Sunday, February 10, 2013

Scanning the SoCon- Week Fifteen

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 play 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- Tyler Ash
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


1) Davidson 132 (11)
2) College of Charleston 119
3) Elon 112
4) Samford 94
5) Appalachian State 82
6) Western Carolina 81
7) UNCG 62
8) Chattanooga 49
9) Georgia Southern 47
10) Wofford 42
11) The Citadel 20
12) Furman 19


Davidson at College of Charleston- 7 votes

Others Receiving Votes: Appalachian State at Elon (2 votes), Western Carolina at Elon (1 vote), Wofford at Western Carolina (1 votes)


Sum up your team since the last time you wrote.

Appalachian State- I love this team and hate it so very much. This was the toughest SoCon stretch of the season and the team came out 3-3, which is better than some though. However it was the highest of highs and lowest of lows so far this season. It started with the first GSU game at home. A double-digit lead was again blown in the second half and overtime was forced. However Chris Burgess became the unlikely hero with a late three to win the game. With both Canty and Neal having left the game hurt, things were setting up for a colossally bad Saturday, and it was. The game was over five minutes in and the final of 79-56 was a moot point. After this, a trip to play CofC was not the best trip. After a hotly-contested first half, CofC used their depth and skill to pull away and win 72-59. Limping into a Saturday showdown with Western, the Apps needed the win bad. Behind a monster game from Healy, the Apps pulled out a 74-65 win in a game they never trailed. This renewed confidence followed the team to Statesboro this past Thursday. Both teams blew significant second-half leads and a comedy of missed free throws forced overtime. In the extra session, App State went 3-3 from the field and 12-12 from the line to win the game 91-86. So the team then traveled to Davidson on Saturday with confidence and wanting to undo what happened two weeks before. Something, something, worst SoCon loss in 40 years, something, something, but now the Mountaineers sit at 6-6 in the SoCon in a tie for fifth with WCU. Samford is half a game ahead at 6-5 and right now, it looks like the big battle left is for that last bye.

Chattanooga- The Mocs struggles have been well documented, but the fact is that this team is playing significantly better than they have played all year long. The Mocs sit just two games out of the bye race, which means that this will be very difficult. If the Mocs beat Samford on Monday evening, they will really be back in the bye race. This is as important of a game as there has been this year for the Mocs. Z Mason will be a contender for SoCon Player of the Year next year. People who aren’t watching Gee McGhee don’t realize that he is going to be a contender to be on the first or second All SoCon team next year.

College of Charleston- Since losing at Davidson on January 19th the Cougars have rallied off six straight victories and separated themselves from the pack in the race for a bye. For all the criticism Wojcik was catching from disenchanted CofC fans during early conference play, the Cougars are executing really great ball recently. The biggest difference has been the offense. It was always efficient but too many turnovers (my biggest gripe in earlier Scanning the SoCon’s) and not having a healthy Trent Wiedeman to throw in 10-15 points held us back. In the last six games turnovers have become a more rare occurrence in spite of different defensive packages and Trent is a double-double threat coming off the bench. Throw in the usually solid defense and rebounding and it all makes for a very big rematch with Davidson on Valentines Day in Charleston.

UNCG- UNCG has been so up and down this season as a whole, but especially in the last 3 weeks. After sweeping a weekend homes series with Samford and Chattanooga (and looking very good doing it) the team turned around and bombed in games against Elon and Charleston. The game against Charleston wasn't even remotely competitive. This weekend has been a great synopsis of the Spartans. They started their weekend road swing by absolutely crushing Furman and shooting 60%. Then UNCG lost to Wofford while barely breaking 30% shooting. Their 88 points at Furman were a season high. The 50 at Wofford were a season low. Trevis Simpson has been a beast for the Spartans, but in the losses teams have made him take a ton of shot to get his points.

The battle for the fourth bye spot is intense. Who do you think will get the fourth bye?

Appalachian State- - First I think it'll be a team from the North. The bottom four of the South are at a immediate disadvantage when it comes to the schedule since they all have to play Davidson and CofC again. UNCG still has to go to UTC, Samford and Elon and host WCU and App so they have the toughest road out of the North teams. I think it comes down to the final week where Samford and UTC travel to WCU and App and the team that wins twice that weekend would claim it. The schedule favors App as they host Furman, El Citadel while WCU travels to Wofford and hosts CofC in their remaining South games, but flipping a coin would be a better indicator.

College of Charleston- Right now I think the final bye spot is a toss up between three teams in the North: Samford, Western Carolina and UNCG. App State may still have an outside shot but their prompt dismissal at the hands of Davidson the other night made me think otherwise. Out of those three, Samford passes the eye test to me. At 6-5 in conference they only play one more team (Elon) that is a lock for a bye. Samford has two great players in Williams and Kelly who can beat you inside or outside and their pick-and-roll together is tough to defend. They also play defense and have 3 or 4 guys who can hurt you from three

Davidson- Samford.

UNCG- I think Samford has the most complete team of any fighting for the bye. So, I'll go with the Bulldogs.

Which individual player do you think has been the most surprising this year?

Appalachian State- Davidson fans will hate this, but I'm going with the homer vote for Nate Healy. He is the heart and soul of the team. The former walk-on that was originally recruited by Houston Fancer is the only player to survive the last four years. His 24 points, eight rebounds and seven steals against WCU on 2/2 was one of the statistically best performances in App State history and gained acclaim from ESPN. He then followed that with a 24 point, 11 rebound effort in the overtime win at GSU. 6th in PPG, 3rd in RPG, 8th in FG %, 7th in FT %, 2nd in steals, 6th in 3PT %, 13th in 3PT made (not bad for a forward), 3rd in blocked shots, 13th in ORPG, 2nd in DRPG and 3rd in minutes played. That's top 15 in every individual statistical category. No one else in the SoCon can claim that.

College of Charleston- Eric Ferguson. This was the year he was supposed to make due on that insane athleticism and put himself in the mix for a possible NBA Draft selection. While he still stuffs the stat sheet for GSU I wouldn’t consider him in the mix for Player of the Year. In terms of pleasant surprises though I think there are a number of very impressive freshman who just entered the SoCon. Tim Williams, Kayel Locke and Matt Van Scyoc are some of my favorites to watch.

Samford- My criteria for this are that the player wasn’t mentioned in the preseason All-SoCon discussion (, and was barely mentioned, at best, in the mid-season discussion for All-SoCon ( I think the choice has got to be Nathan Healy of App State. Healy was a bit player who showed a little flash as a junior when he replaced Isaac Butts for several games. In the game at Samford last January, Healy—a second-semester junior—played only his second career SoCon game of 25+ mins. He proved to be an excellent matchup against Drew Windler and Healy showed that he could step out and knock down jump shots. That game was his jumping-off point, and Healy went on to prove himself a capable defender and an eager rebounder. He also scored the ball efficiently for App State down the stretch in 2012. This season, his minutes have jumped up and he has produced at a high level. His shooting percentages are 82/50/42, which are excellent for a 6-7 guy. In SoCon play, he’s third in the league in scoring average, second in steals, and leads the league in rebounding; he’s in the top 15 in nine different SoCon statistical categories. He also is fourth in the SoCon in possession-based efficiency among players who average 30+ minutes per game. He also passes the eye test when I have seen him against other SoCon competition. Other contenders included Tim Williams (Fr., Samford) and Z Mason (RS Jr., Chattanooga).

UNCG- I think no one player has had the instant impact of any player in the SoCon more than Samford freshman Tim Williams. He has instantly given Samford a player that has to be respected on the low block.

Which home court is the most intimidating in the SoCon?

Appalachian State- I'm going to go with Elon's Alumni Gym. The smallest of the SoCon gyms, but a formidable home-court advantage. After playing in such big buildings as the Holmes Center, the Greensboro Coliseum and the Roundhouse, going to Alumni Gym can throw a visitor off. Matheny has done well with it and with his style of basketball he learned from McKillop, it can frustrate an opponent to the point of lunacy. A very lethal one-two punch.

Chattanooga- I think there are about four or five environments that are very difficult when the team is productive and getting support from the local fans. Georgia Southern, Chattanooga, Davidson, College of Charleston, and Elon are the five schools. I suppose Davidson, due to their tradition, is the toughest one, but I think Elon and Georgia Southern are the two toughest when the team is just mediocre. There is still something extraordinary about playing in those arenas for whatever reason. In the mean time, I think Elon may be the toughest arena.

College of Charleston- Being as I have much more experience at TD Arena compared to elsewhere in the conference I will say it can be an electric environment, especially when BCS opponents come to town. I have seen/heard Hanner Fieldhouse at Georgia Southern get incredibly loud and rowdy. When it comes to pure intimidation factor, Davidson is probably tops on the list. The head coach, the SoCon Championship and NCAA Tournament banners hanging in the rafters all make for an environment no one else in the league can replicate.

UNCG- I'm going to go with Charleston. Elon has a small gym that can be intimidating, but the Cougar fans normally turn out well and make TD Arena a very tough place to get a win. Not to mention it's just an awesome facility. It's the kind of place that most mid-majors should strive to build.

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