Sunday, December 16, 2012

Scanning the SoCon- Week Seven

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.


 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


UNCG at James Madison
Appalachian State at Missouri-Kansas City
Mercer at Chattanooga

Georgia Southern at Bradly (Continental Tire Las Vegas Classic)

Furman at Wake Forest
Wofford at Jacksonville
Old Dominion at College of Charleston

Appalachian State ate South Carolina
The Citadel at St. Bonaventure
UNCG at UNC-Wilmington
Samford at UT-Martin
Elon at Duke

Reinhardt at Chattanooga
Western Carolina at Tennessee

Coastal Carolina at College of Charleston
Wofford at Xavier
Presbyterian at Appalachian State
Wake Forest at UNCG
Mississippi Valley State vs. Georgia Southern (Las Vegas, Nevada) (Continental Tire Las Vegas Classic)
Elon at Columbia
The Citadel at Georgia Tech
Furman at Jacksonville
Davidson at Drexel


1) Davidson 108 (9)
2) Elon 97
3) College of Charleston 82
4) Wofford 77
5) Western Carolina 68
6t) Georgia Southern 65
6t) UNCG 65
8) Chattanooga 47
9) Appalachian State 29
10) Samford 24
11t) Furman 20
11t) The Citadel 20


Wake Forest at UNCG (2 votes)
Davidson at Drexel (2 votes)

Others Receiving Votes: Coastal Carolina at College of Charleston (1), Elon at Duke (1), UNCG at UNC-Wilmington (1), Old Dominion at College of Charleston (1), Western Carolina at Tennessee (1)


Sum up your team since the last time you wrote.

Chattanooga- The Mocs have been bungling a bit, losing quite a bit. However, that being said, they are closer than it may appear to being a potential contender in the SoCon. They have some growing potential in their freshman. The freshman are growing in confidence, particularly Gee McGhee. The Mocs have struggled with turnovers, but have been rebounding pretty well. They are really struggling shooting, and, despite the fact that the Fire defense that has permitted so many open threes over recent years is now not being used, the Mocs have been giving up far too many threes. They can win. There is a potential run in the weak SoCon.

Furman- Injuries continue to be a problem for the Paladins as projected starter at point, Jordan Loyd, has yet to play, nor has key reserve Dominic Early. David Brown has returned to the floor to give needed minutes in the backcourt. Some other injuries are being "played through." Coach Jackson has called out the seniors for failing to provide the leadership necessary to put the Paladins in winning ways. The fans are dropping out, but those who remain are calling out Coach Jackson to find/inspire the missing leadership and to find a way to win with what he called his "most talented team at FU." Furman has one D-1 win, and that was over an overmatched Presbyterian College, at home. Furman has not been in "the show" since 1980, and the fans are more than restless, pining for the years of SoCon dominance of so many years ago. Bobby Austin had a coming out party against PC and was named SoCon Player of the Week. This talented sixth-year senior may have regained his shooting touch, something that the Paladins badly need. On the bright side, some of the freshmen are contributing solid minutes, and there have been times when we had five freshmen on the floor at the same time.

Georgia Southern- I don't really know what to say about Georgia Southern right now. The Eagles have only played twice since their very disappointing loss to Samford back on December 1st which dropped GSU to 2-5 overall and 0-2 in conference. But they are 2-0 in those two games since then, including a big win over a 8-1 Virginia Tech team this weekend. The Eagles looked very good doing it. The ball was moving around and the players weren't looking scared to shoot, which led to a season high 15 assists against a D1 opponent and not surprising also a season high 78 points against a D1 opponent. It looks like having so much time to practice in the past two weeks has been a very good thing for GSU. Apparently Coach Young has really taken on a “my way or the highway” mentality. Three reserves who play a combined 39 minutes a night have sat the last two games. It's resulted in some players being on the floor a little longer than CY would probably want, but it should help in the long run because not only will these 3 players hopefully start doing things his way but it has kept the better players, and the ones doing things his way, on the floor longer. CJ Reed and Cleon Roberts both had season highs in points yesterday with 22 and 20 respectively while playing a combined 71 minutes. For a team that was only averaging 53 points a game against D1 opponents coming into yesterday that's a huge lift. If the Eagles play like they did yesterday and keep the players on the floor that will do what CY wants them to then this thing could get turned around quickly. The Eagles travel to Bradley on Monday so we won't have to wait long to see if this was a fluke or a turning of the corner for Georgia Southern.

Western Carolina- It has been a roller coaster ride for the Catamounts, going 2-3 in the last couple weeks.  However, most importantly, that 2, in the 2-3 record - came in Southern Conference play.  The Cats picked up wins over Furman and Appalachian, two schools with some of the lowest RPI in college basketball, but those wins put the Cats all alone in first place in the North Division.  The three loses however, came in out of conference play against some pretty good opponents.  The first loss was at the hands of undefeated Eastern Kentucky by just two points;  the second loss was against another undefeated team, one that is 13th ranked nationally,  Illinois - by 8 points; and the third loss was against the  15th ranked Georgetown (with only one loss to then #1 Indiana) by 13.  It certainly would have been a big booster for both the Cats and the SoCon had the Catamount won one or two of those games. An interesting development came in the Georgetown game, as two starters, Trey Sumler and Brandon Boggs were suspended for the first half of the game for missing a team meeting the previous night.  I suspect that a detrimental effect on the teams play against Georgetown.

If you could make a Christmas Wish List for your team, what would be on the list and why?

Chattanooga- I want some shooters. The Mocs have shown effort, but they don’t seem to be capable of being able to shoot their way into games. The Mocs have been shooting their way out of games so far this year. If the Mocs had a couple of very good three point shooters (like Chad Copeland or Steph McDowell), that would give me a very Merry Christmas.

Furman- Without making known some of the observed weaknesses, we need a dose of leadership, a different offensive structure, and for our shooters to find the bucket during game play as they have in shootarounds.

Georgia Southern- This one is easy...a big man. It's the one thing that GSU is missing. We have a couple of guys in Baskerville and Bayhnam who play their hearts out at the center position, but they are just undersized at 6'6/6'7. If we had a true center to clog up the middle it would help out tremendously. I had written in my preseason piece that I was hoping Kameron Dunnican was going to be that player, but it doesn't appear so. GSU did however sign a 6'11 center in the early signing period so maybe I did get my Christmas wish, but I just don't get to see it until next year. Second on my list would be to get Jelani Hewitt back for conference play, but it doesn't look like that is going to happen. It appears at this point that Hewitt will miss the entire season due to being academically ineligible. For a team that has been struggling with scoring it would be nice to get a guy back in the lineup who averaged over 10 points a game last year as the 4th option in the offense.

Western Carolina- Senior leadership & a couple of big men, in the  6-10 to 7 foot range.  I think the team has suffered somewhat without senior leadership on the team.  In my opinion, Sumler and King have not yet provided that leadership I’d hoped they would display by this point in the season.  It’s also, pretty common knowledge that the Cats lack not only that big center, but also have a height deficit in the front court. 

Commissioner Iamarino said that there was no way the SoCon could get a school to replace College of Charleston by the fall of 2013. He also said, "In the meantime, perhaps we might be better suited -- this is their stance, not necessarily mine -- by waiting a little bit to see what the landscape looks like in the near future as opposed to right now." What is your reaction to the commissioner's comments?

Chattanooga- I don’t particularly like that the SoCon seems to be flat-footed. I suppose there is nothing wrong with waiting, but the SoCon should have had a plan for this dating back to the summer. It seems like they don’t have a plan. That’s what bothers me the most. Waiting is not the worst thing the SoCon can do here. Not having a plan is the worst thing that can happen. Does the SoCon have a plan? We have to wait and see. With conferences like the MAAC expanding and showing that they have a plan, I’m more concerned than ever.

Davidson- I think waiting and watching has served the eleven members of the Southern Conference well so far. At conference meetings, conference tournaments, and any place that the eleven schools get together, I hope that they are discussing a broad range of future plans. If we want to add a team quickly, I think that we can get East Carolina. They've been in the Southern before, their AD and the UNC system president have strong ties to the conference, and they are in a precarious place regarding conference affiliation. I'd like to add a large, public university to our league.

Furman- While I am nonplussed by the actions of the Commissioner, I agree that any move we make ought to be after due consideration, and not some knee-jerk reaction. The SoCon is down quite a bit this year, top to bottom. More than filling the empty slot (which I would not care whether we filled or not - we are already too large to play a home-and-home round robin), we need to make a smart move that is in the best long-term interests of the SoCon.

Georgia Southern- I think what he's saying here without saying it is "We are waiting to see what Georgia Southern and App State do." It's a tricky game to play as a commissioner with all this realignment going on. You don't want to get desperate and just invite a school to fill a spot to meet numbers, but you also don't want to wait too long and have your options limited even more. I think waiting until he sees if GSU and App State get a BCS invite is the best thing to do. Especially if he doesn't feel he could get a new member by fall of 2013 anyways.

Western Carolina- In my opinion, the Southern Conference leadership is so divided at this point, between the private and public school presidents/chancellors, that a consensus or compromise on the direction the conference should take cannot be reached.  Just like the US Congress and the US President that are facing the “fiscal cliff” at the end of this year, the Southern Conference faces a “membership crisis”  and all seem to be willing to go over that membership cliff of the three public schools departing, without a plan in place.  Each member school is being left to fend for themselves, and their own best interests, which will probably result in a couple members, if not more,  to actively seek new conference homes, as soon as, CoC/ASU/GSU depart.  All the while, the SoCon “waits a little bit”.  Two problems I see here- the privates schools and the public schools have different perspectives as to what a “good candidate and a good fit” for the conference is, and neither side has the votes, at this point, to push their agenda or vision forward.  With three public schools shortly departing, I’m sure in the end, as the balance of power shift in favor of the private schools, they will be the ultimate winners and will admit two or more private schools into the conference.  I’m just not sure the four remaining public schools will be happy with what is forced upon them, and I project that at least UNCG, WCU and UTC will seek (or are already making contacts) other conference affiliation, as for the fourth public school,  one never knows that The Citadel will think is in their best interests.

Bracketbusters are going away after this year. What is your reaction to this news?

Chattanooga- The Bracketbuster was a great event highlighting mid-major basketball. That will be missed, no matter how much mid-major basketball is available to the viewing public. ESPN may have something even better in mind- we can all hope so. It was always an enjoyable day of college basketball for me.

Davidson- I think that the BracketBusters event has gotten way too large. I do like the scheduling bonus that it gives. Davidson has gotten some nice series with Winthrop, Butler, and Wichita State through the event. In the press release, ESPN said that they'd continue the Bracket Buster franchise in some fashion. I want to see what they have in mind.

Furman- Ho hum. Really don't care one way or the other.

Georgia Southern- I don't know how much good the Bracketbusters was really doing as far as getting mid majors into the tournament, but as a college basketball fan it was a fun day. I'll miss them.

Western Carolina- The loss of the Bracketbuster series is a big loss to mid-major basketball as a whole, and to schools like WCU that have some difficulty scheduling quality programs to come to Cullowhee.  The Bracketbuster guaranteed a solid opponent at your home court, every other year, as well as, providing opponents you might not be able to otherwise schedule.  I just hope ESPN finds another way to highlight mid-major teams and conferences. 


  1. how is C of C ranked 3rd, they got beat by a D2 team?

  2. It's based on everyone's combined opinion. Anderson was ranked ahead of six SoCon teams in Massey's Ratings last week after the game. I don't necessarily agree with that, but I'm just saying. Also, CofC beat Elon at Elon. The Phoenix are number two. There is a case to be made that the Cougars should be number two. I had them ranked behind Davidson, Elon, and Western Carolina this week. It's also true that in RPI, College of Charleston was ranked #90 as of this morning- the highest in the SoCon. In Pomeroy, they are #164, good for second in the SoCon, one spot ahead of Elon.