well. They dominated the boards, winning the battle against Utah Valley by fifteen. Friday night, the Mocs lost the battle of the boards. That was unexpected, so their result in this game was very impressive.

Gee McGhee has not been great from the free throw line this year, but he made 9 of 12 in this one. Z Mason also made 9 of 12 from the lane. The rest of the Mocs went a combined 2 of 5 from the line. However, the Mocs ability to get to the free throw line was again a key to the game.

Alex Bran made 4 of 7 from the floor and scored 9 points. He is a walk-on. He has some shortcomings. One of them is not his offensive performance. He makes the offense more dynamic just by being in the game. He shoots the ball very well, forces the opponent to come out and guard him and often leave other players open. It happened in the open court in this one once, and he hit Eric Robertson for an open three. It was great, and Bran deserved a lot of credit for the shot to go along with his points. He lead the team in assists tonight with three. Bran makes the offense run a little bit better. I like what he brings to the floor. I'm not saying he needs to be the starter or play 30 minutes a night. But a nice ten minutes a night- he can be a very solid contributor to this team. Against better guards, he will not be as quick as they are, but he can be a solid performer.

The Mocs offense is running so much smoother in the last three games. It's not been amazing, but it has been clearly improved. Moving Farad Cobb into the starting lineup at point, playing Alex Bran more, seeing Rico White move to a more natural position, and watching Z Mason and Gee McGhee continue to improve have really helped the Mocs to be more smooth on offense. They are getting better and better to watch on that end of the floor.

McGhee scored 11 points and had nine rebounds. Mason contributed 26 points and thirteen rebounds. Rico White also scored eleven. Drazen Zlovaric scored eight points, all in the first half.

Can the Mocs keep this up in the future? I don't know. They play Georgia Tech on Wednesday night before getting into SoCon play. The Mocs have a bit of a monkey off their back as they head into this weeks games. The Mocs really needed that. With how completely mediocre the bottom of the SoCon is, I think the Mocs can get wins in the SoCon.

It's always nice to win the Dr Pepper Classic. I'm very pleased to come up with these two wins.


SoCon Monster Game of the Week Recap: Davidson 70, Richmond 64

Oh, those crazy Wildcats! Just when you think that Davidson is underachieving and going to continue to underachieve throughout the year, they go on the road and beat a team as good as Richmond. They outrebounded Richmond, which is a huge change from what has been going on recently for the Wildcats.

The thing that really happened was that Davidson jumped out to a 35-12 lead, and looked like they were going to run away with it. They were ahead 13-0 when Richmond finally scored with 12:42 left in the first half. It took Richmond all the way until there was 1:46 left in the first half to score more than 13 points.

It was 50-31 with just 13:09 left. With 6:30 minutes left, the lead had been cut to 54-53. That's a 22-4 run by the Spiders int he span of six and a half minutes. Then the Spiders tied it up at 61 with 2:21 left in the contest.

Then Davidson showed the grit and heart necessary to pull off the win. Nik Cochran made a three pointer and six free throws in the final two minutes. They forced two turnovers, JP Kuhlman gathered one defensive rebound, and the Spiders made one three.

Jake Cohen came up with 19 points and eight rebounds. De'Mon Brooks added 14. Cochran scored just nine points, but it was the last nine points of the game. Chris Czerapowicz was not particularly good, as he did not score any points.

The Wildcats needed this win to get their confidence up. They needed a win to help the SoCon.

The Wildcats finished this game in tremendous fashion, something they had been struggling to do. That was after blowing a 23 point lead and a 19 points lead in about eleven minutes, so there is plenty to work on. But in the end the Wildcats got the job done on Saturday night. There's plenty to be happy about if you are a Wildcats fan...

Utah Valley Four Factors

Wolverines- 50.0%
Mocs- 44.4%
Advantage- Wolverines

Wolverines- 20.8%
Mocs- 20.1%
Advantage- Mocs

Wolverines- 24.2%
Mocs- 45.7%
Advantage- Mocs

Wolverines- 29.8%
Mocs- 46.0%
Advantage- Mocs

Wolverines- 52.6%
Mocs- 38.1%

Dr Pepper Classic: Utah Valley Preview

Utah Valley is sitting at 7-8 following their win over Austin Peay on Friday night in the first round of the Dr Pepper Classic. They have played seven games in the month of December, and have not had a two game winning streak or losing streak.

In other words, if the trend holds, the Wolverines should lose on Saturday night against Chattanooga.

The Wolverines played Chattanooga in the Dr Pepper Classic Championship Game a year ago, and the Mocs won by 15. The Mocs lead throughout, and did not put the game away until midway through the second half. The Mocs were comfortably ahead for most of the game, but pulled away late in the second half, to lead by as much as 19. It was a solid performance by the Mocs. Holton Hunsacker (Coach Dick Hunsacker's son) scored 21 points for the Wolverines in that one.

Can the Wolverines get their revenge in the Dr Pepper Classic Championship Game this year? Or will it have to wait for another year? The Great West Conference, which does not have an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, is the home of the Wolverines. They are the favorite to win the conference again this year.

Nick Thompson recorded the first triple double in Wolverines history on Friday night when he scored 13 points, had twelve assists, and ten rebounds. The 6-9 senior who used to play at Oklahoma is averaging 10.7 poins per game, 7.3 rebounds, and 4.4 assists per contest. Thompson is a very good player.

Ben Aird scored 26 on Friday night and Hunsacker scored 21. Alfonzo Hubbard and Jason Johnson are the other two starters, and the starters played 186 of the 200 minutes in the game on Friday night. They shot an amazing 61.1% from the floor. They shot 50% from the three point line and outrebounded Austin Peay by ten.

Aird is the leading scorer, averaging 13.5 points per game. He is also averaging 7.7 rebounds per game, to lead the team. He also averages 1.5 blocks per minute. He is shooting 58.4% from the floor on the year. He has been amazing. The 6-9 player will be a tough match-up for the Mocs.

Hunsacker is averaging 11.7 points per game and 3.4 assists. He has made 28 three pointers on the year, and is shooting 32.2% from three point range. He is also shooting 88.5% from the free throw line. Hubbard is averaging 10.8 points and 5.2 rebounds per game. Jason Johnson is averaging 7.8 points per game and is shooting 40% from three point range. Johnson and Hunsacker could have very good games against the Mocs perimeter defense.

The Wolverines are a pretty good shooting team, with eFG% of 50.3%. They don't turn the ball off too often, but they also don't force too many turnovers. They do not commit a lot of fouls. They are a solid defensive rebounding team, but not a great offensive rebounding team.

With Farad Cobb at point guard, the Mocs may be getting better at protecting the ball. They only turned the ball over 13 times on Friday night, one of their better performances of the year in that department. The Mocs will need to rebound the ball better than they did against Austin Peay.

How the Mocs guard the three point line against Hunsacker and Johnson could have a huge impact on this game. Those two have potential to light up the Mocs, unlike any of the High Point players on Friday night. If the Mocs can contain them from three point range, they will have a real chance to win the game.


--The Mocs will outrebound Utah Valley. Not by as much as they should, but they will outrebound them.
--Rico White will continue to excel now that he is playing off the ball more.
--Z Mason will have another high energy performance, where he will get close to a double-double.
--Utah Valley will show some signs of fatigue as they play normally just about five or six players, and playing on the second of two nights, that does not bode well.
--Thompson won't have a huge night.
--Hunsacker and Johnson will both have big nights, along with Aird.
--Mocs 66, Utah Valley 65.  This is not the best match-up for the Mocs. I think this could be problematic in fact. The difference in the game will be the Mocs home court advantage, and the fact that Utah Valley plays so few players and is likely to have some tired legs. Plus, the Wolverines can't possibly shoot that well back-to-back nights, right? We'll see. This is a worse overall match-up for the Mocs than High Point was, though. My confidence level is low.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Mocs 68, High Point 61

I tweeted just before the second half started something to the effect of, "This half may well define the rest of the Mocs season."

If it does define the remainder of the Mocs season, then the Mocs may well be in for some decent basketball from here on out.

The Mocs began the second half by scoring eleven straight points and going from down two to up nine. They then allowed the Panthers to get back into the game and even take the lead. But there was nothing to fear on this night, as Rico White simply refused to let the Mocs lose.

I said yesterday that I thought White's ability to get to the free throw line and make free throws would be the difference. I think it was. White made 9 of 11 from the stripe, and scored 21 points to lead the Mocs. White was brilliant and deserves a ton of credit for this one.

Is it an irony that this was his first game where he did not start at point? Farad Cobb took over the starting point guard spot tonight. With Casey Jones out (it is unclear how long at this point), Cobb came into the starting line-up. Cobb did not play brilliantly, but he did not commit a turnover in 24 minutes. The Mocs only committed thirteen turnovers for the game, which was low for the Mocs. I think that is a direct correlation to Cobb playing more minutes at the point.

The Mocs did not shoot the ball well. They only made 2 of 21 from three, and the Panthers only made 3 of 20. The Mocs had no answer for John Brown. He scored 23 points and collected 16 rebounds. Wow. That guy is a tremendous basketball player.

In fact, the Mocs really struggled rebounding the basketball tonight. This was their worst rebounding night of the year, which was a real problem. They were outrebounded by 13. The Mocs will need to do a better job than that.

Gee McGhee played very well, scoring 12 points. Z Mason also played brilliantly. He scored 15 points and collected nine boards.

The Mocs obviously played well enough to win tonight. This was a very nice win for the Mocs. They came up with just the type of performance that was necessary for the Mocs to come up with. If the Mocs are going to continue to play with that effort and without turning the ball over, there is a chance this team is starting to develop. White and Mason may be turning into the stars of this team. Zlovaric is not playing up to expectations, but he's a good producer. McGhee is also a very nice piece to add to the puzzle.

This is an interesting team. We'll have to see if the Mocs can put this together back to back nights in the Dr Pepper Classic Championship Game against Utah Valley on Saturday night.


High Point Four Factors

Panthers- 41.5%
Mocs- 43.6%
Advantage- Mocs

Panthers- 25.0%
Mocs- 17.3%
Advantage- Mocs

Panthers- 31.1%
Mocs- 16.2%
Advantage- Panthers

Panthers- 32.2%
Mocs-  50.9%
Advantage- Mocs

Panthers- 33.9%
Mocs- 38.2%

SoCon Monster Game of the Week: Davidson at Richmond

Richmond and Davidson are two teams that are each hoping to make runs in the NCAA Tournament come March, and think that they have teams that could be capable of that. The Spiders started 9-2, with losses to Minnesota and Ohio, two very talented teams. Then, in their two most recent games, the Spiders lost to Kansas and George Mason, two more good teams.

So Richmond has lost to the best teams on their schedule, but they did beat Wofford and Wake Forest, so that does count for something.

Davidson has been similar. They have lost to New Mexico, Gonzaga, Drexel, and Charlotte, who are probably the best teams on their schedule. However, they did beat Vanderbilt and West Virginia. Of course, the Wildcats worst loss was at Wisconsin-Milwaukee. That team is ranked 304 in Pomeroy's rankings, and has only two other wins (one over Mary- which causes one to wonder if William was not available- and one over a terrible Northern Illinois team). So Davidson has lost to the best teams on their schedule, and lost one game they absolutely should not.

The Spiders are lead by Darien Brothers and Derrick Williams. Brothers is averaging 14.9 points per game on 49.2% shooting from the floor, including a stunning 52.9% from three point range. That's on 36 of 68 shooting from long range, not some small number. Brothers is a great shooter. The Wildcats will have to be very aware of where Brothers is at all times.

Williams is 6-6 and 270 pounds. He is shooting nearly 57% from the floor, and is averaging 14.7 points per game. He also leads the team in rebounding with seven boards per game. He will be an absolute beast for the Wildcats to handle. He is a big guy that is very effective inside. The Wildcats will have to find a way to match up to him.

Cedrick Lindsay leads the team in assists with four per game. He is also averaging 10.4 points per game, and shoots 35.5% from three point range. That will be another tough defensive task for the Wildcats.

The Spiders are not a great rebounding team by any means. But they do a great job of drawing fouls and shoot a very high percentage from the floor. They take a lot of threes. According to Pomeroy, they have the 32nd most effective offense in the country. That's going to make for a tough challenge for the Wildcats.

By now, if you are a reader of this blog, you know plenty about Davidson. But it was shocking the way the Wildcats were dominated on the glass against Drexel. They were outrebounded 40-14 against the Dragons. This is critical to the Wildcats. They need to show the proper technique and effort to do a better job on the glass. If they do not, they will continue to struggle against out of conference opponents, and will not be as good as expected in the SoCon.

De'Mon Brooks is the early favorite for SoCon Player of the Year. He is shooting 48.8% from the floor and averaging 15.3 points per game, to go along 6.3 boards and 1.5 steals per game. Jake Cohen is averaging 12.1 points per game and 5.1 rebounds. Chriz Czerapowicz is averaging 9.2 points per game and shoots 51.1% from three point range. JP Kuhlman is averaging 7.7 points and 3.9 assists per game. Nik Cochran is averaging 9.0 points and 3.2 assists per contest.

This is an interesting contest for Davidson. They have the offensive firepower to compete against Richmond. The problem is that they may not be able to slow down the Spiders. Richmond is very good on offense, and Davidson is not a particularly good defensive squad. Then again, that description could easily be reversed.


--These offenses will both put up big points.
--Richmond will not outrebound Davidson 40-14, but they will outrebound them.
--Williams will be a tremendously tough match-up for any Wildcat. He has such a large body, it is hard to figure out how Davidson could stop him.
--Czerapowicz and Brothers could get into quite the three point shooting contest. In fact, if this game goes to overtime, I would be OK with it being determined by a three point shootout between the two.
--Richmond 79, Davidson 74. I just don't see any way that the Wildcats can slow down the Spiders. They have not shown any ability to play good enough defense or rebound well enough to win a game like this at this point in the season.

Daily Dribbles- 12-28-12

--Oftentimes, no news is good news. But in the case of Georgia Southern, I'm beginning to think that no news is bad news. Jelani Hewitt has been ineligible all of the first half of the year. There was a rumor that he was out for the year that was never confirmed. But there has been no news that he is coming back any time soon. If it was an academic issue that was cleared up, it should have been announced by now. I believe Hewitt will not be coming back this year for the Eagles. That's pure guess work on my part, and I may be proven wrong.

--The Cougars head up to Vermont to play this Saturday. That's an interesting game. The SoCon needs all the wins they can get out of conference and the Cougars can get a nice win.

--The SoCon is trying to even up the season series with the Big South when Chattanooga takes on High Point in the Dr Pepper Classic Friday night. Considering how awful the SoCon started against the Big South this year, that would be a huge step for the SoCon and show that it is trending in the right direction. A loss would not be devastating to the SoCon, but wouldn't be good, as it would be High Point's third D1 win....all three of them against SoCon teams.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Dr Pepper Classic: High Point Preview

These two teams will tip off at 7:00 in the second game of the Dr Pepper Classic first round. This game will follow roughly thirty minutes following Austin Peay-Utah Valley. That should be an entertaining game, but this one ought to be very intriguing from start to finish.

The SoCon has been trying to get back to .500 against the Big South this year. The SoCon fell way behind in the early going in this battle, but has snuck back into the race. A Mocs win would get the SoCon back to even against the Big South. Amazing. Of course, High Point contributed to the fast start by the Big South. They went 2-0, beating  UNCG and Appalachian State to start the year. Those are the Panthers last D1 wins.

John Brown is a freshman for the Panthers and is 6-7, 200 pounds. He has only been held into single digits once this year, and is averaging 18.1 points per game on 51.9% shooting from the floor. He is also averaging 6.6 rebounds per game. He's been shooting nearly 70% from the free throw line as well. Brown has been a real revelation for the Panthers.

Allan Chaney is in his first year at High Point after spending time at Florida and Virginia Tech. He is also the only other Panther averaging more than 8.3 points per game. He is 6-9 and weighs 235 pounds. He is averaging 13.8 points per game on 54.7% shooting from the floor. He is also averaging 8.1 rebounds per contest.

Brown and Chaney provide a powerful one-two punch inside for the Panthers. The Mocs will try to counter with Drazen Zlovaric and Z Mason. Those two are both solid players for the Mocs as well. Those match-ups are going to be brutally tough for Zlovaric and Mason. How will they perform in this critical match-up?

Jairus Simms leads the team with 4.3 assists per contest. He is only scoring 2.4 points per game though. He is relied upon to get the ball into the good scoring position for Brown and Chaney.

The Panthers don't shoot a lot of threes, and they are a very poor shooting team. They shoot about 15.5 threes per game. They make 27.1% from three point range. The Mocs have a very poor three point defense, and teams shoot a lot of threes against them. They are one of the worst three point defenses in the country, in terms of percentage of points allowed from three point range. Will the Mocs be able to stop the Panthers from making big threes against them?

Derrell Edwards is the Panther that has attempted the most three pointers on the team with 34. He has only made seven on the year. Lorenzo Cugini has made the highest percentage and number of threes of any Panther this year. Cugini made ten of 22 from three point range, good for 45.5%.

The Panthers make 78.1% from the free throw line. They are not good at getting to the stripe though, ranking 327th in the country. The Mocs need to avoid fouling the Panthers and letting them capitalize on their good free throw shooting.

The Mocs are a very good rebounding team. They are one of the better ones in the country. High Point is a solid rebounding team, but not a great one. The Mocs will need to win the battle of the boards to be able to win the game on the whole.


--The Mocs will struggle to contain Brown and Chaney in the paint.
--High Point will not shoot the ball well from three point range, but Cugini will make four threes.
--The Mocs will outrebound the Panthers, but not by a tremendous amount
--Gee McGhee will have a good night getting the lane.
--The Mocs will get fouled plenty, but will struggle from the line.
--Rico White will have a big night.
--Mocs 59, High Point 55. This will be a low scoring affair with both teams struggling at times to score. The Mocs will win this game behind White trying to get into the lane and drawing fouls. He will make just enough free throws to win this game. The Mocs are going to show up and play one of their better games of the year to date. Call it a gut feeling based on the Mocs getting their head together over Christmas Break. The Mocs will be playing the night game in the Championship Game of the Dr Pepper Classic on Saturday evening.


Daily Dribbles- 12-27-12

--Wofford's trip to Virginia is very interesting. The Cavaliers are 8-3. The Terriers are 6-6. That being said, the Terriers are red hot. Virginia is the favorite, but Wofford is a very dangerous underdog in a televised game.

--Samford against Wisconsin? Seems unlikely that the Bulldogs will be able to win at a Big Ten school. But it is certainly true that the Badgers don't score a lot of points consistently. Samford may be able to keep it close.

--Conference play kicks off again next Saturday. It ought to be exciting. I'm interested to see which team improves the most from the out of conference schedule to the in conference schedule. There is bound to be at least one surprise team from this group: UNCG, Appalachian State, Samford, Chattanooga, The Citadel, Furman, Georgia Southern. I'd love to hear everyone's opinion on which one of those they think is most likely to finish with a winning SoCon record. In fact, it will be one of our questions in this week's Scanning the SoCon. (How's that for a teaser for Sunday?)

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Dr Pepper Classic Field

KenPom Rankings:
High Point- 265
Austin Peay- 292
Chattanooga- 297
Utah Valley- 303

KenPom Predictions for the 1st Round:

Chattanooga 56, High Point 55
Austin Peay 70, Utah Valley 69


Chattanooga is considered the favorite according to KenPom. Well- a favorite in a tiny way. They are favored by one point against High Point, who is the highest ranked team in the field. The Mocs would likely be favored against either Austin Peay or Utah Valley, as well.

If anything, this means that there will be four thrilling games in Chattanooga this weekend. I mean, both first round games are predicted to be one point games. The second round games will probably be expected to be similarly close.

Will it be good basketball? Unlikely.

Utah Valley is 6-8 on the year, with two wins over Troy- one coming in overtime, and the other coming in double overtime. They have not won two in a row against D1 competition all year.

Austin Peay is 4-8, and has lost six straight against D1 competition. In fact, their most recent win over a D1 team was over Western Carolina. The only really bad loss of the bunch is a home game against Lipscomb, and even they are ranked higher than any team in this field.

High Point is 4-6, with six straight losses in D1. Their only two wins over D1 competition this came against UNCG and Appalachian State. They will go for 3-0 in the SoCon against the Mocs in the first round.

The Mocs are 3-8 with four straight losses against D1 competition.

In other words, this will be a very exciting weekend, even if the basketball is far from great. We'll see what develops with all of these teams after the Christmas break.


Daily Dribbles- 12-26-12

--I voted for Georgia Southern-Georgia State for the Game of the Week. Why? Well, partly because I think the game is compelling. But secondly, because I am tired of previewing the same teams every week. Davidson, College of Charleston, and Elon have been the Game of the Week most of the time. With Western Carolina once and UNCG once, I was eager to find another team to write a game about. But also, Georgia Southern is not a bad team, and could get on a roll in the SoCon this year. Will they? I'm not sure.

--Davidson-Richmond was the game selected for Game of the Week in the end. Why? Probably because it is the most interesting of the games this week according to most people. Then again, there are only seven games on the slate this week.

--The Dr Pepper Classic in Chattanooga is important for the SoCon as well. The SoCon could use the Mocs coming up with a win over a Big South team (High Point). The Mocs would face Austin Peay or Utah Valley the next night. That could be a boost to the SoCon, fi the Mocs can come up with two wins. Not sure if they can or not.

--UNCG-Wake Forest recap by Dash. Good stuff.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Daily Dribb,es- 12-25-12

--Nothing to say today except to everyone....

MERRY CHRISTMAS! Hope everyone has a great day celebrating today with family!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Daily Dribbles- 12-24-12

--It's Christmas Eve! Who has been naughty and who has been nice?

--After watching the games this weekend, is it possible that Wofford is the best team in the SoCon at the moment? A week ago I asked if Western Carolina was the fourth best team in the conference behind Elon, Davidson, and College of Charleston. Now, I'm not convinced that Wofford hasn't passed all those teams after their win over Xavier on Saturday.

--On the other side of the spectrum, we have all been annointing Davidson as the team to beat in the SoCon. They beat Wofford at home. But after seeing another disappointing loss by the Wildcats to a talented but underperforming Drexel team, I'm beginning to think that we may be overrating the Wildcats. Not by a ton- they are still one of the best teams in the SoCon, and are probably still the favorite overall. But at the moment, if I were doing power rankings this week, I would have Wofford ahead of them, I think.

--Wow. Really light slate of games this week for the SoCon. There are exactly zero games between now and Friday. The Mocs play High Point on Friday, and four other teams go into action on Saturday. The weekend is fairly full, but until then, the players (and fans) can celebrate Christmas with their families. That may give me an opportunity to watch some earlier games over again....or it may give me the opportunity to take some time off from all this blogging. I don't know which yet.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Scanning the SoCon- Week Eight, Midseason

Each week, twelve bloggers/message boarders (one representing each team) all will vote on a Game of the Week and Power Rankings. This week we have a special edition. All the bloggers are back with their midseason review. We look back at the best of the season so far, and look ahead to what teams we think we will get the byes and the division finishes. The next time we’ll all contribute to the same Scanning the SoCon will be just before the SoCon Tournament. Don't forget to check back Monday through Friday to read Daily Dribbles from around the SoCon here on MocsMania.


Appalachian State- Yosef's Cabin T-Dog
Chattanooga- Mocs Mania- JohnMoc
College of Charleston- King Kresse CougarSurf11
Davidson- Davidson Cats Message Board David Sink
Elon- Elon Pendulum Student Newspaper- Zachary Horner
Furman- The UFFP Message Board- Hawg
Georgia Southern- GSU Fans Message Board half-n-half
Samford- Samford Bulldogs Message Board AP
The Citadel- The Sports Arsenal- Sandlapper Spike
UNC-Greensboro- UNCG Basketball Fan DashSpartan
Western Carolina- Purple & Gold Jerry Love
Wofford- Terrier Fans Message Board Cody Cooper


North Florida vs. Georgia Southern in Las Vegas (Continental Tire Las Vegas Invitational)

High Point at Chattanooga (Dr Pepper Classic)

TBA at Chattanooga (Dr Pepper Classic)
Samford at Wisconsin
College of Charleston at Vermont
Georgia State at Georgia Southern
Davidson at Richmond


Davidson at Richmond, Saturday- 6 votes

Others Receiving Votes- Georgia State at Georgia Southern (2), High Point at Chattanooga (2), Samford at Wisconsin (1)


1) Elon 65 (10)
2) Western Carolina 52
3) UNCG 48 (1)
4t) Appalachian State 24
4t) Chattanooga 24
6) Samford 18

1) Davidson 65 (10)
2) College of Charleston 54 (1)
3) Wofford 46
4) Georgia Southern 33
5) The Citadel 18
6) Furman 15


Who do you think will receive the byes?

Appalachian State- Davidson and Elon as divisional champs and then CofC and Wofford. No one else is really close right now. It's those four and then everyone else.

Chattanooga- Davidson and Elon are my picks to win the division. I think that Wofford will finish second in the South and earn the third bye. College of Charleston and Western Carolina will battle for the fourth spot, with the Cougars edging out the Catamounts.

College of Charleston- Elon, Davidson, CofC and Wofford look like the four best teams in the conference. Wofford was shaky at first but they've gained a lot of momentum the last few weeks and may have put it together enough to compete for 1st place in the South division. Even these four teams have had their inconsistencies, like the rest of the SoCon, but they look to be the favorites right now

Davidson- Byes to Davidson, CofC, Wofford, and Elon. Davidson and Elon get the Division wins. I think that CofC and Wofford will both finish with better records than the second team in the North. Pomeroy says Davidson finishes 15-3, Wofford 13-5, CofC 13-5, and Elon 12-6.

Elon- I think Davidson, Charleston, Elon and Wofford will get the byes. I think those teams have been the best four teams so far this year and will continue to play that way. UNCG and Georgia Southern just may sneak in with strong second halves of the season, but I’m betting on the Wildcats, Cougars, Phoenix and Terriers to get an extra day to rest come tournament time.

Furman- Davidson--Clearly the best team when the Wildcats are on their game, and already have wins over some big name schools, with the most notable win being the one the Wildcats got over West Virginia. College of Charleston--Clearly Doug Wojcik has seen the best and worst of his team in the early going, with the potential to beat teams like Baylor, Old Dominion and Boston College, but also to suffer hiccups like the one against lower-division Anderson last week...It's still a team that is talented enough to challenge Davidson for the top spot in the South Division. UNCG--The Spartans are off to just a 2-7 start this season, but their fun-and-gun style of basketball under Wes Miller finally gives the team an identity, which they never had under Mike Dement, save maybe the Kyle Hines-Ricky Hickman era in the mid-2000's. The Spartans have the league's most dynamic backcourt scorers, in Trevis Simpson and Derrell Armstrong. These two are enough to keep the Spartans in the top two at least in the SoCon North. Elon--It was just three years ago when Matt Matheny took over the Elon basketball program, and now in his fourth season at the helm, he has built the Phoenix into a regular contender in the SoCon North, with one of the top perimeter shooting clubs in the league, led by Jack Isenbarger. Austin Hamilton is one of the more underrated point guards in the SoCon, and with Ryley Beaumont continuing to improve in the paint, I would think the Phoenix will be a dark horse to take out Matheny's former team, the Davidson Wildcats, when the Southern Conference Tournament rolls around in March.

Georgia Southern- I think Davidson, Elon, UNCG, and Charleston will get the byes. WCU drew the short stick and gets Davidson twice while UNCG only has to play them once. It might be so close that this is the deciding factor between who gets the bye between those two. I think Charleston is going to get better as the season goes on and their frontcourt is going to bee too much for most teams to handle.

The Citadel- Elon and the three top south teams (Davidson, College of Charleson, Wofford)  get byes.

Samford- I think that Davidson, as expected, is the class of the league. They’re more talented and playing better than anyone else. Elon has shown the ability to compete with good opponents and, if they stay healthy, they’re going to run away with the North Division. The other two byes likely go to Charleston (plenty of talent if they stay healthy and put it together) and either Wofford or WCU. You’d assume that WCU would have the easier path of those two, but they have some tough travel in February and they have to play Davidson twice. Wofford’s path isn’t overwhelmingly challenging, but they do have to play both Davidson and Charleston two times.

UNCG- I think there is a clearly a huge divide between the haves and the have-nots in the SoCon this year. I honestly think there are only 5 teams that will compete for the 2 bye spots (the top 3 in the south- Davidson, College of Charleston and Wofford- and top 2 in the north- Elon and Western Carolina).

Western Carolina- At this point in the season, (to me) it looks like Elon and Charleston will win their respective divisions, that will be the two top byes (1 & 2).  As for number 3 & 4, unless Davidson implodes in the SoCon regular season like they did against Drexel, Davidson should get bye number 3.  I think that number 4 is up for grabs at this point, with Western in the north, and Wofford / Georgia Southern in the south, the three most likely to take that final bye.  I’ll give WCU a slight edge at this point.

 Who do you think is the Player of the Year to date?

Appalachian State- Right now De'Mon Brooks with Groselle in second. Difference is that
Brooks can win games and Groselle gets his stats.

Chattanooga- It’s tough to decide at this point. There are several players that deserve consideration, even beyond my five All SoCon players. But De’Mon Brooks of Davidson has to be the choice at this point. Karl Cochran of Wofford is probably my second choice right now, despite his terrible field goal percentage. He’s the best player on the team that I think is right there with Davidson as the best team right now. But Brooks gets the edge because of his overall play.

College of Charleston- Based on performance so far I give it to Mike Groselle. He's amongst the league leaders in points, rebounds and field goal percentage and all that despite being the main focus of opponent's defense. Do I think he will go on to win POY? No. I think Brooks, Cohen or maybe even Simpson will all make their case during conference play. The race is wide open.

Davidson- De'Mon Brooks. He's the best player on the league's best team.

Elon- If De’Mon Brooks keeps playing the way he’s playing and Davidson keeps playing the way their playing, he’s got it in the bag. Davidson has had some big wins, and the junior forward has had a hand in them. I’d give the award to the Wildcats big man so far.

Furman- Trevis Simpson-UNCG. I would select Trevis Simpson as Player of the Year for UNCG because if you take him away from UNCG, they aren't a contender for a seed I don't think. Taking away a player like J.P. Kuhlman from Davidson due to injury in the tourney earlier this season, and Davidson still managed to defeat Vandy and West Virginia. In other words, if the Wildcats lost either Cohen or Brooks, I still think they are good enough to win the South Division.

Georgia Southern- It's a tough call who to give player of the year to at this point. There are several players worthy in my opinion, but right now I'd have to give it to De'mon Brooks. His stats are going to always be less that what they could be because he plays for a good, balanced team but he's the best player in the league to me. Mike Groselle has himself in a position to be seriously considered right now though.

The Citadel- De'Mon Brooks, Davidson.

Samford- De’Mon Brooks (Davidson). He’s done everything well so far, he’s been really efficient, and his team is the best in the league.

UNCG- De'Mon Brooks - He's the best player on the best team by a long stretch.

Western Carolina- At this point in the season, I’ll pick Trey Sumler of Western Carolina.   Sumler currently leads Western Carolina in four major offensive categories including scoring with a career-best 18.5 point per game average (fourth in the SoCon), assists (45), steals (18) and free throw percentage (78.3%). He is one of just a few SoCon players to rank nationally in the five offensive categories including 3-point field goals made per game In addition to the aforementioned four, Sumler eclipsed the 1,000 point plateau earlier this season, and has been named to the 2013 Bob Cousy Collegiate Point Guard of the Year Award watch list.

Who do you think should be on the All SoCon team at this point?

Appalachian State- Mike Groselle (The Citadel), De’Mon Brooks (Davidson), Trevis Simpson (UNCG), Jay Canty (Appalachian State) and JP Kuhlman (Davidson).

Chattanooga- De’Mon Brooks (Davidson), Trevis Simpson (UNCG), Karl Cochran (Wofford), Lucas Troutman (Elon), Jack Isenbarger (Elon).

College of Charleston- G Andrew Lawrence (College of Charleston), G Karl Cochran (Wofford), G Trevis Simpson (UNCG), F Mike Groselle (The Citadel), F Adjehi Baru (College of Charleston)

Davidson- To Brooks, I would add Karl Cochran, Andrew Lawrence, Trevis Simpson, and Trey Sumler.

Elon- UNCG guard Trevis Simpson, C of C guard Andrew Lawrence, Davidson’s Brooks, App State forward Jay Canty, Samford forward Tim Williams.

Furman- G-Trevis Simpson- UNCG. G-Trey Sumler-Western Carolina. G/F-Jay Canty-Appalachian State. F-Jake Cohen-Davidson. F-De'Mon Brooks-Davidson. C--Mike Grosselle-The Citadel.

Georgia Southern- My All-Socon team would be De'mon Brooks (Davidson), Trevis Simpson (UNCG), Mike Groselle (The Citadel), Karl Cochran (Wofford), and Lucas Troutman (Elon).

The Citadel- This is a cop-out, but based on the games played and how the players have done so far, I don't think there is enough information to come up with an all-league team as of right now -- at least, not one I don't have serious misgivings about. I will give Brooks the nod as the best player so far, based on his offensive numbers (and usage rate) and the fact his team actually has a winning record.

Samford- Brooks, Jake Cohen (Davidson), Mike Grosselle (Citadel), Jack Isenbarger (Elon), and Andrew Lawrence (CofC).

UNCG- De'Mon Brooks, Davidson. Trevis Simpson, UNCG. Andrew Lawrence , College of Charleston.  Jack Isenbarger, Elon. Jay Canty, Appalachian State.

Western Carolina- Trey Sumler – WCU, Trevis Simpson – UNCG, Andrew Lawrence-Charleston,  De’Mon Brooks – Davidson, Karl Cochran – Wofford

Who do you think should be the Freshman of the Year at this point?

Appalachian State- Tim Williams from Samford. 14.7 PPG, 7.8 RPG, 1.5 BPG and he makes
more than half his shots.

Chattanooga- Tim Williams from Samford has been the best freshman in the SoCon so far. He’s a borderline all SoCon player at this point. It has been a very impressive start to the career for Williams. If he can keep it up in SoCon play, he will be on many people’s All SoCon team at the end of the year. Imagine if Drew Windler had stayed there how good that tandem could be.

College of Charleston- Tim Williams out of Samford has to be the guy here. Even without many impact freshman in the SoCon this year, William's numbers are very impressive. He might be Samford's best player: averaging 14.7 ppg, 7.8 rpg and .533 FG%. That's noteworthy for any SoCon player, let alone a first year guy.

Davidson- Tim Williams of Samford. He's averaging 14.7 ppg and 7.8 rpg. That's 9th and 3rd in the conference.

Elon- Tim Williams from Samford. I put him on my all-SoCon team so far, and just looking through the stats, he’s 9th in scoring, 3rd in rebounding, 3rd in field goal percentage, 2nd in blocks and, perhaps most impressively, as a freshman, 3rd in minutes played (35.1 per game). The Bulldogs are trying to stick in the hunt; if that’s to continue, Williams must be a big part of it.

Furman- Cleon Roberts--Georgia Southern. I would vote Cleon Roberts Freshman of the Year because he is doing such an outstanding job of running the team at the point and picking up the scoring slack for the Eagles in the absence of Jelani Hewitt, who was a doubles-figures scorer last season and has been suspended indefinitely by GSU head coach Charleton Young.

Georgia Southern- Freshman of the year right now is Tim Williams of Samford hands down to me. He is ninth in scoring, third in rebounding, and second in blocks in the conference. That's pretty impressive as a freshman. Keep it up and he will be in the discussion for first team all conference.

The Citadel- I guess I will cast a vote for Samford's Clide Geffrard.

Samford- Tim Williams (Samford). He’s the only big on the team, plays more than 35 mpg, and is the only player who has post skills other than Tyler Hood, who won’t be back from his injury until after the first of the year. Despite that, Williams is averaging 15 and 8. He had three double-doubles in his first 13 collegiate games and missed four others by only one rebound. Williams is tied for #6 in the SoCon in possession-based efficiency among players who play more than 10 mpg. He’s played through illnesses and being banged up and hasn’t come up empty yet. Certainly, he gets a lot of opportunities to get his numbers, but I’ve been impressed with the way he’s handled his business against top-tier competition (he had 15 & 6 against Louisville, 21 & 6 against Memphis, 11 & 7 against Kentucky). I think he’s the best freshman in the SoCon.

UNCG- Farad Cobb, Chattanooga.  He's the most dynamic freshman scorer in the SoCon this season. I think he has the chance to be very good in conference play.

Western Carolina- Tim Williams, forward - Samford.   Williams not only is the leading scorer for the Bulldogs at 14.7 point per game, he is the leading scorer among all SoCon freshmen up to this point in the season. Williams also leads Samford with 7.8 rebounds per game and leads all SoCon freshmen in this statistic as well. Williams ranks 3d in the conference in blocked shots with 20 to date, and again this ranks him #1 among freshmen. 

Who do you think should win Coach of the Year at this point?

Appalachian State- Matheny from Elon because he's underachieving the least.

Chattanooga- I had Wofford expecting to contend for a bye this year in the preseason unlike most people. But Mike Young has this team looking like the best team in the SoCon at this point in the year. They are more than just a darkhorse for the SoCon title- they may be the top contender to Davidson at this point. Young deserves a lot of credit for that.

College of Charleston- Really tempted to give it to Mike Young for fielding solid teams year after year...but I'm going with Matt Matheny at Elon. His team is balanced, playing close in every game and looks like they're going to roll through the North division.

Davidson- Mike Young. I didn't think Wofford would contend for a bye. Right now it looks like Davidson, CofC, and Wofford will have a tight race for the top spot in the South. Wofford is young. They are small. And they are tough and smart. Mike Young does a great job with the Terriers.

Elon- We all know that Doug Wojcik inherited a great situation at Charleston. But the SoCon-best 7-4 record speaks for itself. Big wins include the victory over then-ranked Baylor and a huge conference win over Elon. The transition from a well-established and successful coach there (Bobby Cremins) to Wojcik could have been deadly, but it worked. I’d give it to Wojcik right now.

Furman- Bob McKillop-Davidson. It's hard to ever pick against Bob McKillop, but if Western Carolina pans out like I think they might, I might switch that to Larry Hunter later in the season, considering the Catamounts lost scoring threats Harouna Mutombo and Keaton Cole (116 triples last
season) to graduation.

Georgia Southern- The coach of the year right now is Matt Matheny of Elon. He has that team playing very well. I got to watch them play in Statesboro and they dominated the Eagles for all but the last 3 minutes, in which GSU was able to make the score look a lot more respectable than it was. They play hard and smart and it's showing up in the win-loss column.

The Citadel- Matheny (Elon).

Samford- Matt Matheny (Elon). I like the way his team has competed. I think they’re definitely improved over last year. He’s done a good job.

UNCG- Mike Young , Wofford. He just keeps cranking out consistent teams, regardless of who graduates. I was honestly expecting a huge jump back out of the Terriers, but that doesn't appear to be happening. If they do slip, I think you can never go wrong picking Bob McKillop. All his teams at Davidson do is meet and exceed expectations every single year.

Western Carolina- Doug Wojcik- Charleston.  The first year coach at Charleston that, at this point, I project to be the number one seed going into the Southern Conference Tournament.